UCLA's Novikov and USC's Lao named Pac-12 tennis players of the week

By the Pac-12 Conference

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - UCLA sophomore Dennis Novikov and USC senior Danielle Lao have been named Pac-12 Men's and Women's Tennis Players of the Week for the week of February 4-10, the Conference Office announced Tuesday.

Novikov helped UCLA to a perfect 3-0 record last week against No. 26 San Diego (5-2), No. 19 Stanford (7-0) and No. 13 California (6-1). In the No. 1 singles position Novikov beat San Diego's Thibaut Visy in straight sets (6-2, 6-4). Continuing his streak he them topped STANFORD's Matt Kandath 6-4, 6-2, competing in the No.2 position. In his final singles match on the weekend Novikov returned to the No. 1 spot to face CALIFORNIA's Ben McLachlan who was ranked 66th. Novikov and McLachlan battled it out to three sets, but Novikov finished strong and won in the end (6-4, 3-6, 6-3). He now owns a four-match singles winning streak and is 10-5 overall on the year. Novikov also competed in the doubles position this week with partner Marcos Giron to tally three victories.

Lao was a force to reckon with as the Trojans competed at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. No. 10 Lao started off her competition with a major upset as she topped No. 12 Virginia's Julia Elbaba who was ranked No. 4. Lao won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1. Lao continued the momentum in her second match where she faced No. 28 Zoe De Bruycker from No. 8 North Carolina where she again won in straight sets (6-3, 6-2). She capped off the weekend with a final victory beating No. 7 Zsofi Susanyi from No. 7 California in straight sets (7-5, 6-1). Lao's victory over Susanyi clinched the Trojan's win over the Golden Bears. Lao went 2-1 in doubles with teammate Giuliana Olmos. The pair clinched a win over No. 8 North Carolina (8-3) and beat No. 7 California (8-1). Lao is undefeated in dual-match singles play and has a 15-3 overall record in singles play this season. USC tallied team victories over No. 12 Virginia and No. 7 California.

Also Nominated
Men's: Jeff Mullens, ORE; Roberto Quiroz, USC.
Women's: Lacey Smyth, ARIZ; Carla Manzi Tenorio, COLO; Patricia Skowronski, ORE; Kristie Ahn, STAN; Robin Anderson, UCLA; Olga Musilovich, WSU.

2013 Pac-12 Men's Tennis Player of the Week
Jan. 22 Slim Hamza, Utah
Jan. 29 Emilio Gomez, USC
Feb. 5 Max de Vroome, USC
Feb. 12 Dennis Novikov, UCLA

2013 Pac-12 Women's Tennis Player of the Week
Jan. 22 Sabrina Santamaria, USC
Jan. 29 Giuliana Olmos, USC
Feb. 5 Lacey Smyth, Arizona
Feb. 12 Danielle Lao, UCLA

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