Jan. 30, 2004
LOS ANGELES - Sixth-ranked UCLA and No. 19 USC went the distance in men's tennis Friday, with the Bruins pulling out a close, 4-3 victory at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. With the win, UCLA remains perfect on the year at 4-0, while the Trojans fall to 2-1. The match does not count in the Pac-10 standings, however the Bruins do pick up much-needed points in the season-long race for the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy.
The afternoon started with both teams vying to claim the one point awarded for doubles play. UCLA's No. 2 tandem of Tobias Clemens and Chris Lam cruised in their match, posting a convincing 8-1 decision over Parker Collins and Daniel Langre. Shortly thereafter, the Bruins claimed the doubles point with a victory at the No. 3 position, where Philipp Gruendler and Aaron Yovan defeated USC's Drew Hoskins/Brian Wright, 8-3. With the point already decided, USC won at court No. 1, 8-6.
Although the Bruins had the momentum heading into singles play, USC quickly tied the match at one apiece when Ruben Torres registered a 6-4, 6-0 decision over Yovan at the No. 6 spot. Just moments later however, the Bruins went ahead 2-1 when Clemens, who has now won 20-consecutive matches, defeated Johan Berg, 6-1, 6-4 at the No. 1 position.
Next to finish was court No. 5, where Gruendler, after losing the first set 6-0, came back to win the next two sets against Langre, 6-2, 6-3.
With a 3-1 advantage, UCLA clinched the match at No. 3 singles, where Bruin junior Alberto Francis defeated Hoskins, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
Although UCLA had already clinched the dual-match victory, two matches still remained on court. At the No. 2 position, Trojan freshman Jamil Al-Agba outlasted Lam, 6-1, 7-6(4). At No. 4 singles, Adriano Biasella edged Bruin junior Kris Kwinta, 7-6(5), 6-7(4), (10-7).
Next up for UCLA will be the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors, Feb. 5-7 in Seattle. The Bruins will meet No. 10 Kentucky in the first round next Thursday.