Men's Tennis Falls in Championship Tournament
May 23, 1998
ATHENS, GA. -- (FANSonly) Pepperdine avenged a loss to USC and ended the Trojans bid for a 16th team title this afternoon at the NCAA Men's Tennis Championships. This was the Trojans (17-7) 21st appearance at the NCAA Tournament, since the dual format started in 1977. The loss dropped them to a 38-20 record in championship play.
The Waves improve to 27-5 overall in earning their first win at the NCAAs since handing Florida a loss in the 1996 tournament. The win was the team's second in it's last six appearances. Pepperdine earned the doubles victory with wins at Nos. 1 and 2. The sixth-ranked tandem of Kelly Gullett and Robert Lindstedt handed George Bastl and Kyle Spencer an 8-6 loss.
At No. 2 doubles, Anthony Ross and Brad Sceney of Pepperdine used an 8-5 win to claim the point for the Waves over USC's Pat Gottesleben and Akram Zaman. The Trojans' duo of Roman Kukal and Fernando Samayoa defeated Eni Ghidirmic and Mike Jessup 8-6 in the third doubles spot.
Pepperdine took a 1-0 lead from doubles and expanded it to 3-1 with wins at three and six singles. Brad Sceney handed Gottesleben a 7-5, 6-3 loss and Mashahide Sakamota defeated Scott Willinsky 6-1, 6-2. USC fought back to within one (3-2) with a win from Roman Kukal (6-3, 6-2) over Eri Ghidirmic.
But it was Gullett at the No. 5 singles spot that clinched the match for the Waves. Gullett posted a 7-5, 6-4 win over Samayoa that set up a match with Georgia in tomorrow's quarterfinal.
The Waves have a 7-5 edge over the Bulldogs and last meet in 1987. Georgia won en route to a national championship.