No. 8 USC Halts Golden Bear Streak at Five with 6-1 Win

March 27, 2009

BERKELEY -

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The No. 43-ranked California men's tennis team (8-6, 0-1 Pac-10) had its five-match winning streak snapped in a 6-1 loss to No. 8 USC (14-4, 1-0 Pac-10) today at the Hellman Tennis Complex in the first conference match of the season for both teams. The Golden Bears logged their only point on a big two set win by Pac-10 Player of the Week sophomore Pedro Zerbini at the top court as he took a 7-5, 6-2 victory against No. 101-ranked Jaak Poldma.

Cal surrendered the doubles point for just the fourth time this year as it fell on all three doubles courts. At the top court however, No. 9-ranked senior Geoff Chizever and Zerbini would not go without a fight. Down 7-5, the duo fought their way to a seven-all tie to force a tiebreaker. The Bears took the first lead in the tiebreaker but could not overcome the USC charge to lose in a narrow 7-5 decision. Even in defeat, Chizever and Zerbini boast an impressive 11-2 record at the top doubles court.

In singles play, the Bears stayed on pace with the Trojans early on but found themselves in trouble as USC jumped out to the 2-0 lead with a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 3 singles where No. 75-ranked Abdullah Magdas took out freshman Nick Andrews. The Trojans extended their lead to 3-0 when No. 93-ranked Steve Johnson got a 6-1, 6-3 win against senior Eoin Heavey at court two. Freshman Thai Tu went toe-to-toe with Matt Kecki at the fourth court but eventually gave way to his Trojan counterpart in a 6-2, 6-1 defeat to seal the match for USC.

With the match decided, No. 5 singles went to a super-tiebreaker between Jason McNaughton and sophomore Bozhidar Katsarov. After falling, 6-2, in the first set, Katsarov battled back for a dominating 6-1 win in the second set. The tiebreaker, however, did not go Katsarov's way as he fell, 10-3. Cal took its point next as Zerbini got his two-set win over Poldma at the top court. In the last match off the court, sophomore Jonathan Dahan fell in a tough 6-3, 6-4 loss to Daniel Nguyen at No. 6 singles.

The Bears are back in action tomorrow (March 28) as they take on No. 11 UCLA in a 1 p.m. match at Hellman Tennis Complex. Live streaming video of the match is available via CalBears.com.

No. 8 USC 6, No. 43 California 1Hellman Tennis Complex | Berkeley, Calif.Friday, March 27, 2009Doubles1. No. 6 Farah/Johnson (USC) def. No. 9 Chizever/Zerbini (CAL) 8-7(5)2. Magdas/Nguyen (USC) def. Heavey/Katsarov (CAL) 8-33. Kecki/Poldma (USC) def. N. Andrews/Tu (CAL) 8-4Order of finish: 2, 3*, 1 (USC wins doubles point)Singles1. Pedro Zerbini (CAL) def. No. 101 Jaak Poldma (USC) 7-5, 6-22. No. 93 Steve Johnson (USC) def. Eoin Heavey (CAL) 6-1, 6-33. No. 75 Abdullah Magdas (USC) def. Nick Andrews (CAL) 6-2, 6-14. Matt Kecki (USC) def. Thai Tu (CAL) 6-3, 6-15. Jason McNaughton (USC) def. Bozhidar Katsarov (CAL) 6-2, 1-6, 1-0(3)6. Daniel Nguyen (USC) def. Jonathan Dahan (CAL) 6-3, 6-4Order of finish: 3, 2, 4*, 5, 1, 6

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