Outstanding Singles Play Gives Men's Tennis 4-3 Win Over Pepperdine

March 14, 2003

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - In the second match-up of the year against the two crosstown rivals, the 16th-ranked USC men's tennis team defeated No. 28 Pepperdine, 4-3, Friday afternoon at Marks Tennis Stadium. With the win, the Trojans improve to 8-5 overall, while the Waves drop to 8-8.

Pepperdine won the first meeting in January, marking USC head coach Peter Smith's first match-up with his former team. Smith spent five seasons in Malibu before taking the position at Troy last May.

'We really needed this one today,' said Smith, who led the Waves to five conference championships during his tenure. 'With all the pressures regarding our positioning, rankings and, of course, our relationship with Pepperdine, this match was very important and our guys stepped up to the challenge.'

The Waves earned the first point of the afternoon by winning two-of-three doubles matches at the No. 1 and 2 positions. The Trojans' Johan Berg and Jeff Kazarian prevented the doubles sweep with a 9-8 win at No. 3, thanks to an 8-3 win in the tiebreaker.

Wasting no time in singles, USC quickly made up for the deficit. The Trojans evened the score when Ruben Torres defeated Pepperdine's Scott Doerner, 6-4, 6-1, at court four, then took the lead as Jeff Kazarian swept Pepperdine's Partha Bhattacharya, 6-0, 6-0, at the backcourts. Troy's Parker Collins followed suit, beating the Waves' Alexis Rafidison at court five, 6-2, 6-4, and Prakash Amritraj clinched the match with the fourth singles point, fighting off Pepperdine's Calle Hansen at center court, 6-3, 7-5.

Pepperdine's final two points came as Pedro Rico defeated Berg, 5-7, 6-1, 3-6, and Diego Acuna got past USC's Daniel Langre, 3-6, 6-2, 5-7, at court three.

The Trojans' next outing will be on Sunday, March 16, when they host Princeton at 11 a.m. at Indian Wells Tennis Resort.

#16 USC 4, No. 28 Pepperdine 3

(1) #9 Hansen/Acuna (Pepp) def. Langre/Torres (USC) - 8-3
(2) Doerner/Rico (Pepp) def. Amritraj/Collins (USC) - 8-4
(3) Berg/Kazarian (USC) def. Rafidison/Kevin Borzenski (Pepp) - 9-8 (8-3)
Pepperdine wins doubles point.

(1) #45 Prakash Amritraj (USC) def. #43 Calle Hansen (Pepp) - 6-3, 7-5
(2) #57 Pedro Rico (Pepp) def. #71 Johan Berg (Pepp) - 7-5, 1-6, 6-3
(3) Diego Acuna (Pepp) def. Daniel Langre (USC) - 6-3, 2-6, 7-5
(4) Ruben Torres (USC) def. Scott Doerner (Pepp) - 6-4, 6-1
(5) Parker Collins (USC) def. Alexis Rafidison (Pepp) - 6-2, 6-4
(6) Jeff Kazarian (USC) def. Partha Bhattacharya (Pepp) - 6-0, 6-0

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