Ojai, Calif. - Having already wrapped up the conference's regular-season title a week ago, the No. 1 UCLA men's team claimed its first tournament championship on Saturday, downing second-seeded USC, 4-2 in the Pac-12 final at Libbey Park in downtown Ojai. It marks the second time in less than 10 days that the Bruins have beaten their cross-town rival, as UCLA also posted a 4-3 win over USC in the final match of the regular season on April 19. The Bruins (24-1) now wait to see where they will land in the NCAA Tournament draw, which will be released on Tuesday afternoon.
Similar to its match with USC nine days ago, UCLA dropped the doubles point on Saturday. After the Trojans notched an 8-6 win at court No. 3, the point was clinched at the No. 1 position, where 40th-ranked Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento downed 34th-ranked Marcos Giron and Dennis Novikov, 8-6.
With the doubles point in hand, USC (22-4) actually took a 2-0 lead when Hanfmann upset Giron, 6-4, 6-1 at court No. 2. UCLA, however, was in control at most of the other courts, eventually getting on the board when freshman Karue Sell downed Michael Grant, 6-3, 6-1 at court No. 6.
Junior Adrien Puget was next to finish, as he tied the score at 2-2 following a 6-1, 6-2 win over Roberto Quiroz at court No. 3. Puget's win was followed by another straight-set victory for the Bruins, this time by Dennis Mkrtchian at court No. 4 who beat Eric Johnson, 7-6, 6-4.
The clinching win would come right next door to Mkrtchian at court No. 5, as Clay Thompson downed Jonny Wang, 7-6, 6-4 to give UCLA the 4-2 victory.
Sarmiento and Novikov were in the third set of their match at court No. 1 when play was suspended.
The Bruins and Trojans have squared off four times this season, with UCLA taking three of those matches. UCLA also won the conference's regular-season title last year, however fell to USC in the Pac-12 Tournament final.
Pac-12 Tournament (Final)
#1 UCLA 4, #5 USC 2
Apr 27, 2013 at Ojai, CA (Libbey Park)
1. #40 Hanfmann/Sarmiento (USC) def. #34 Giron/Novikov (UCLA) 8-6
2. Alex Brigham/Sell (UCLA) vs. #44 Emilio Gomez/Quiroz (USC) 7-6, unfinished
3. Max De Vroome/Johnson (USC) def. Mkrtchian/Thompson (UCLA) 8-6
USC Wins Doubles Point
1. #25 Dennis Novikov (UCLA) vs. #17 Ray Sarmiento (USC) 4-6, 6-3, 2-4, unfinished
2. #65 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) def. #18 Marcos Giron (UCLA) 6-4, 6-1
3. #24 Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. #34 Roberto Quiroz (USC) 6-1, 6-2
4. #74 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) def. #80 Eric Johnson (USC) 7-6, 6-4
5. #116 Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. #93 Jonny Wang (USC) 7-6, 6-4
6. Karue Sell (UCLA) def. #94 Michael Grant (USC) 6-3, 6-1
USC 22-4; National ranking #5
UCLA 24-1; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (2,6,3,4,5)