Third-Seeded UCLA Downs No. 14 Florida State, 4-0 in NCAA Round of 16
May 16, 2008
LOS ANGELES - The third-seeded UCLA men's tennis team posted its third straight shutout of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, registering a 4-0 victory over No. 14 Florida State in a round of 16 match at Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center. With the win, the Bruins (24-1) advance to play No. 6 USC in Sunday's quarterfinals at 5:00 p.m. (CST). The Trojans were 4-2 winners over Oklahoma State on Friday.
'It's always good to get that first win under your belt,' said UCLA head coach Billy Martin, who has guided the Bruins to at least the quarterfinals in each of his 15 seasons as coach. 'That first match is always nerve racking for everybody. I always feel that if you can get that first match under your belt, you have a decent chance to go far in the tournament.'
Perhaps inspired after watching the UCLA women's team pull off a big comeback against USC a day earlier, the Bruin men notched a doubles comeback of their own on Friday, as Nick Meister and Harel Srugo erased a huge deficit in the deciding match at court No. 1 to give UCLA the point. With Florida State leading 7-2 in that match, Meister and Srugo won seven straight games, fighting off a match point along the way, to eventually win 9-7. Mathieu Dehaine and Holden Seguso picked up the other Bruin win, taking an 8-4 victory over Sam Chang and Maciek Sykut at court No. 2.
'We were very fortunate to win that doubles point,' added Martin. 'I didn't think (court No. 1) could come back to be quite honest. I was just telling them to keep fighting and play well, hoping that that would help them going into singles. I didn't want them to just give up and throw in the towel.'
UCLA's No. 3 doubles team of Jeremy Drean and Michael Look had an uncharacteristic loss on Friday, falling 8-5 to Drew Bailey/Brad Mixson at court No. 3. It marks only their third loss in dual match play, as the duo headed into the day with a 22-2 record.
'Jeremy and I have been playing well the whole season, but we didn't play that well today,' said Look. 'We got off to a pretty bad start, luckily our teammates were there to pull us through and I'm really happy about that.'
Despite letting its lead slip away in doubles, Florida State (21-7) did manage to come out in singles and take quick leads at several courts. UCLA, however, fought back and eventually won the first set in five of six matches. Look was the first off at court No. 4, posting a 6-3, 6-2 win over Sykut. Playing right next door at court No. 3, Dehaine was also a straight set winner, downing Chang, 6-3, 6-3 to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead.
Meister clinched the match for UCLA at court No. 6, posting a 6-4, 6-3 win over Brad Mixson.
UCLA was leading in two of the three singles matches that were suspended, as both Srugo (court No. 1) and Drean (court No. 5) had won the first set at their respective courts. Seguso lost the first set 6-1 at court No. 2, and was tied 5-5 in the second against Clint Bowles.
Friday marked the first-ever meeting between UCLA and Florida State in men's tennis. The Bruins have now advanced to the quarterfinals in each of the last 21 seasons.
The Bruins have already defeated the Trojans twice this season, winning 5-2 at UCLA on March 6, and 4-3 at USC on April 18. UCLA has yet to surrender a point in this year's NCAA Tournament, shutting out Eastern Washington and Wisconsin in the first and second rounds respectively.
1. (52) Meister/Srugo (UCLA) def. (15) Aubone/Bowles (FSU) 9-7
2. Dehaine/Seguso (UCLA) def. Chang/Sykut (FSU) 8-4
3. Drew Bailey/Mixson (FSU) def. Drean/Look (UCLA) 8-5
UCLA Wins Doubles Point -- Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
1. (23) Harel Srugo (UCLA) vs. (13) Jean-Yves Aubone (FSU) 6-4, 5-5 Susp.
2. (61) Holden Seguso (UCLA) vs. (85) Clint Bowles (FSU) 1-6, 5-5 Susp.
3. (40) Mathieu Dehaine (UCLA) def. (92) Sam Chang (FSU) 6-3, 6-3
4. Michael Look (UCLA) def. Maciek Sykut (FSU) 6-3, 6-2
5. Jeremy Drean (UCLA) vs. Chris Cloer (FSU) 6-4, 3-5 Susp.
6. Nick Meister (UCLA) def. Brad Mixson (FSU) 6-4, 6-3*
* Denotes Clinching Match -- Order of Finish: 4, 3, 6