Bruins Suffer 6-1 Loss to Top-Ranked USC
Feb. 29, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The third-ranked UCLA men's tennis team put up a good fight but was unable to hand top-ranked USC its first loss of the season on Wednesday, as the Trojans notched a 6-1 non-conference victory over the Bruins at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. It marks just the second loss of the season for UCLA, which falls to 11-2 overall. With the win, USC improves its record to 14-0.
Although UCLA played the Trojans tight in doubles, USC still managed to claim the point following wins at all three positions. It was just the second time in 13 matches that the Bruins were swept in doubles play. After USC took a 9-7 win at court No. 3, the Trojans wrapped up the doubles point when 49th-ranked Daniel Nguyen and Ray Sarmiento downed 52nd-ranked Nick Meister and Adrien Puget, 8-5 at court No. 1. UCLA's Alex Brigham and Marcos Giron nearly picked up a win at the No. 2 spot, falling 9-8(1) to Emilio Gomez and Roberto Quiroz.
With the doubles point in hand, the Trojans were able to cruise early in singles play on Wednesday, winning the first set on four of six courts. USC would take a 2-0 lead in the match when Yannick Hanfmann won the battle of freshmen at court No. 5, dispatching of UCLA's Dennis Mkrtchian, 6-4, 6-1. The loss for Mkrtchian was just his second in dual-match play this year. He continues to lead the team in singles victories with a 21-8 overall record.
Another straight-set victory for the Trojans, this time by Sarmiento at court No. 2, put USC ahead 3-0. Sarmiento downed UCLA's Clay Thompson for the second time this season, winning 6-4, 6-3. Sarmiento's victory paved the way for fifth-ranked Steve Johnson to clinch the win for the Trojans at court No. 1, as he downed Meister, 6-4, 6-2 to give USC an insurmountable 4-0 lead.
With the match already decided, all three remaining singles contests came down to third-set tiebreakers. The lone win for the Bruins on the day came at court No. 4, where the 109th-ranked Puget upset 32nd-ranked Gomez, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(7).
The Pac-12-counting match between the two teams takes place at USC's Marks Tennis Stadium on April 20.
UCLA heads to La Jolla, Calif. this weekend to take part in the 123rd Pacific Coast Doubles Championships.
#1 USC 6, #3 UCLA 1
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