Jan. 21, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The sixth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team kicked off the 2011 dual-match season on a positive note on Friday, posting a 7-0 victory over BYU at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. With the win, the Bruins (1-0) hand the Cougars (2-1) their first loss of the season.
"I'm just really excited about the whole match," said UCLA head coach Billy Martin. "I was a little worried to be quite honest. Not only was it our first match of the year, but it was the first match for several of our new freshmen. I knew we were really going to have to count on them to help us. But the freshmen looked like seasoned veterans and I was extremely pleased about that."
One question mark coming into the season was how well would the Bruins do in doubles this year, especially with Nick Meister sidelined due to injury. He and Amit Inbar would've been the squad's No. 1 team, as the duo is currently listed at No. 18 in the ITA Rankings. However, freshman Adrien Puget stepped in and more than held his own with Inbar at court No. 1, as they managed to knock off 44th-ranked Thomas Shubert and Spencer Smith, 8-3. The Bruins then notched relatively easy wins at court Nos. 2 and 3 to claim the one point awarded for doubles play. In fact, UCLA did not surrender more than three games in any of the doubles matches.
Although the Cougars were definitely tougher to overcome in singles, UCLA still managed to take wins on all six courts. Freshman Daniel Kosakowski was dominant in his dual-match debut, taking a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Shubert at court No. 1. He becomes the first freshman to start a season at the No. 1 spot for UCLA since Jean-Noel Grinda in 1998.
"I have so much confidence in him," said Martin of Kosakowski, who is widely regarded as the nation's top incoming freshman. "He's had some good results and nobody works harder. We don't have Nick Meister this year but I really think that Daniel can be a great leader for us. He always gives 120 percent."
Kosakowski's doubles partner, fellow freshman Clay Thompson, also notched a win in his first collegiate dual match, registering a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 victory over Georgy Batrakov at court No. 4. Other singles winners for UCLA on the day were Inbar, Maxime Tabatruong, Alex Brigham and Holden Seguso.
It was a homecoming of sorts for BYU coach Brad Pearce, who earned All-America honors as a player at UCLA from 1985-86.
UCLA returns to action next Tuesday, hosting Loyola Marymount at the Los Angeles Tennis Center beginning at 1:30 p.m.
#6 UCLA 7, #38 BYU 0
Jan 21, 2011 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
1. Inbar/Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. #44 Shubert/Smith (BYU) 8-3 2. Brigham/Seguso (UCLA) def. Kawka/Urbina (BYU) 8-2 3. Kosakowski/Thompson (UCLA) def. Batrakov/Hwang (BYU) 8-3 Singles
1. Daniel Kosakowski (UCLA) def. Thomas Shubert (BYU) 6-2, 6-3 2. #86 Amit Inbar (UCLA) def. #110 Evan Urbina (BYU) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 3. #64 Maxime Tabatruong (UCLA) def. Spencer Smith (BYU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 4. Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. Georgy Batrakov (BYU) 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 5. Alex Brigham (UCLA) def. #88 Patrick Kawka (BYU) 6-4, 6-1 6. Holden Seguso (UCLA) def. Daniel Hwang (BYU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 Match Notes
BYU 2-1; National ranking #38 UCLA 1-0; National ranking #6 Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,1,6,3,2,4)