Monarch Doubles Teams Advances To NCAA Semifinals
May 29, 2004
TULSA, OK -- Old Dominion junior Izak van der Merwe (Kempton Park, South Africa) and senior Zoltan Csanadi (Timisoara, Romania) advanced on Saturday to the NCAA Men's Tennis doubles semifinals allowing just three sets to seventh ranked Alberto Francis and Kris Kwinta of UCLA.
Van der Merwe and Csanadi, who have won three NCAA doubles matches thus far, defeated the Bruins' doubles entry by a score of 6-1, 6-2 in Saturday's quarterfinal match-up.
The victory improved the 15th ranked Old Dominion doubles team to 14-5 on the year.
"Those guys have played some quality tennis and they're on a great team," said Csanadi following the victory. "This just shows that we can play at the same level. So the seeding and what school you come from or what record you come into this tournament with is not really relevant. It's just who can put it on the line this week.
"We started out very fast," added van der Merwe. "It seemed like we got to every ball. We hit some great returns at their feet and we didn't give them any freebies. If you don't give them freebies you're going to win a lot of points. With the wind, they had a little trouble with their serves. We just took charge and broke them early and it kept on rolling."
Csanadi and van der Merwe will face the highest seed remaining in the tournament, the third seeded Georgia duo of Bo Hodge and John Isner. Hodge and Isner enter the semifinal match-up with a 37-6 record.
The Monarch doubles team has already faced the Bulldog doubles team earlier in the year with Old Dominion taking an 8-5 victory in the semifinals of the ITA Indoor Championships.
"We know they aren't going to be intimidated by us, and we're definitely not going to be intimidated by them," said Georgia's Hodge. "Even though we're the highest seed remaining, we still have to go out tomorrow and play our game."
Hodge and Isner defeated Chris Brandiand Hamid Mirzadeh of Florida, 7-6, 7-6, in their quarterfinal contest. The Georgia duo downed Merek Gebicki and Braden Olson from Montana State in the opening round, 6-4, 6-4 and proceeded to take a three set victory over Brown's Merek Jamie Cerretani and Adil Shamadsin, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 in the second round.
"I think it gives you a little more motivation to know that the number one seed is out," mentioned van der Merwe. "It's going to be a little easier, but still we have to focus on our game and do things right."
The semifinal match-up with take place at 3:30 p.m. at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Tulsa.