May 22, 2006
No. 2 seed Pepperdine improves to 35-2 this season ... Waves advance to NCAA final for first time since 1986 (lost to Stanford 5-2, AllenFox was coach)... Second final appearance for Pepperdine, also played for title in `82 (that team was led by Brad Gilbert, lost to UCLA) ... Pepperdine improves to 2-4 all-time in NCAA semifinal appearances ... Last reached semifinals in `86 ... Pepperdine is now 59-5 over the past two seasons - best in the country ... Pedro Rico is 3-0 at No. 2 singles this week and Ivor Lovrak is 3-0 at No. 3 (Rico has won 11 in a row) ... Pepperdine beat No. 15 Florida and No. 10 UCLA in quarters (beat Montana State and TCU in first and second rounds May 13-14)... Pepperdine's Ivor Lovrak was a member of Baylor's 2004 NCAA championship team ... Waves avenge a loss last month to Texas in Austin (5-2 on April 14)... Pepperdine lost to Georgia back on Feb. 20 in the final of the USTA-ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle; beat Baylor 4-3 on March 13 in Malibu... Pepperdine leads all-time series against UT 7-6 ... No. 3 seed Texas was making second ever NCAA semifinal appearance and first since 1993 (lost to USC) ... UT won first Big 12 title since 1999 this season ... One of two Big 12 teams to reach final four with Baylor - a first for the conference ... Freshman Miguel Reyes Varela went 3-0 for UT this week ... Texas finishes season with 26-4 record ... UT beat No. 14 Mississippi in round of 16 and No. 6 Ohio State in quarters.
Pepperdine head coach Adam Steinberg
"I'm kind of speechless. This was our goal all year to win it all, and then when you finally get here, I don't know if it has sunk in yet. I'm so proud of the team. We lost to Texas a month ago pretty badly down there, but to come back today and play so fearless ... I'm so proud of the team. Our goal all year was to play for it all (the NCAA championship). I couldn't be happier. Getting to the final is not enough for us."
Pepperdine senior Scott Doerner
"It's a dream. Being a senior, it's a little more special. We have worked so hard the last four years. We have brought in so many good players, and we're all so close as a team. To get here (the championship match) is a reality. We can't wait. We want it so bad. This is something special."
Pepperdine senior Ivor Lovrak
"It all comes down to the final four matches in four days. You just have to stay tough."
Texas head coach Michael Center
"Pepperdine is a great team that played with a lot of energy. They come up with some shots in doubles that changed the momentum of the match. They played a fantastic match. They are a fantastic team. Our team was tremendous all year long. We won the conference, one of the best conferences in the country, and played in the Final Four. We played with so much determination. I felt like we played real hard today, but we were outplayed in some critical moments, and that is the difference in winning matches at this point. We played them in mid-April, and we made some plays at the end in doubles. We played them at home before a big crowd which gave us a big advantage. But I knew this match was going to be a completely different match. Anything can happen, and Pepperdine just played better than us today. We had a tremendous season. Any coach who gets to the Final Four in an event like this has to be proud of their team. We played really hard, stuck together and did all the things that allowed us to get to this point."