April 14, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The sixth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team turned in what is likely its most dominating performance of the 2012 season on Saturday, dispatching of No. 12 Cal, 7-0 in a Pac-12 Conference showdown at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Bruins, who have now beaten the Bears three times this season, improve to 19-2 overall and 5-0 in the Pac-12. Saturday's result marked Cal's first loss in conference play this season, as the Bears fall to 11-8 overall and 4-1 in the Pac-12.
Saturday's 7-0 shutout was in stark contrast to the first two meetings between the teams this season when UCLA posted a pair of narrow 4-3 victories. After dropping the doubles point on both prior occasions, UCLA came out strong and claimed the point following victories at court Nos. 1 and 2. UCLA got a huge win at the No. 1 spot, where unranked Alex Brigham and Adrien Puget stunned third-ranked Nick Andrews and Chris Konigsfelt, 8-3. That win was soon followed by an 8-2 victory by Nick Meister and Dennis Novikov at the No. 2 spot, clinching the doubles point for UCLA.
"I thought Alex played his best doubles match as a Bruin today," said UCLA head coach Billy Martin. "I don't want to take anything away from Adrien because I thought he played great too, but Alex really stepped up his game today. Those two complemented each other really well and got the upset over a really good Cal team."
UCLA's domination continued in singles, as the Bruins won all six matches in straight sets. After picking up the big win in doubles, Puget kept up the momentum, quickly giving UCLA a 2-0 lead with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Gregory Bayane at court No. 5. Two freshmen then closed out the win for the Bruins at court Nos. 4 and 6, as Marcos Giron and Dennis Mkrtchian each lost just three games in their matches to give UCLA a 4-0 advantage.
The Bruins' other straight-set singles wins came from Clay Thompson, Meister and Novikov. Thompson's match at court No. 1 was the closest encounter of the day, as he needed a second-set tiebreaker to overcome Andrews, 6-4, 7-6(5).
"I definitely didn't expect it," added Martin when talking about the lopsided 7-0 score. "It just goes to show you that you never know what can happen. We were fortunate to beat them twice coming into this match. Today, I just thought that maybe their guys on the front courts looked up at the scoreboard and saw what was happening on the back courts. We just kind of dominated them back there and that's tough to see when you're behind. I think psychologically it took its toll on them."
UCLA returns to action tomorrow, hosting No. 11 Stanford at 2:00 p.m. The two teams were scheduled to meet on Friday afternoon, however that match was postponed due to rain.
#6 UCLA 7, #12 Cal 0
Apr 14, 2012 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
|1. Alex Brigham/Puget (UCLA) def. #3 Andrews/Konigsfeldt (CAL) 8-3|
|2. Meister/Novikov (UCLA) def. #38 Cueto/B. McLachlan (CAL) 8-2|
|3. Bayane/Andrew Scholnick (CAL) def. Warren Hardie/Thompson (UCLA) 8-6|
|1. #62 Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. #55 Nick Andrews (CAL) 6-4, 7-6(5)|
|2. #32 Nick Meister (UCLA) def. #41 Ben McLachlan (CAL) 6-4, 6-2|
|3. Dennis Novikov (UCLA) def. #57 Carlos Cueto (CAL) 6-2, 6-4|
|4. #117 Marcos Giron (UCLA) def. Chris Konigsfeldt (CAL) 6-2, 6-1|
|5. #71 Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. Gregory Bayane (CAL) 6-0, 6-0|
|6. Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) def. Riki McLachlan (CAL) 6-1, 6-2|
|Cal 11-8; 4-1 Pac-12; National ranking #12|
|UCLA 19-2; 5-0 Pac-12; National ranking #6|
|Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,4,6,3,2,1)|