SEATTLE - The third-seeded UCLA men's tennis team picked up a quarterfinal victory in the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors on Saturday, downing sixth-seeded Georgia, 4-1 at the University of Washington's Nordstrom Tennis Center. With the win, the Bruins (9-0) advance to Sunday's semifinals where they will meet second-seeded USC at 11:00 a.m. The Trojans beat No. 7 Kentucky, 4-1 on Saturday.
UCLA needed to pull off somewhat of a comeback in Saturday's match, as the Bruins lost the doubles point for the first time this season. After Georgia's Eric Diaz and Marco Nunez downed Alex Brigham and Dennis Mkrtchian, 8-3 at the No. 3 spot, the Bulldogs clinched the point when Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha were 8-5 winners over Adrien Puget and Karue Sell at court No. 2. Although court No. 1 was suspended, UCLA's Marcos Giron and Dennis Novikov were holding their own with fifth-ranked Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland, as that match was tied at 5-5 when play was stopped.
UCLA was unfazed by the setback in doubles, coming out to take four first sets in singles play. Sell and Clay Thompson quickly put the Bruins ahead 2-1 with a pair of straight-set wins at court Nos. 6 and 5, respectively. Sell downed Diaz, 6-2, 6-1, while Thompson was a 6-2, 6-3 winner over Brasseaux.
Novikov, who is ranked No. 58 in singles, then managed to pull off a slight upset at court No. 1 to make it 3-1 UCLA, as he downed 21st-ranked Pasha, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
Puget would get the clinching win for UCLA on the day, as he pulled out a second-set tiebreaker over Pieters, winning 6-4, 7-6(3) to give the Bruins an insurmountable 4-1 advantage.
When play was suspended, Giron was up 4-2 in the third set over Wagland at court No. 2, and Mkrtchian was up 3-1 in the third set over Austin Smith at court No. 4.
Click HERE to visit the official USTA/ITA National Team Indoor tournament page.
USTA/ITA National Team Indoors
#3 UCLA 4, #6 Georgia 1
Feb 16, 2013 at Seattle, WA (Nordstrom Tennis Center)
1. Giron/Novikov (UCLA) vs. #5 Pieters/Wagland (UGA) 5-5, unfinished
2. Brasseaux/Pasha (UGA) def. Puget/Sell (UCLA) 8-5
3. Diaz/Marco Nunez (UGA) def. Alex Brigham/Mkrtchian (UCLA) 8-3
Georgia Wins Doubles Point
1. #58 Dennis Novikov (UCLA) def. #21 Nathan Pasha (UGA) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
2. #13 Marcos Giron (UCLA) vs. #92 Ben Wagland (UGA) 5-7, 6-2, 4-2, unfinished
3. #42 Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. #41 Hernus Pieters (UGA) 6-4, 7-6(3)
4. #55 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) vs. Austin Smith (UGA) 4-6, 6-3, 3-1, unfinished
5. Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. Garrett Brasseaux (UGA) 6-2, 6-3
6. Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Eric Diaz (UGA) 6-2, 6-1
Georgia 5-2; National ranking #6
UCLA 9-0; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (6,5,1,3)