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No. 1 USC Men's Tennis Beats UCLA, Punch 13th Straight Ticket To ITA National Team Indoors

Jan 25, 2021

Trojans Beat UNLV In Opener

LOS ANGELES — The top-ranked USC men's tennis team made a strong showing in singles to bounce back and beat No. 18 UCLA in the championship bout of the ITA Kickoff Weekend today at Marks Stadium. The win launches the Trojans toward defense of their 2020 ITA National Team Indoor Championship, as USC will now make its 13th straight trip to the event, which will be held next month in Urbana, Ill. But to secure the rights to that trip, USC had to get through crosstown rival UCLA today. The Bruins claimed the doubles point, but USC would rattle off three straight-set singles wins to get into position. Coming through with the clincher — for which he has a knack — was top-ranked Daniel Cukierman with a three-set comeback on court one. USC now holds a 2-0 record in these early goings of 2021 action.

USC's top guns in doubles — top-ranked Daniel Cukierman and Riley Smith — lived up to their billing in taking down UCLA's Feit/Smith on court one with a 6-3 decision. But the Bruins fired back and snagged the  doubles point, first leveling things with a 6-4 win on court two by Bellamy/Wild over USC's Bradley Frye and Colter Smith and then pulling out a 7-5 win at the No. 3 spot from Goldberg/Tsolakyan over USC's sophomore tandem of Stefan Dostanic and Ryder Jackson.

Undaunted by the 1-0 deficit, the Trojans promptly claimed first sets on five courts in singles. USC freshman Lodewijk Weststrate had a laser focus on a big win in his first match against the Bruins, sizzling his way to a 6-3, 6-0 win over Eric Hahn on court six to equalize the match at 1-1. At the No. 2 slot, #19 Riley Smith delivered a smooth 6-3, 6-3 win over Ben Goldberg to get USC into the lead, and then #104 Stefan Dostanic turned the tide on Sam Feit in his second set to forge a path to a 6-2, 7-5 win that made it 3-1 Trojans with the remaining three matches extended to third sets. Ever one with an eye on the clincher, #1 Daniel Cukierman stepped up once again, shrugging off his first set loss to #10 Keegan Smith and surrendering only three games the rest of the way to pin up a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory that sealed the deal on USC's win over the Bruins with a 4-1 score on the board. 

That suspended matches on courts four and five, where Bradley Frye and #79 Ryder Jackson were in tight third sets with their respective Bruin foes. Full results from ITA Kickoff Weekend competition at Marks Stadium are below. 

Next up for the top-ranked Trojans is a home tilt against LMU at 3 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 29) at Marks Stadium.

ITA KICKOFF WEEKEND

CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
#1 USC 4, #18 UCLA 1
Jan. 25, 2021 | Marks Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
DOUBLES
(1) #1 Cukierman/R. Smith (USC) def. Feit/Smith (UCLA) - 6-3
(2) Bellamy/Wild (UCLA) def. Frye/C. Smith (USC) - 6-4
(3) Goldberg/Tsolakyan (UCLA) def. Dostanic/Jackson (USC) - 7-5
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3
UCLA wins doubles point.
SINGLES
(1) #1 Daniel Cukierman (USC) def. #10. Keegan Smith (UCLA) - 4-6, 6-2, 6-1*
(2) #19 Riley Smith (USC) def. Ben Goldberg (UCLA) - 6-3, 6-3
(3) #104 Stefan Dostanic def. #109 Sam Feit (UCLA) - 6-2, 7-5
(4) Bradley Frye (USC) vs. Roscoe Bellamy (UCLA) - 6-3, 4-6, 2-1 susp.
(5) #79 Ryder Jackson (USC) vs. Mathew Tsolakyan (UCLA) - 6-2, 4-6, 2-3 susp.
(6) Lodewijk Weststrate (USC) def. Eric Hahn (UCLA) - 6-3, 6-0
Order of finish: 6, 2, 3, 1*

CONSOLATION MATCH
California 4, UNLV 3
Jan. 25, 2021 | Marks Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
DOUBLES
(1) Kobelt/Sauer (UNLV) def. Barretto/Kaya (CAL) - 6-4
(2) Alenik/Samuelsson (UNLV) def. Draper/Wright (CAL) - 6-1
(3) Hjorth/Kikuchi (CAL) def. Atherton/Ornberg (UNLV) - 6-0
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1
UNLV wins doubles point.
SINGLES
(1) #42 Yuta Kikuchi (CAL) def. Alex Kobelt (UNLV) - 6-1, 6-3
(2) Ben Draper (CAL) def. Eric Samuelsson (UNLV) -  2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3*
(3) Jacob Brumm (CAL) def. Jordan Sauer (UNLV) - 6-2, 6-2
(4) Kent Hunter (CAL) def. Milos Dabic (UNLV) - 6-1, 6-1
(5) Anton Ornberg (UNLV) def. Can Kaya (CAL) - 6-4, 6-4
(6) Clayton Alenik (UNLV) def. Lucas Magnaudet (CAL) - 7-5, 7-5
Order of finish: 4, 3, 1, 5, 6,  2*