UCLA Downs Baylor, 6-1 in Waco
Waco, Texas - After dropping the doubles point for just the second time this season, the second-ranked UCLA men's tennis team dominated singles play against Baylor on Sunday afternoon, winning all six matches in a 6-1 victory over the Bears at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco.
After both teams split wins at court Nos. 2 and 3, Baylor (10-2) clinched Sunday's doubles point at the No. 1 position, where Tony Lupieri and Mate Zsiga upset 54th-ranked Marcos Giron and Dennis Novikov, 8-4. The only other team to take the doubles point from UCLA in 14 matches this season was sixth-ranked Georgia at the National Team Indoors in February. The Bruins stormed back to win that match as well.
The Bruins clearly did not panic after falling behind 1-0 heading into singles play, as UCLA (13-1) would go on to take five-consecutive straight-set wins.
Karue Sell and Clay Thompson got things started for the Bruins at court Nos. 5 and 6, respectively, as both players cruised in their matches. Sell lost just two games en route to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Diego Galeano at court No. 6, while Thompson was a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Marko Krickovic at court No. 5.
UCLA's top two players then brought home the victory for the Bruins, as Giron made it 3-1 with a 7-5, 6-2 win over 122nd-ranked Patrick Pradella at court No. 2. Giron is currently the nation's 10th-ranked singles player.
Novikov clinched the win for the Bruins at the No. 1 position, where he was a 6-4, 7-5 winner over 43rd-ranked Julian Lenz. Novikov headed into Sunday's match ranked No. 35 nationally.
Wins by 20th-ranked Adrien Puget and 54th-ranked Dennis Mkrtchian capped off the 6-1 win for the Bruins. Mkrtchian's victory was especially impressive, as he lost the first set and eventually went on to save seven match points against Zsiga at court No. 4, ultimately winning 2-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(2).
UCLA's next match is a home showdown against Tulsa on Thursday at 4:00 p.m.
#2 UCLA 6, #38 Baylor 1
Mar 10, 2013 at Waco, TX (Hurd Tennis Center)
1. Lupieri/Zsiga (BAY) def. #54 Giron/Novikov (UCLA) 8-4
2. Puget/Sell (UCLA) def. #53 Lenz/Pradella (BAY) 8-5
3. Galeano/Krickovic (BAY) def. Alex Brigham/Mkrtchian (UCLA) 8-3
Baylor Wins Doubles Point
1. #35 Dennis Novikov (UCLA) def. #43 Julian Lenz (BAY) 6-4, 7-5
2. #10 Marcos Giron (UCLA) def. #122 Patrick Pradella (BAY) 7-5, 6-2
3. #20 Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. Tony Lupieri (BAY) 6-2, 7-5
4. #54 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) def. #78 Mate Zsiga (BAY) 2-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(2)
5. Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. #77 Marko Krickovic (BAY) 6-2, 6-2
6. Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Diego Galeano (BAY) 6-1, 6-1
UCLA 13-1; National ranking #2
Baylor 10-2; National ranking #38
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,5,2,1,3,4)