No. 9 USC Men Push To 4-3 Win Over No. 17 Rice

March 7, 2007

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The No. 9 USC men's tennis team secured their 10th straight victory of the year, matching a 10-0 start last posted in 1988, with a 4-3 victory over No. 17 Rice on Wednesday afternoon at Marks Stadium. A close doubles point was followed by hard-fought singles, in which Kaes Van't Hof held on to pull out a three-set victory at the No. 3 position to clinch the victory for the Trojans. Now 10-0 overall, USC turns to face crosstown rival No. 6 UCLA at 1 p.m. on Friday (March 9) at Marks Stadium.

The Trojans first pulled out the doubles point as #36 Jamil Al-Agba / Dejan Cvetkovic broke a tie in the race for the doubles point by topping Rice's Knupfer/Scheil 8-4 at the No. 1 position. USC had gotten the upper hand with Robert Farah / Kaes Van't Hof's win at the No. 2 spot, but Marknett/Paroci had evened the score with a win over Adam Loucks / Garrett Snyder at No. 3. Al-Agba/Cvetkovic's win not only won the first point of the match for the Trojans, it keeps the pair undefeated on the year with an 8-0 record - all at the No. 1 doubles spot.

As the teams moved into singles action, two USC freshmen pushed the Trojans to the brink of victory with an early 3-0 lead. At No. 6 singles, Gary Sacks downed #97 Jason Mok with a 6-1, 6-2 win, and #113 Jason McNaughton followed with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Tobias Scheil. The match win would stay just out of reach of the Trojans after #116 Ralph Knupfer topped USC's #77 Dejan Cvetkovic 7-5, 6-0 at the No. 2 slot to make it 3-1. Kaes Van't Hof regained control and secured the match for the Trojans next, however. The junior went three sets with Rice's Filip Paroci and pulled out the match-clinching win 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. In the last two remaining matches, Rice notched three-set wins, as #25 Ben Harknett came back to beat #45 Jamil Al-Agba 0-6, 6-2, 6-4 at the No. 1 position, and Christoph Muller fought back again Robert Farah to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 at No. 4, making it a 4-3 final in favor of the Trojans.

#9 USC 4, #17 Rice 3
DOUBLES
(1) #36 Al-Agba/Cvetkovic (USC) def. Knupfer/Scheil (Rice) - 8-4
(2) Farah/Van't Hof (USC) def. Mok/Muller (Rice) - 8-3
(3) Harknett/Parosi (Rice) def. Loucks/Snyder (USC) - 8-4
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1

SINGLES
(1) #25 Ben Harknett (Rice) def. #45 Jamil Al-Agba (USC) - 0-6, 6-2, 6-4
(2) #116 Ralph Knupfer (Rice) def. #77 Dejan Cvetkovic (USC) - 7-5, 6-0
(3) Kaes Van't Hof (USC) def. Filip Paroci (Rice) - 6-2, 3-6, 6-4*
(4) Christoph Muller (Rice) def. Robert Farah (USC) - 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
(5) #113 Jason McNaughton (USC) def. Tobias Scheil (Rice) - 6-3, 6-3
(6) Gary Sacks (USC) def. #97 Jason Mok (Rice) - 6-1, 6-2
Order of finish: 6, 5, 2, 3*, 1, 4

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