Bruins Beat Trojans Again for Pac-10 Title
April 17, 2009
LOS ANGELES - The No. 9 UCLA men's tennis team locked up the program's sixth straight Pac-10 title on Friday afternoon, posting a 5-2 victory over No. 7 USC before several hundred fans at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. In addition to winning yet another conference championship, the Bruins (17-4; 6-0 Pac-10) earn an automatic bid to this year's NCAA Tournament. It also marks the sixth straight victory for UCLA in the series against USC.
Similar to their match against the Trojans (19-5; 5-1 Pac-10) earlier in the year, the Bruins were able to take a 1-0 lead into singles by taking two out of three doubles matches. After USC took an 8-3 victory at court No. 1, UCLA responded with an 8-3 victory of its own at court No. 3. Amit Inbar and Harel Srugo then finished things off for the Bruins at court No. 2, taking an 8-4 win over USC's Abdullah Magdas/Daniel Nguyen.
UCLA went ahead 3-0 shortly after singles play began, as Nick Meister (court No. 5) and Amit Inbar (court No. 6) each posted straight set wins. USC got on the board when fourth-ranked Robert Farah downed 95th-ranked Matt Brooklyn, 7-5, 6-3 at court No. 1. Although UCLA was still leading 3-1 at that point, Farah's win gave the Trojans a bit of hope, as USC owned significant third-set leads on two of the three remaining courts. Trojan freshman Steve Johnson then cut the lead to 3-2 following a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over senior Michael Look at court No. 3.
Just when things looked to be heading in the Trojans' favor, junior Haythem Abid clinched the match for UCLA with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Jaak Poldma at court No. 2. Not only did he lose the first set, but Abid was down 1-4 in the third set before taking the final five games.
Next up for UCLA is the 2009 Pac-10 Championships, April 23-26 in Ojai, Calif.
* Denotes Clinching Match -- Order of Finish: 5, 6, 1, 3, 2, 4
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