Cats Take On ’06 Champion Pepperdine In Evanston (Men’s Tennis)

Nina Mandell

For Northwestern’s matchup against defending champion Pepperdine (0-0) Sunday, the motivation is in the locker room. Though he never coached any of the current Wildcats (1-1), a blackmail-worthy picture of former NU assistant turned Pepperdine head coach Adam Steinberg is hanging up, with his shorts pulled up high, a funny look on his face, and an important message underneath: “Know your opponent”.

Steinberg, who coached under NU coach Paul Torricelli from the 1995-97 seasons before moving onto a head coaching position at Alabama has been in charge of the No. 10 Waves since 2002. The NU coach staff has a convert from the Waves too – first-year assistant Nick Carless coached under Steinberg last year at Pepperdine before coming to Evanston. Despite being outranked, NU senior Matt Christian said the team’s not too stressed. “They graduated the top three (from last year’s squad) and Nick knows everyone,” he said. “I think we’ve got a pretty good shot.”

Before they take on Pepperdine, the Cats match up against Ball State (1-1) Friday at home, a team they have topped each year.

“It’s always a good win,” Christian said. “But we haven’t won the doubles points in like 20 years.”

– Nina Mandell