Trojans Push Through To Pac-10 Quarterfinals

April 24, 2008

OJAI, CALIF. - The USC men's and women's tennis teams had a strong day inthe opening action of the 2008 Pac-10 Championships. On the women's side,both Gabriela Niculescu and second-seeded Amanda Fink worked their way intoFriday's quarterfinals, while all four Trojans were doing the same on the men's side. Freshman Jaak Poldma, second-seeded senior Kaes Van't Hof, sophomore Gary Sacks all pinned up a pair of straight-set wins while top-seeded Robert Farah grabbed a two-setter and then won in three to move into Friday's quarterfinals with the rest of the Trojan players in the mix. Quarterfinal matches are set for 11 a.m. on Friday (April 25) in Ojai, Calif.

For Fink, her two wins - by identical scores of 6-2, 6-2 - put the junior ona path toward a possible second appearance in the singles final, which shereached as a freshman in 2006. Fink opened the day with a win over Oregon'sAnna Powaska in the first round, and then topped Arizona's DanielleSteinberg by the same 6-2, 6-2 score to move into tomorrow's quarterfinals.Fink will face Cal's Cristina Visico in the quarters.

Niculescu, playing in her first Pac-10 Championships, began the day with adecisive 6-0, 6-2 win over Washington State's Aleksandra Cekic in the firstround. Niculescu came up against last year's Pac-10 singles finalist SusieBabos of Cal in the Round of 16, and the Trojan pulled out a big upset ofthe No. 5 seed from Cal. After dropping the first set in a tiebreaker,Niculescu regrouped and tacked up the win with a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 comebackto earn a trip to the quarterfinals. Niculescu will face UCLA'sfourth-seeded Riza Zalameda at 11 a.m. tomorrow for a chance to move intoSaturday's semifinals.

USC's men had a good day of it in Ojai as well, as all four Trojans entered in the singles championship draw pushed through two wins to reach the quarterfinal round. Freshman Jaak Poldma, sophomores Gary Sacks and Robert Farah and senior Kaes Van't Hof all tallied a pair of wins to move on.

Poldma kicked off his first Pac-10 Championships by handing out a 6-3, 6-1loss to Cal's Pierre Mouillon before pulling off a decisive upset of thetournament's No. 4 seed Claudio Christen of Arizona with a 6-3, 6-4 win inthe Round of 16. Poldma will play UCLA's No. 5 seed Mathieu Dehaine intomorrow's quarterfinals at 11 a.m.

Van't Hof began his pursuit of Pac-10 hardware as the No. 2 seed in theaction. He grabbed a 7-6, 6-4 win over Oregon's Geoff Embry to start, andthen topped ASU's Juan Carlos Rebaza 6-4, 6-3 to move into the quarters. Hewill square off against UCLA's Jeremy Drean in the quarterfinals.

Gary Sacks joined the quarterfinal club as well thanks to two morestraight-set wins. Sacks beat Cal's Jonathan Dahan 6-3, 6-3 to open thingsbefore posting a 7-6 (7), 6-4 win over Oregon's Francisco Gallardo in theRound of 16. Sacks will take on UCLA's Nicolas Meister tomorrow at 11 the quarterfinals.

Top-seeded Robert Farah began things with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Arizona's Peter Zimmer before stretching out a three-setter against UCLA's Michael Look. Farah took Look down with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win, and will move on to face Cal's Pedro Zerbini tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Bowing out of the championship singles action with first-round losses werethree Women of Troy: Sarah Fansler, Maria Sanchez and Leyla Entekhabi.

Tomorrow, doubles competition begins on both the men's and the women'ssides. USC's Fink/Niculescu are seeded No. 2 on the women's side, while forthe men Farah/Van't Hof are the top seed and Magdas/Sacks are also in on thechampionship doubles competition.

For full results, see below, or visit


Pac-10 Singles Championship Matches
Leyla Entekhabi
First round: lost to (8) Tracy Lin (UCLA) - 6-1, 6-4

Sarah Fansler
First round: lost to Bojana Bobusic (CAL) - 5-7, 6-3, 6-3

(2) Amanda Fink
First round: def. Anna Powaska (ORE) - 6-2, 6-2
Round of 16: def. Danielle Steinberg (ARIZ) - 6-2, 6-2
Quarterfinals: vs. Cristina Visico (CAL) - 11 a.m. Friday

Gabriela Niculescu
First round: def. Aleksandra Cekic (WSU) - 6-0, 6-2
Round of 16: def. Susie Babos (CAL) - 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2
Quarterfinals: vs. Riza Zalameda (UCLA) - 11 a.m. Friday

Maria Sanchez
First round: lost to (7) Nadia Abdala (ASU) - 7-5, 6-3

Pac-10 Singles Invitational Matches
Lyndsay Kinstler
First round: def. Aleksandra Krsljanin (WASH) - 7-5, 7-5
Round of 16: lost to Jennifer Yen (STAN) - 6-3, 5-7, 6-3

(6) Cristala Andrews
First round: def. Ashley Anderson (WASH) - 6-1, 6-3
Round of 16: def. Stephanie Wetmore (UCLA) - 6-2, 6-1
Quarterfinals: vs. Lauren Megale (ASU) - 11 a.m. Friday


Pac-10 Singles Championship Matches
(1) Robert Farah
First round: def. Peter Zimmer (ARIZ) - 6-3, 6-4
Round of 16: def. Michael Look (UCLA) - 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
Quarterfinals: vs. Pedro Zerbini (CAL) - 11 a.m. Friday

Jaak Poldma
First round: def. Pierre Mouillon (CAL) - 6-3, 6-1
Round of 16: def. (4) Claudio Christen (ARIZ) - 6-3, 6-4
Quarterfinals: vs. (5) Mathieu Dehaine (UCLA) - 11 a.m. Friday

Gary Sacks
First round: def. Jonathan Dahan (CAL) - 6-3, 6-3
Round of 16: def. Francisco Gallardo (ORE) - 7-6 (7), 6-4
Quarterfinals: vs. Nicolas Meister (UCLA) - 11 a.m. Friday

(2) Kaes Van't Hof
First round: def. Geoff Embry (ORE) - 7-6, 6-4
Round of 16: def. Juan Carlos Rebaza (ASU) - 6-4, 6-3
Quarterfinals: vs. Jeremy Drean (UCLA) - 11 a.m. Friday

Pac-10 Singles Invitational Matches
(1) Abdullah Magdas
First round: def. Patrick Brogan (ASU) - 6-2, 6-1
Round of 16: def. Mikael Myrhed (ORE) - 6-3, 6-1
Quarterfinals: vs. David Chu (WASH) - 11 a.m. Friday

Jack Levis
First round: def. Nicolai Horgen (CAL) - 5-7, 6-2, 6-4
Round of 16: lost to David Chu (WASH) - 6-4, 6-4

Daniel Gliner
First round: def. Ravid Hazi (ARIZ) - 6-3, 6-3
Round of 16: def. Jeffrey Zeller (STAN) - 7-5, 6-3
Quarterfinals: vs. (4) Wes Miller (ASU) - 11 a.m. Friday

(3) Jason McNaughton
First round: lost to Tobi Obenaus (WASH) - 6-2, 7-6 (11)

Andrew Piotrowski
First round: def. John Nanosky (ASU) - 7-6 (3), 6-2
Round of 16: def. Ahmed Ismail (UCLA) - 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
Quarterfinals: vs. Bozhidar Katsarov (CAL) - 11 a.m. Friday

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