No. 3 UCLA Downs No. 21 Tulsa, 4-3
LOS ANGELES - The third-ranked UCLA men's tennis team looked solid in its non-conference match against No. 21 Tulsa on Thursday afternoon at the Los Angeles Tennis Center, posting a 4-3 victory to improve to 14-1 on the season.
Thursday's doubles point came down to court No. 1, where UCLA's Alex Brigham and Dennis Novikov were able to pull out a tiebreaker over Tulsa's Alejandro Espejo and Clifford Marsland to give the Bruins 1-0 lead. Brigham and Novikov were actually two points away from losing that match with Novikov serving at 7-8 and down 15-30. He was able to hold to make it 8-8, and the Bruins eventually pulled out the ensuing tiebreaker 7-5.
UCLA started strong in singles play, taking five of six first sets. Straight-set wins by sophomore Dennis Mkrtchian (court No. 4) and Karue Sell (court No. 6) quickly put the Bruins ahead 3-0.
Junior Adrien Puget notched the clinching singles victory for his team on Thursday, downing Espejo, 6-1, 6-2 at court No. 3 to make the score 4-0 UCLA. Puget is ranked No. 24 in the latest ITA singles rankings.
With the outcome already decided, the Golden Hurricane (8-6) managed to get on the board when 66th-ranked Japie De Klerk upset Novikov, the nation's 28th-ranked player, 6-3, 6-2 at court No. 2. Tulsa also notched wins at court Nos. 2 and 5 to close out the match.
UCLA is not in action again until a road showdown with Cal on March 29 in Berkeley.
#3 UCLA 4, #21 Tulsa 3
Mar 14, 2013 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
1. Alex Brigham/Novikov (UCLA) def. Espejo/Marsland (UT) 9-8 (7-5)
2. #29 Puget/Sell (UCLA) def. Ive/Jackson (UT) 8-3
3. Bautista/De Klerk (UT) def. Mkrtchian/Thompson (UCLA) 9-7
UCLA Wins Doubles Point
1. #66 Japie De Klerk (UT) def. #28 Dennis Novikov (UCLA) 6-3, 6-2
2. #100 Clifford Marsland (UT) def. #8 Marcos Giron (UCLA) 6-7(3), 6-3, 1-0
3. #24 Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. Alejandro Espejo (UT) 6-1, 6-2
4. #51 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) def. Grant Ive (UT) 6-3, 6-3
5. Carlos Bautista (UT) def. #116 Clay Thompson (UCLA) 6-7(6), 6-4, (10-5)
6. Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Tristan Jackson (UT) 6-3, 6-2
Tulsa 8-6; National ranking #21
UCLA 14-1; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,6,3,1,2,5)