Van Der Merwe's NCAA Run Continues To The Round Of Eight
By ODU Athletics
May 27, 2005
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Old Dominion senior Izak van der Merwe (Kempton Park, South Africa) used a second set tie-break to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2005 NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship at the Mitchell Tennis Center on the campus of Texas A&M as he defeated NCAA defending champion Baylor's Benjamin Becker, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
Van der Merwe will take on UCLA's Benjamin Kohlloeffel in the Round of Eight on Saturday. Kohlloeffel, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Rookie of the Year and ranked 11th in the ITA Poll, is a member of the Bruin's 2005 NCAA Men's Tennis Championship Team. He holds a 45-7 overall singles mark while capturing the ITA West Regional Championship and reaching the quarterfinals of the ITA National Indoor Championship.
Kohlloeffell reached the quarterfinals with a three set Round of 16 victory over Boise State's Luke Shields, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2. Previously he defeated Rylan Rizzo of Virginia, 6-7 (0), 6-2, 6-3, in the Round of 32, and Tim Eklund of South Carolina in the Round of 64 in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
Meanwhile, van der Merwe's surpasses last year's Round Of 16 appearance and improves his overall singles record to 26-11. Ranked 37th nationally, van der Merwe began his NCAA run back on Wednesday in the tournament's biggest upset, defeating Stanford's Sam Warburg, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1. Warburg was the tournament's No. 2 seed and was ranked No. 1 in the ITA Poll. Van der Merwe then went on to defeat Air Force's Shannon Buck, 6-3, 6-2, in the Round of 32, handing him only his third loss of the 2004-05 season.
Van der Merwe's victory also improved his career singles mark to 99-38, needing one more victory to become the second Monarch to reach the 100 career win mark. Van der Merwe's former doubles partner, Zoltan Csanadi ('04), who together captured All-American honors last year, holds ODU's all-time career singles mark with 103 wins.