Al-Agba Clinches 4-3 Win Over Pepperdine

Jan. 27, 2005

LOS ANGELES - In a match that came down to the wire, the eighth-ranked USC men's tennis team defeated 27th-ranked Pepperdine, 4-3, on Thursday at Marks Tennis Stadium. Sophomore Jamil Al-Agba clinched the win for the Trojans with a 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 upset victory over the Waves 13th-ranked Pedro Rico.

USC (3-0) came back to win four-of-six singles matches after dropping the doubles point to start the afternoon.

'This was just a great match and a great win for our young team,' said USC head coach Peter Smith, who spent five years at Pepperdine before coming to Troy in 2002. 'It was an incredible victory for us after we lost the doubles point. We learned a lot about our team today.'

Pepperdine (1-1) earned wins at the top two doubles positions, including a narrow 9-8 victory at No.2, to clinch the first point of the afternoon.

USC senior Drew Hoskins quickly evened the score to start singles play with a 6-2, 6-4 win over the Waves' Ivor Lovrak at No. 3. The two teams proceeded to alternate wins before reaching a 3-3 tie. Pepperdine won at court six, followed by USC's Brian Wright who earned a 7-6, 6-3 win at No. 4. The Waves' 85th-ranked Scott Doerner beat USC's 97th-ranked Johan Berg, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, before Troy freshman Kaes Van't Hof earned a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 decision over Alexis Rafidson at the fifth spot.

The match came down to center court just as Al-Agba and Rico were entering a third set after splitting the first two, 7-5 apiece. The players matched each other point-for-point to the very end, with Al-Agba taking the final set thanks to a 7-6 win in the tiebreaker.

Next up, the Trojans travel to Waco, Texas, to face defending national champion and top-ranked Baylor on Thursday, Feb. 3, at 1:30 p.m. CT. USC will also take on Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, on Saturday, Feb. 5, before returning to Los Angeles.

#8 USC 4, #27 Pepperdine 3

(1) #26 Doerner/Rico (Pepp) def. Al-Agba/Hoskins (USC)- 8-5
(2) Berg/Lovrak (Pepp) def. Berg/Loucks (USC) - 9-8
(3) Van't Hof/Wright (USC) def. Borzenski/Johnson (Pepp) - 8-5
Pepperdine wins doubles point.

(1) #86 Jamil Al-Agba (USC) def. #13 Pedro Rico (Pepp) - 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7)
(2) #85 Scott Doerner (Pepp) def. #97 Johan Berg (USC) - 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
(3) #116 Drew Hoskins (USC) def. Ivor Lovrak (Pepp) - 6-2, 6-4
(4) Brian Wright (USC) def. Jonas Berg (Pepp) - 7-6, 6-3
(5) Kaes Van't Hof (USC) def. Alexis Rafidson (Pepp) - 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
(6) Richard Johnson (Pepp) def. Adam Loucks (USC) - 7-6, 6-4

Order of Finish: D3, D1, D2, S3, S6, S4, S2, S5, S1*
* Match-clinching victories.

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