Van't Hof Wins Fresno State Bulldog Classic

Oct. 16, 2006

FRESNO, CALIF. - USC junior Kaes Van't Hof made a successful run through the Fresno State Men's Tennis Bulldog Classic over the weekend, plowing through his Flight A competition before coming up against Trojan freshman Jason McNaughton in the championship match. Van't Hof and McNaughton also paired up with Jarryd Cooper and Gary Sacks for doubles competition at the tournament, held Oct. 13-15 at Fresno State.

Van't Hof's championship run began with an Oct. 13 bye, thanks to a No. 2 seed into the tournament. In the Round of 16, Van't Hof squared off against Cal Poly's Matt Baca and posted a decisive 6-3, 6-4 victory to move on. In the quarterfinals, the junior went up against Washington's Patrick Fischer and edged out his opponent 6-2, 7-6 for a shot at the semifinals. There, Van't Hof blew by another Washington player, Daniel Chu, with a 6-1, 6-4 decision that put Van't Hof in the championship match against his new USC teammate, McNaughton. The Trojan duo battled through a tight first set before Van't Hof upended top-seeded McNaughton for a 7-5, 6-3 victory that claimed the title for Van't Hof.

McNaughton's path to the final was quite similar to Van't Hof's. As the top seed, McNaughton earned a Round of 32 bye before making short work of his Round of 16 opponent, Sacramento State's Gabo Loredo, 6-2, 6-4. In the quarters, McNaughton worked past Fresno State's Mirko Zapletal 6-4, 7-6 to get into the semifinals. McNaughton faced another Fresno State player in the semis, and cruised past Rudolf Simy 6-1, 6-2 to come up against Van't Hof in the final match.

Also competing in the Flight A singles action at the Bulldog Classic was USC freshman Gary Sacks. Sacks opened the tournament with a 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 marathon win over Cal Poly's Kyle Roybal in the Round of 32. The No. 8-seeded freshman underwent another three-set battle in the next round, coming up just short to Zapletal for a 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (4) loss.

Meanwhile, Jarryd Cooper competed in the Flight B singles competition in Fresno, opening with a 6-1, 6-3 win over UC Davis' Tyler Lee before falling 7-6, 6-2 to third-seeded Charl Wolmaranas of San Diego in the Round of 16.

In doubles play, Van't Hof teamed up with Sacks, while Cooper and McNaughton rounded out another Trojan team for the Flight A doubles action. Sacks/Van't Hof earned the top seed and enjoyed a bye for the first round to move directly into the quarterfinals on Oct. 14. There, Sacks/Van't Hof came up against Pacific's Starke/Zdravokovic, taking them down to the wire before falling 9-7. Cooper/McNaughton fell in the Round of 16 to Sacramento State's Barajas-Smith/Stryhas 8-6. The pair moved into the doubles consolation play after that, beating UC Davis duo Lee/Lee 8-3 before withdrawing due to injury in the consolation final.

The next stop for the USC men is the ITA Western Regional, held Oct. 19-23 in Malibu, Calif.

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