©Colette Lewis 2008--
UCLA and USC have one of the great rivalries in college tennis, and another chapter will be written on Sunday when they meet in the quarterfinals at the Michael Case Tennis Center.
On a calm and mild evening, it was the third-seeded Bruins who had the shorter journey, defeating the Florida State Seminoles 4-0. The doubles point was close, with Florida State taking No. 3, UCLA winning at No. 2, before the Bruin team of Harel Srugo and Nick Meister came from 7-2 down to defeat Jean-Yves Aubone and Clint Bowles 9-7 at No. 1.
With that stunning victory in hand, UCLA kept right on rolling, taking the No. 3 and No. 4 singles before freshman Meister clinched at No. 6 with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Brad Mixson.
The USC doubles point came without those dramatics, as the Trojans took the point with wins at 2 and 3. Oklahoma State had several hundred orange-clad fans in attendance that were dismayed to find the Cowboys down 3-0 in a hurry, dropping matches at No. 2 and No. 5, but slowly the momentum began to change. OSU's Nathan Byrnes took the second set from Gary Sacks at No. 4, and Igor Sobolta pushed Andrew Piotrowski to a third after dropping the first set in a tiebreaker at the No. 6 position. After OSU's Oleksandra Nedovyesov took the third set from a cramping Robert Farah at No. 1, giving the Cowboys their first point, the spectators all gathered on the back courts with hopes that a dramatic comeback would materialize. Byrnes did his part by taking down Sacks, who was broken at 4-4 in the third when he was overruled for the fourth time, giving Byrnes the chance to serve it out. Several deuces later, Byrnes gave OSU their second point with some big serving, and it was now down to No. 6 and No. 3. Piotrowski got an early break in the third and held on to it throughout the match,sending the Trojans into the quarterfinals with his 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-3 victory over Sobolta. Piotrowski, who was added to the lineup in place of Jason McNaughton, out with a back injuiry, also clinched the regional final against Cal.
For complete scores see the Tulsa website. For additional coverage, visit collegeandjuniortennis.com.
Friday, May 16, 2008