No. 4 Cal (17-3, 3-1) Defeats No. 21 USC (13-9, 2-3), 5-2
April 18, 2003
Los Angeles, Calif. - The fourth-ranked California men's tennis team (17-3, 3-1, Pac-10) completed a season sweep over the #21 USC Trojans this afternoon, April 18, with a 5-2 victory at the Marks Tennis Center in Los Angeles. With the win, the Bears remain in third place in the Pac-10 Conference with a 4-1 record, while the Trojans fall to 2-4.
The Bears doubles tandems had claimed six in a row entering today, but the Trojans responded from the sweep two weeks ago in Berkeley to take two of three matches and claim the point. USC started the match with an 8-3 win on court two as Johan Berg and Daniel Langre posted an 8-3 victory over Conor Niland and Balazs Veress. The Bears tied it up, however, on court No. 3, as the undefeated Cal tandem of Robert Kowalczyk and Or Dekel improved to 3-0 with an 8-4 decision over Parker Collins and Daniel Tontz. But it was not meant to be for the Cal doubles play as Patrick Briaud and John Paul Fruttero dropped an 8-6 decision on court one, handing USC the doubles point and the early lead.
The Trojans found little success in singles, however, falling in straight sets at courts five, four, two and six, respectively, to give Cal the necessary four points for the victory. Veress, playing in his first match of the season at No. 5, cruised past Kazarian, 6-1, 6-2 to tie the match at one apiece. #58 Kowalczyk continued his impressive run, claiming his seventh victory in succession while improving to 10-0 in Pac-10 competition, with a tidy 6-1, 6-0 victory over Collins on court four.
With the 2-1 advantage, #33 Niland followed up Kowalczyk's performance with his fifth consecutive victory - a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Daniel Langre. Back from injury and in his second consecutive performance, Wayne Wong came through for the Bears once again. The junior from Hong Kong clinched the match for Cal with a 6-0, 6-4 decision over Scott Patterson on court six.
In one of two remaining matches, USC's Berg put forth a strong comeback effort over Dekel at No. 2, but ultimately fell 6-3, 3-6, 10-8 in a third-set tiebreaker.
USC's 53rd-ranked Amritraj provided the Trojans' only singles highlight as he and Fruttero battled each other in another tight match, but ultimately claimed a 7-5, 7-5 win at center court to complete the match.
Cal returns to action tomorrow, Saturday, April 19, vs. #3 UCLA at 12:00 p.m. at the LA Tennis Center in Los Angeles.
FINAL RESULTS#4 California 5, #21 USC 2
DOUBLES (USC wins the point)1. Amritraj/Kazarian (USC) d. Briaud/Fruttero (Cal), 8-62. Berg/Langre (USC) d. Niland/Veress (Cal), 8-33. Dekel/Kowalczyk (Cal) d. Collins/Tontz (USC), 8-4
SINGLES1. #53 Prakash Amritraj (USC) d. John Paul Fruttero (Cal), 7-5, 7-52. #33 Conor Niland (Cal) d. Daniel Langre (USC), 6-2, 6-23. #111 Or Dekel (CAL) d. #115 Johan Berg (USC), 6-3, 3-6, 10-84. #58 Robert Kowalczyk (Cal) d. Parker Collins (USC), 6-1, 6-05. Balazs Veress (Cal) d. Jeff Kazarian (USC), 6-1, 6-26. Wayne Wong (CAL) vs. Scott Patterson (USC), 6-0, 6-4*ORDER OF FINISH: 5, 4, 2, 6, 3, 1* Clinched the match
RECORDS: #4 California 18-3 (4-1, Pac-10), #21 USC 13-10 (2-4, Pac-10)