April 22, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The ninth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team went toe-to-toe with third-ranked USC on Friday but came up just short in the end, suffering a 4-3 loss to its cross-town rival at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. It marked the final regular season match for the Bruins, who move to 16-6 overall and 3-3 in the Pac-10. USC, which wins the Pac-10 title outright, improves to 21-2 and 6-0 in conference play.
Similar to the earlier meeting between the two teams, a 5-2 USC win on March 2, the Trojans took the doubles point again on Friday, claiming the point with wins at court Nos. 1 and 3. The Bruins were available to avoid being swept, however, as Warren Hardie and Amit Inbar downed Emilio Gomez and Steve Johnson, 8-6 at court No. 2.
Despite the setback in doubles, UCLA came out firing in singles play, winning the first set on four of six courts. Although USC's Johnson, the top-ranked player in the current ITA Singles Rankings, gave the Trojans a 2-0 lead with a straight-set victory over Daniel Kosakowski at court No. 1, UCLA answered back with two wins of its own. Freshman Clay Thompson upset 38th-ranked Daniel Nguyen, 6-3, 6-2 at court No. 3, and Inbar upset 35th-ranked Jaak Poldma, 6-4, 7-6(4) at court No. 2.
With play of the front three courts completed, attention then focused to the Nos. 3-6 positions, where all three matches were in third sets. USC's Raymond Sarmiento won the battle of freshmen at court No. 4, downing an ailing Adrien Puget, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. Puget had called for an injury timeout down 0-3 in that third set. Only two matches remained at the time of Sarmiento's victory and UCLA needed both to pull off the upset. Although sophomore Maxime Tabatruong owned a comfortable lead against Peter Lucassen at court No. 6, USC's Gomez closed things out at court No. 5, beating Bruin senior Holden Seguso, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to give the Trojans an insurmountable 4-2 lead. Tabatruong then closed out his match, beating Lucassen, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 for the Bruins' third point of the afternoon.
UCLA heads to the Pac-10 Championships next week in Ojai, Calif.
#3 USC 4, #9 UCLA 3
Apr 22, 2011 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
|1. #32 Poldma/JT Sundling (USC) def. #47 Alex Brigham/Puget (UCLA) 8-4|
|2. Warren Hardie/Inbar (UCLA) def. Gomez/Johnson (USC) 8-6|
|3. Nguyen/Sarmiento (USC) def. Kosakowski/Seguso (UCLA) 8-3|
|1. #1 Steve Johnson (USC) def. #34 Daniel Kosakowski (UCLA) 6-4, 6-1|
|2. #85 Amit Inbar (UCLA) def. #35 Jaak Poldma (USC) 6-4, 7-6(4)|
|3. #95 Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. #38 Daniel Nguyen (USC) 6-3, 6-2|
|4. #54 Raymond Sarmiento (USC) def. Adrien Puget (UCLA) 2-6, 6-4, 6-2|
|5. Emilio Gomez (USC) def. Holden Seguso (UCLA) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4|
|6. Maxime Tabatruong (UCLA) def. Peter Lucassen (USC) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1|
|USC 21-2; 6-0 Pac-10; National ranking #3|
|UCLA 16-6; 3-3 Pac-10; National ranking #9|
|Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,3,2,4,5,6)|