Berkeley, Calif. - The fourth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team started off conference play on a positive note on Friday, registering a 5-2 victory over No. 15 Cal at the Hellman Tennis Complex in Berkeley, Calif. The Bruins, who beat the Bears, 6-1 in a non-conference match at UCLA in early February, improve to 15-1 overall and 1-0 in Pac-12 play. With the loss, Cal sees its record fall to 8-8 and 0-1 in league action.
UCLA won the doubles point in the earlier meeting this season between the two teams and did so again on Friday, posting wins at court Nos. 1 and 3. After Alex Brigham and Dennis Mkrtchian notched an 8-4 win at the No. 3 spot, UCLA's Marcos Giron and Dennis Novikov clinched the point with an 8-4 upset over 26th-ranked Campbell Johnson and Chris Konigsfeldt at court No. 1. Giron and Novikov are ranked No. 60 nationally.
After doubles, UCLA moved out to a 3-0 lead in the match following straight-set wins at court Nos. 2 and 5, as Novikov beat Konigsfeldt, 6-2, 6-4 at the No. 2 spot, while Clay Thompson was a 6-4, 6-1 winner over Mads Engsted at court No. 5.
Despite being down 0-3, Cal made things interesting by winning the next two matches to cut the lead to 3-2. Freshman Karue Sell, however, put to rest any notion of a Cal comeback when he dispatched of Chase Melton, 6-2, 6-4 at court No. 6, giving the Bruins an insurmountable 4-2 lead.
Junior Adrien Puget capped off the Bruin win with a three-set victory at court No. 3, where he downed Johnson, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
UCLA concludes its Bay Area road trip tomorrow with a 2:30 p.m. match against Stanford. The singles portion of that match will be shown live on the Pac-12 Networks beginning at 4:00 p.m.
#4 UCLA 5, #15 Cal 2
Mar 29, 2013 at Berkeley, CA (Hellman Tennis Complex)
1. #60 Giron/Novikov (UCLA) def. #26 Johnson/Konigsfeldt (CAL) 8-6
2. #40 Engsted/B. McLachlan (CAL) vs. #62 Puget/Sell (UCLA) 8-7, unfinished
3. Alex Brigham/Mkrtchian (UCLA) def. Bayane/Melton (CAL) 8-4
UCLA Wins Doubles Point
1. #44 Ben McLachlan (CAL) def. #14 Marcos Giron (UCLA) 6-2, 7-6(5)
2. #32 Dennis Novikov (UCLA) def. #66 Chris Konigsfeldt (CAL) 6-2, 6-4
3. #19 Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. #46 Campbell Johnson (CAL) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
4. Gregory Bayane (CAL) def. #57 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) 6-4, 6-3
5. #114 Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. Mads Engsted (CAL) 6-4, 6-1
6. Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Chase Melton (CAL) 6-2, 6-4
UCLA 15-1; 1-0 Pac-12; National ranking #4
Cal 8-8; 0-1 Pac-12; National ranking #15
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (2,5,4,1,6,3)