Van Der Merwe Reaches Semifinals Of NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship
By ODU Athletics
May 28, 2005
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Old Dominion senior Izak van der Merwe's (Kempton Park, South Africa) quest for an NCAA Championship continues as he defeated ITA National Rookie of the Year, Benjamin Kohlloeffel of UCLA, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the 2005 NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship held at Mitchell Tennis Center on the campus of Texas A&M.
The victory marked his 100th career singles victory moving to 100-38 all-time at Old Dominion. Van der Merwe becomes the second Monarch to reach the feat along with former doubles partner, Zoltan Csanadi ('04). Csanadi, who along with van der Merwe earned All-America honors, holds ODU's all-time career singles mark with 103 wins. On the season, van der Merwe upped his record to 27-11.
Thus far, van der Merwe, a two-time CAA Player of the Year honoree, has downed four straight ranked opponents in his NCAA run (#1 Sam Warburg - Stanford, #67 Shannon Buck - Air Force, #18 Benjamin Becker - Baylor, & #11 Benjamin Kohlloeffel - UCLA), adding to the five he defeated during season.
His opponent in the semifinals will be Pierrik Ysem of San Diego. Ysem, ranked 10th in the ITA Poll, holds a 25-6 singles record. He upset fourth seeded Catalin Gard of Ole Miss in the semis, 7-6 (5), 6-0, to join van der Merwe as one of four remaining student-athletes from the original group of 64. Ysern's other victories in the tournament include a quarterfinal win over seventh ranked Ryler DeHart of Illinois, 6-2, 7-6 (7), a second round 6-4, 6-1, victory over Virginia's Somdev Devvarman, and an opening round win against Raian Luchici of North Carolina, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.