No. 4 USC Men Fall Short of Pac-10 Crown

April 18, 2008

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The No. 4 USC men's tennis team came up short of claiming the Pac-10 title on Friday afternoon, as No. 5 UCLA managed a 4-3 win over the host Trojans. With the victory, the Bruins capture their fifth straight Pac-10 championship, improving to 21-1 overall and finishing Pac-10 play at 7-0. USC rounds out the regular season with a 19-4 overall mark, going 6-1 in Pac-10 competition to finish second in the conference standings.

Doubles set the tone for the match, as a heated battle raged at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. USC's top guns Farah/Van't Hof - ranked #2 in the nation - got the job done at No. 1 with an 8-4 win over #45 Meister/Srugo. At No. 2, USC's Magdas/Sacks warded off match point to push the match to a 7-7 draw, but the Bruins' Dehaine/Seguso pulled off a 9-7 win to lock up the doubles competition. That left all eyes on the No. 3 court, where UCLA's Drean/Look had rallied back from a 3-7 deficit against USC's Piotrowski/Poldma. The USC pair went up 8-7, only to have the Bruins hold serve next to make it 8-8 and bring up the tiebreaker, where UCLA moved ahead early and grabbed the win and the doubles point for the Bruins with a 9-8 (2) decision.

In singles, USC leveled things on a quick and early win from Jason McNaughton at the No. 6 slot. The Trojans topped Jeremy Drean 6-2, 6-2 to make it 1-1. At No. 4, however, UCLA's Michael Look got a 7-5, 7-2 win over USC's #68 Gary Sacks for a 2-1 UCLA advantage. Again the Trojans pulled even, getting a 6-3, 6-3 win from #97 Jaak Poldma - the freshman's 11th consecutive singles win - in an upset of #27 Mathieu Dehaine. But the Bruins would piece together the next two singles wins, moving ahead to clinch the win and the conference crown on a 6-3, 6-3 win by Nick Meister over Abdullah Magdas at No. 5, and then a 6-4, 6-3 win from #23 Harel Srugo over USC's #7 Robert Farah in the match-clincher at No. 1. Meanwhile, the three-setter going on at No. 2 powered on, as USC senior #34 Kaes Van't Hof took over control of his match and put away UCLA's #52 Holden Seguso with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 comeback victory that tallied the senior's 13th straight win and his 25th victory of the year.

Next up for USC is a trip to the Pac-10 Championships, held April 24-27 in Ojai, Calif.

#5 UCLA 4, #4 USC 3
DOUBLES
(1) #2 Farah/Van't Hof (USC) def. #45 Meister/Srugo (UCLA) - 8-4
(2) Dehaine/Seguso (UCLA) def. Magdas/Sacks (USC) - 9-7
(3) Drean/Look (UCLA) def. Piotrowski/Poldma (USC) - 9-8 (2)
UCLA wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3
SINGLES
(1) #23 Harel Srugo (UCLA) def. #7 Robert Farah (USC) - 6-4, 6-3*
(2) #34 Kaes Van't Hof (USC) def. #52 Holden Seguso (UCLA) - 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
(3) #97 Jaak Poldma (USC) def. #27 Mathieu Dehaine (UCLA) - 6-4, 6-3
(4) Michael Look (UCLA) def. #68 Gary Sacks (USC) - 7-5, 6-2
(5) Nick Meister (UCLA) def. Abdullah Magdas (USC) - 6-3, 6-3
(6) Jason McNaughton (USC) def. Jeremy Drean (UCLA) - 6-2, 6-2
Order of finish: 6, 4, 3, 5, 1*, 2

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