Trojans Can't Hold On As UCLA Rallies For 4-3 Win

March 7, 2002

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The No. 3-ranked USC men's tennis team just could not hold on to the lead, falling to No. 4 UCLA, 4-3, Thursday afternoon at Marks Tennis Stadium. With the loss, the Trojans drop the first conference-counting match of the season and fall to 10-3 overall. The Bruins improve to 13-1 overall and 1-0 in the Pac-10.

USC began the match with dominating intensity in doubles play against the talented UCLA pairs. Daniel Langre and Prakash Amritraj were the first to record a win by defeating Tobias Clemens and Erfan Djahangiri, 8-5, at No. 3. The Bruins evened it out by winning 8-6 at No. 2.

UCLA's second-ranked Jean-Julien Rojer and Marcin Matkowski and USC's 19th-ranked Ryan Moore and Nick Rainey were the deciding factor at center court as the Trojans held off a Bruin rally to win 8-6. USC entered singles with a 1-0 lead.

To begin singles play, Moore handled Rodrigo Grilli for a 6-3, 6-2 USC win, but the Bruins answered at court No. 1 as Clemens defeated Andrew Park 6-3, 6-1. The Trojans pulled out to a 3-1 lead thanks to a 6-4, 6-4 win by Rainey at No. 4, but again UCLA returned with a 7-5, 7-6 win at No. 3.

With a 3-2 lead, Langre was a point away from sealing the USC victory. After defeating Lassi Ketola 7-6 in the first set, Langre led 5-3 in the second. That's when Ketola rallied to take the second set, 7-6, and push the match into a third. Meanwhile, USC's Ruben Torres and UCLA's Djahangiri split the first and second sets and were also playing a third. First it was Djahangiri who walked away with the 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win at No. 6 which tied the match at three apiece, then Ketola followed with a 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 win at No. 5 to give the Bruins a 4-3 victory.

Highlights from the match and the center court singles and doubles matches will be aired on Fox Sports West 2 on Tuesday, March 12, at 1 p.m. The Trojans also return to action on March 12 at they face Utah at 1:30 p.m. at Marks Tennis Stadium.

#4 UCLA 4, #3 USC 3

(1) #19 Moore/Rainey (USC) def. #2 Rojer/Matkowski (UCLA) - 8-6
(2) Grilli/Ketola (UCLA) def. Torres/Teige Sullivan (USC) - 8-6
(3) Langre/Amritraj (USC) def. Clemens/Djahangiri (UCLA) - 8-5
USC wins doubles point

(1) #13 Tobias Clemens (UCLA) def. #52 Andrew Park (USC) - 6-3, 6-1
(2) #96 Ryan Moore (USC) def. #23 Rodrigo Grilli (UCLA) - 6-3, 6-2
(3) #68 Jean-Julien Rojer (UCLA) def. #98 Prakash Amritraj (USC) - 7-5, 7-6
(4) #36 Nick Rainey (USC) def. #24 Marcin Matkowski (UCLA) - 6-4, 6-4
(5) Lassi Ketola (UCLA) def. Daniel Langre (USC) - 5-7, 7-6, 6-3
(6) Erfan Djahangiri (UCLA) def. Ruben Torres (USC) - 6-3, 3-6, 7-5

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