Trojans Endure First Loss Of Season At Pepperdine

Jan. 29, 2003

MALIBU - In an emotionally charged dual match featuring a pair of top 20 opponents, the seventh-ranked USC men's tennis team fell to No. 17 Pepperdine 5-2 on Wednesday at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center in Malibu.

With the loss, the Trojans fall to 3-1 this season, while the Waves improve to 5-1.

'This match was everything a college tennis match should be,' said first-year USC head coach Peter Smith, who made his first return to Pepperdine after having coached the Waves for five seasons. 'The crowd was great. The tennis was great and Pepperdine was just better.'

'I know this was an emotional match due to the circumstances,' said Pepperdine coach Adam Steinberg. 'No matter the result, it is good for college tennis for programs like USC and Pepperdine to play each other during the regular season. Peter called me immediately when I was hired to schedule a home-and-home series, and I know that his team will be anxious for the return match at USC on March 14.'

Pepperdine earned the doubles points with wins at the No. 1 and 2 positions. USC's Prakash Amritraj and Daniel Langre endured their first loss of the season, falling 8-3 to the Waves' Diego Acuna and Calle Hansen at center court. The Trojans evaded the sweep with a win at court three, as Parker Collins and Johan Berg, a sophomore transfer from Pepperdine, defeated Alexis Radifison and Kevin Borzenski, 8-2.

The Waves increased their lead to 3-0 with victories at No. 5 and 2 singles. Amritraj picked up the Trojans' first point with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Acuna at No. 1 singles, and USC pulled within a 3-2 count when Collins defeated Borzenski by scores of 7-5, 6-1 at the No. 6 spot.

But Pepperdine was just one point away and clinched the match at No. 4 singles as freshman Scott Doerner defeated Ruben Torres by scores of 6-3, 6-2.

'We have to so the same on Friday against UCLA, that Pepperdine did to us today,' said Smith. 'We have to come prepared to play.'

USC hosts crosstown rival and No. 1-ranked UCLA on Friday, Jan. 31, at 1:30 p.m. at Marks Tennis Stadium. The match will be the first men's tennis meeting for the Lexus Gauntlet.

No. 17 Pepperdine def. No. 7 USC, 5-2

(1) Acuna / Hansen (Pepp) def. Amritraj / Langre (USC) - 8-3
(2) Doerner / Rico (Pepp) def. Kazarian / Brian Wright (USC) - 8-5
(3) Berg / Collins (USC) def. Borzenski / Radifison (Pepp) - 8-2
Pepperdine wins doubles point.

(1) Prakash Amritraj (USC) def. #81 Diego Acuna (Pepp) - 6-2, 6-4
(2) Pedro Rico (Pepp) def. #75 Johan Berg (USC) - 6-4, 6-2
(3) #103 Calle Hansen (Pepp) def. Daniel Langre (USC) - 6-2, 7-6 (9)
(4) Scott Doerner (Pepp) def. Ruben Torres (USC) - 6-3, 6-2
(5) Alexis Radifison (Pepp) def. Jeff Kazarian (USC) - 6-2, 6-0
(6) Parker Collins (USC) def. Kevin Borzenski (Pepp) - 7-5, 6-1

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