USC Men Pull Out 4-2 NCAA Win Over Oklahoma State

May 16, 2008

TULSA, OKLA. - The USC men's tennis team secured its second straight trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals with a nailbiter in the Round of 16, pulling out a 4-2 win over Oklahoma State on Friday night at Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center. The No. 6 seeded Trojans pumped their overall record up to 22-4 with the hard-fought win, and will face Pac-10 rival and No. 3 seed UCLA in Sunday's quarterfinals at 5 p.m. CT in Tulsa, Okla. on May 18.

USC came out firing against the Cowboys, picking up a quick doubles point and working ahead 3-0 with a pair of straight-set singles wins. The remainder of the match hung in limbo from there, however, as Oklahoma State managed to steal away two three-setters to close in to 3-2. The Cowboys had upset No. 11 seed Tulsa in the Second Round to move into the Round of 16, but USC was able to sidestep any upset threats OSU had in mind for the Trojans. Serving up the heroics on the night for USC was junior Andrew Piotrowski, who came up with the clincher for the second straight match from his No. 6 position. After grabbing the first set in a tiebreaker before his OSU opponent Igor Sobolta snagged the second set. In the third, Piotrowski got up a break at 3-1 and held onto it. Serving for the win, Piotrowski left no doubt with one final ace to put away the Cowboys with his 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-3 victory.

USC took control of doubles action early, going up a break early at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, while the No. 3 match stayed on serve until Trojans Andrew Piotrowski / Jaak Polma broke OSU to go up 5-3. Meanwhile, at No. 2, USC's Abdullah Magdas / Gary Sacks added to their early advantage with another break for a 5-2 advantage before Magdas and Sacks each held serve and then got one last break with a Sacks return for an 8-4 win. Soon after, Piotrowski/Poldma secured the doubles point for the Trojans thanks to a strong service game from Poldma for a 7-4 lead and then one final break for an 8-4 decision that brought up singles play. At the No. 1 position, USC's #2 Robert Farah / Kaes Van't Hof were tangled up in a 6-6 draw against OSU's #6 Byrnes/Nedoyvesov when play was suspended with USC's 1-0 lead.

USC rode that early momentum through a pair of singles wins. At No. 2, senior Kaes Van't Hof pocketed a smooth 6-4, 6-1 win over Ivan Puchkarov to make it 2-0 USC, and then Abdullah Magdas tacked up a decisive 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 5 over Anton Bobytskyi. Leading 3-0 in the match, USC saw the momentum shift into Oklahoma State's favor next as the remaining matches were extended to tight third sets. In a high-powered clash between #6-ranked Robert Farah and OSU's #3 Oleksandr Nedovysov, the Cowboy went up a set only to see Farah answer back and force a third. Nedovysov regained composure in the third, however, and a cramping Farah was left with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 loss that made the match score 3-1 USC. Oklahoma State made things more interesting with a comeback from Nathan Byrnes at No. 4, where OSU pulled the score to 3-2 with Byrnes' 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over USC's #72 Gary Sacks.

Two matches were still battling in third sets. At No. 3, freshman #54 Jaak Poldma was working on a comeback against Dmytro Petrov after falling in the first set. Piotrowski got the job done first, however, coming up big in his third set to ice the 4-2 win for the Trojans and punch USC's ticket to the NCAA Quarterfinals. This will be USC's third match this season against the Bruins, who claimed the Pac-10 title after edging the Trojans 4-3 in Pac-10 play to close out the regular season.

NCAA Round of 16
May 16, 2008 -- Michael D. Case Tennis Center (Tulsa, Okla.)
(6) USC 4, Oklahoma State 2
(1) #2 Farah/Van't Hof (USC) vs. #18 Byrnes/Nedovyesov (OSU) -- 6-6 susp.
(2) Magdas/Sacks (USC) vs. Petrov/Puchkarov (OSU) -- 8-3
(3) Piotrowski/Poldma (USC) vs. Bobytskyi/Sobolta (OSU) -- 8-4
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2, 3
(1) #3 Oleksandr Nedovyesov (OSU) def. #6 Robert Farah (USC) -- 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
(2) #29 Kaes Van't Hof (USC) def. #71 Ivan Puchkarov (OSU) -- 6-4, 6-1
(3) #54 Jaak Poldma (USC) vs. Dmytro Petrov (OSU) -- 3-6, 6-2, 3-3 susp.
(4) Nathan Byrnes (OSU) def. #72 Gary Sacks (USC) -- 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
(5) Abdullah Magdas (USC) def. Anton Bobytskyi (OSU) -- 6-1, 6-0
(6) Andrew Piotrowski (USC) def. Igor Sobolta (OSU) -- 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-3
Order of finish: 2, 5, 1, 4, 6

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