May 10, 2003
LOS ANGELES - The sixth-seeded UCLA men's tennis team posted its ninth shutout of the season Saturday, downing visiting Wichita State, 4-0 in an NCAA First-Round match at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Bruins (21-3) advance to Sunday's regional final and will take on USC at 1:00 p.m. The Trojans (14-11) were 4-0 winners over UC Santa Barbara earlier today. With today's loss, Wichita State rounds out the 2003 season 16-11 overall.
For the 20th time in 24 matches, UCLA started the day by winning the one point awarded for doubles play. The Bruins clinched the point with a pair of wins on the top two courts. UCLA was also leading 7-5 at court No. 3 when play was suspended.
In singles action, Bruin senior Rodrigo Grilli put the Bruins up 2-0 following a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Jaime Rodriguez at No. 3 singles. Next to finish was court No. 1, where junior Tobias Clemens defeated Wichita State's Marko Despot, 6-4, 6-2.
With a 3-0 dual-match advantage, Bruin senior Erfan Djahangiri clinched the match for UCLA at the No. 5 position with a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Carlo Contente.
UCLA's Chris Lam and Alberto Francis had won the first set and had commanding leads in the second set of their matches when play was suspended. Bruin junior Marcin Matkowski had lost the first set against Joggan Austin at No. 2 singles, but was up 5-2 in the second when the match was clinched.
UCLA and USC have already played twice this season with the Bruins taking both matches. UCLA defeated USC, 6-1 at the Marks Tennis Stadium back on Jan. 31 and 7-0 at the LATC on Mar. 7. The Bruins lead the all-time series, 58-30. Tomorrow's winner advances to the 16-Team NCAA Team Championships, May 17-20 in Athens, Georgia.