No. 9 USC Men Gut Out 6-1 Win Over No. 6 UCLA
March 9, 2007
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The No. 9 USC men's tennis team tacked up a hearty 6-1 win over crosstown rival UCLA on Friday afternoon at USC's Marks Stadium behind a number of gutsy performances across the board. A hard-fought doubles point gave way to a series of tight sets in singles, with big wins coming from USC's Dejan Cvetkovic in an upset win over 2006 NCAA Singles champ Benjamin Kohlloeffel and Kaes Van't Hof's match-clinching, three-set victory over Chris Surapol. The No. 6 Trojans improve to 11-0 on the year with the win, while the No. 6 Bruins move to 9-3 overall.
The doubles point was a ferocious battle. After USC's Robert Farah / Kaes Van't Hof got the upper hand for the Trojans with an 8-4 win over Abid/Dehaine at the No. 2 position, UCLA tied things up as #7 Kohlloeffel/Gruendler topped USC's #36 Jamil Al-Agba / Dejan Cvetkovic 8-6 for the Trojan pair's first loss of the year. With the doubles point in the balance, freshman Gary Sacks and senior Garrett Snyder combined forces for the first time this season in doubles at the No. 3 spot. After UCLA held serve to make it 7-6 USC, Sacks went to the service line and delivered three aces to help the Trojans claim the doubles point with an 8-6 win over UCLA's Drean/Surapol.
As the teams moved into singles play, Robert Farah kicked things off to a good start for the Trojans with a swift 6-0, 6-3 win over #124 Mathieu Dehaine at the No. 4 position for an early 2-0 USC lead. In a true test at the No. 1 position, #77 Dejan Cvetkovic took on the 2006 Pac-1 and NCAA Singles champion out of UCLA, #4 Benjamin Koehlloeffel. Cvetkovic got out to a 6-4 start, and then pulled out the second set tiebreaker to post a big 6-4, 7-6 (2) upset win that got the Trojans ahead 3-0 in the match.
The Bruins tacked up what would prove to be their only point of the day when #48 Haythem Abid topped USC's #45 Jamil Al-Agba 6-4, 7-5 at the No. 2 singles slot. With the remaining three matches hanging in the balance with three-set battles, USC junior Kaes Van't Hof was the first to emerge victorious as he held on for one last break to best Chris Surapol 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in front of a supportive crowd on court three. Two Trojan freshmen were then left going strong in their respective third sets. Gary Sacks was the first of the pair to get the job done, pushing USC ahead 5-1 in the match with his 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-4 victory at the No. 6 spot. USC's Jason McNaughton then overcame UCLA's #124 Mathieu Dehaine at the No. 5 position, finally avoiding a tiebreaker in the third set to post a 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 7-5 win that closed out USC's first win in four matches against the Bruins with a 6-1 final.
The Trojans hit the road next week, traveling to NCAA Tournament host Georgia for an 11 a.m. match on Wednesday (March 14). USC then heads to Arizona for its first Pac-10-counting matches of the year, facing ASU at 1:30 p.m. on Friday (March 16) and Arizona at 1 p.m. on Saturday (March 17).
#9 USC 6, #6 UCLA 1
(1) #7 Kohlloeffel/Gruendler (UCLA) def. #36 Al-Agba/Cvetkovic (USC) - 8-6
(2) Farah/Van't Hof (USC) def. Abid/Dehaine (UCLA) - 8-4
(3) Sacks/Snyder (USC) def. Drean/Surapol (UCLA) - 8-6
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
(1) #77 Dejan Cvetkovic (USC) def. #4 Benjamin Koehlloeffel (UCLA) - 6-4, 7-6 (2)
(2) #48 Haythem Abid (UCLA) def. #45 Jamil Al-Agba (USC) vs. - 6-4, 7-5
(3) Kaes Van't Hof (USC) def. #47 Chris Surapol (UCLA) - 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
(4) Robert Farah (USC) def. Phillip Gruendler (UCLA) - 6-0, 6-3
(5) Jason McNaughton (USC) def. #124 Mathieu Dehaine (UCLA) - 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 7-5
(6) Gary Sacks (USC) def. Mike Look (UCLA) - 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-4
Order of finish: 4, 1, 2, 3*, 6, 5