No. 8 UCLA Edges No. 12 Pepperdine, 4-3

Feb. 14, 2012

LOS ANGELES - Bruin freshman Marcos Giron picked up the biggest victory of his college career on Tuesday, winning the deciding singles contest to help the eighth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team to a dramatic 4-3 victory over No. 12 Pepperdine at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The win keeps the Bruins perfect record intact, as UCLA now heads to this week's ITA National Team Indoor Championships with an 8-0 record. The Waves, who fall to 3-4 with the loss, have dropped their last four matches, all to top 10 opponents.

With Monday's dual match tied at 3-3, the result hinged on a tight battle at court No. 3, where Giron was taking on Pepperdine senior Alex Llompart. Both players split the opening two sets, with Giron taking the first 6-2 and Llompart posting a 6-4 decision in the second. Llompart started the third set strong, going up a break to take a 3-1 lead. However, after holding his serve at love, Giron broke back in the very next game to tie it at 3-3. Both players held serve for the next few games and with Llompart serving to stay in the match at 4-5, the two players played a marathon 10th game. Llompart was able to fight off three match points but eventually succumbed on the fourth, as Giron converted a backhand drop volley to take the third set 6-4 and give UCLA the 4-3 victory.

Tuesday's showdown might not have been as close had the Bruins won a tight battle at the No. 1 doubles position. After UCLA notched an 8-4 win at court No. 3, Pepperdine evened things up with an 8-5 win at the No. 2 spot. UCLA had a great opportunity to win the doubles point when Nick Meister and Adrien Puget were serving for the match up 7-6 at court No. 1 against Llompart and his partner Finn Tearney. The Bruin duo owned two match points on Meister's serve but couldn't convert, as the Waves broke back and eventually took the match in a tiebreaker 7-5.

UCLA shook off the tough loss in doubles and started strong in singles, taking four of six first sets. The Bruins dominated play at the back three courts on Tuesday, notching straight-set wins at the Nos. 4-6 positions to take a 3-1 lead in the match. Freshman Dennis Mkrtchian had the most routine win on the day, losing just three games in a 6-2, 6-1 victory over David Sofaer at court No. 6. Both Maxime Tabatruong and Puget followed suit, with Tabatruong downing Mousheg Hovhannisyan, 7-5, 6-2 at court No. 4, and Puget edging Jenson Turner, 7-6(4), 6-3 at court No. 5.

With UCLA now leading 3-1, the Waves needed to sweep play at the top three positions to pull off the upset. At the time of Puget's victory, Pepperdine's Sebastian Fanselow was leading Meister, 6-4, 5-3 at court No. 1, and Tearney was up 6-2, 5-1 on UCLA's Clay Thompson at court No. 2. The Waves would win both contests to tie the match at 3-3, setting the stage for the dramatic finish at court No. 3.

Last season's contest in Malibu was just as tense, with UCLA also notching a close 4-3 victory.

UCLA leaves tomorrow for the ITA National Team Indoors in Charlottesville, Va. The Bruins open up play on Friday against Duke at 12:30 p.m. (PST).

#8 UCLA 4, #12 Pepperdine 3
Feb 14, 2012 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)

Doubles
1. Llompart/Tearney (PEPP) def. Meister/Puget (UCLA) 9-8 (7-5)
2. Fanselow/Turner (PEPP) def. Alex Brigham/Giron (UCLA) 8-5
3. Warren Hardie/Thompson (UCLA) def. Hugh Clarke/Sofaer (PEPP) 8-4
UCLA Wins Doubles Point

Singles
1. #21 Sebastian Fanselow (PEPP) def. Nick Meister (UCLA) 6-4, 6-3
2. #35 Finn Tearney (PEPP) def. #72 Clay Thompson (UCLA) 6-2, 6-1
3. #86 Marcos Giron (UCLA) def. Alex Llompart (PEPP) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
4. Maxime Tabatruong (UCLA) def. #49 Mousheg Hovhannisyan (PEPP) 7-5, 6-2
5. #94 Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. Jenson Turner (PEPP) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
6. Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) def. David Sofaer (PEPP) 6-2, 6-1

Match Notes
Pepperdine 3-4; National ranking #12
UCLA 8-0; National ranking #8
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,4,5,1,2,3)

EVENT INFORMATION
UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
LIVE NOW
vs. Bruin Racqueteer Day
Los Angeles, CA
-
LIVE NOW
vs. NCTC Tournament
Palm Springs, CA
-
LIVE NOW
vs. Sherwood Collegiate ...
Thousand Oaks, CA
-
Wednesday, Jan 20
vs. San Francisco
Los Angeles, CA
W, 7 - 0
LIVE NOW
vs. Tennis Championships ...
Maui, HI
-
Saturday, Jan 23
vs. SMU
Los Angeles, CA
W, 4 - 0
Sunday, Jan 24
vs. Georgia Tech
Los Angeles, CA
W, 4 - 0
LIVE NOW
vs. Tennis Championships ...
Dallas, TX
-
Saturday, Jan 30
vs. Georgia
Los Angeles, CA
W, 6 - 1
LIVE NOW
vs. Florida
Los Angeles, CA
-
Friday, Feb 05
vs. San Diego
Los Angeles, CA
W, 7 - 0
Tuesday, Feb 09
at Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
L, 1 - 6
Friday, Feb 12
vs. Georgia
Charlottesville, VA
W, 4 - 3
Saturday, Feb 13
vs. Texas A&M
Charlottesville, VA
W, 4 - 2
Sunday, Feb 14 - 9:00 AM PST
vs. North Carolina
Charlottesville, VA
Saturday, Feb 20 - 10:00 AM PST
vs. UC Irvine
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Feb 27 - 1:00 PM PST
at Stanford
Stanford, CA
Tuesday, Mar 01 - 2:30 PM PST
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Mar 03 - All Day PST
vs. Pacific Coast ...
La Jolla, CA
Thursday, Mar 10 - 2:30 PM PST
vs. Baylor
Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday, Mar 22 - 1:00 PM PST
at UNLV
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 25 - 5:00 PM PST
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
Sunday, Mar 27 - 12:00 PM PST
at Washington
Seattle, WA
Friday, Apr 01 - 3:00 PM PST
vs. Stanford
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Apr 02 - 3:00 PM PST
vs. California
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Apr 08 - 1:30 PM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Sunday, Apr 10 - 11:00 AM PST
at Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
Sunday, Apr 17 - 3:00 PM PST
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Apr 20 - All Day PST
vs. Pac-12 Championships
Ojai, CA
Thursday, Apr 21 - All Day PST
vs. Pac-12 Championships
Ojai, CA
Friday, Apr 22 - All Day PST
vs. Pac-12 Championships
Ojai, CA
Saturday, Apr 23 - All Day PST
vs. Pac-12 Championships ...
Ojai, CA
Sunday, Apr 24 - All Day PST
vs. Pac-12 Championships ...
Ojai, CA
BRUINS ON PAC-12 NETWORKS