No. 8 UCLA Edges No. 13 Cal, 4-3
Charlottesville, Va. - In a match that started on Sunday and didn't end until early Monday morning, the eighth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team registered a 4-3 victory over No. 13 Cal in a consolation match at the ITA National Team Indoors at the Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va. Despite falling to Duke in Friday's opening round, the Bruins (10-1) regrouped to win its final two matches at the Indoors.
With UCLA and Cal tied at 3-3, Bruin sophomore Clay Thompson clinched the win for UCLA at court No. 2, posting a 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(5) victory over Cal's Carlos Cueto. At 5-5 in the third-set tiebreaker, Cueto called a shot out and was then overruled by the chair umpire. Not only did Cueto lose the point to go down 6-5, but it was his third overrule of the match meaning that Thompson was awarded yet another point. Unfortunately for Cueto, the penalty was assessed on match point, meaning that Thompson took the tiebreaker 7-5 and UCLA was able to pull out the 4-3 victory.
Although UCLA lost the doubles point on Sunday, the Bruins started very strong in singles play, actually taking a 3-1 lead following straight-set victories by Nick Meister, Dennis Mkrtchian and Adrien Puget. UCLA nearly took the match 4-1 when freshman Marcos Giron was up a set and serving for the match up 5-4 in the second set against Ben McLachlan at court No. 3. McLachlan, however, was able to pull out a second-set tiebreaker and eventually take the match, 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 to cut the lead to 3-2. Cal's Gregory Bayane then tied things up at 3-3 when he downed Bruin junior Maxime Tabatruong, 7-6(3), 7-5 at court No. 5.
Thompson's match-clinching victory on Monday wasn't his first at the Indoors, as he also pulled out a three-set win in almost the exact same scenario against Florida at last year's tournament in Seattle.
The win marks UCLA's second win over Cal this month, as the Bruins also edged the Bears, 4-3 on Feb. 3 in Berkeley.
UCLA returns to the Los Angeles Tennis Center this week, facing St. Mary's on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
#8 UCLA 4, #13 Cal 3
ITA National Team Indoors (Consolation)
Feb 19, 2012 at Charlottesville, VA (Boar's Head Sports Club)
1. Meister/Puget (UCLA) vs. #4 Andrews/Konigsfeldt (CAL) 8-7, unfinished
2. #16 Cueto/B. McLachlan (CAL) def. Alex Brigham/Giron (UCLA) 8-3
3. Riki McLachlan/Andrew Scholnick (CAL) def. Warren Hardie/Thompson (UCLA) 8-5
Cal Wins Doubles Point
1. #39 Nick Meister (UCLA) def. Nick Andrews (CAL) 6-2, 6-2
2. #70 Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. #67 Carlos Cueto (CAL) 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(5)
3. #44 Ben McLachlan (CAL) def. #108 Marcos Giron (UCLA) 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4
4. #104 Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. Chris Konigsfeldt (CAL) 6-3, 6-4
5. Gregory Bayane (CAL) def. Maxime Tabatruong (UCLA) 7-6(3), 7-5
6. Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) def. Ahmed Ismail (CAL) 6-2, 6-3
Cal 5-4; National ranking #13
UCLA 10-1; National ranking #8
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (1,6,4,3,5,2)