No. 9 USC Men Edged By No. 4 Bruins 4-2|
April 17, 2016
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 9 USC men's tennis team came up short in a comeback bid against No. 4 rival UCLA, falling 4-2 to the Bruins at Marks Stadium today. In an unprecedented doubleheader with the USC and UCLA women's teams, the day's event opened with simultaneous doubles action, with the men and women playing out their respective doubles points alongside one another. The men's point wrapped first, with the Bruins claiming a 1-0 lead while the Women of Troy snagged the doubles point on the other end of the stadium. The men took to the courts next for singles play, and the UCLA men were able to fend off the Trojans. USC leveled the match at 1-1, but UCLA pressed on and picked up three more singles wins to notch the victory and claim the undefeated finish in Pac-12 play. The USC men go to 15-5 overall and 5-2 in Pac-12 play with the loss.
With the Trojans' 5-2 regular-season finish, USC picks up the No. 2 seed into next week's Pac-12 Tournament. The Trojans will await their opponent in the semifinal round, which is set for 1 p.m. on Friday (April 22) at Libbey Park in Ojai, Calif. UCLA has the top seed and will be in the opposite semifinal.
In an exciting circus of full-court doubles action with the men and women's teams playing side-by-side, the first win of the day was registered by the Trojans when court three's Rob Bellamy and Jake DeVine whipped up a swift 6-1 win over UCLA's Cressy/Rapp. But the Bruins would turn the tide and steal back the momentum with a 6-4 win on court won from #4 McDonald/Redlicki over USC's #42 Nick Crystal and Laurens Verboven. With the first point hanging in the balance, UCLA would snag the crucial last two games on court two as Di Giulio/Sell topped USC's Max De Vroome and Jack Jaede 7-5 to get UCLA ahead 1-0 in the match.
Once the women's doubles play wrapped up -- with the Women of Troy taking the first point of their match against the Bruins -- the men got back on the court to step up for singles play. A fiery #106 Jake DeVine would cruise out of reach of UCLA's #86 Karue Sell, winning the last eight games of his match in finishing out a shutout in the second set to post a 6-2, 6-0 win and level the match at 1-1. Again, the Bruins made a move. At the No. 3 spot, UCLA's #58 Gage Brymer pushed past USC freshman #55 Logan Smith and took the Bruins to a 2-1 advantage on a 6-2, 6-2 decision. Then, on court six, UCLA's Joseph Di Giulio topped USC junior Rob Bellamy 6-0, 7-5 to make it 3-1. The Trojans were not done, however. At the No. 5 slot, #120 sophomore Thibault Forget was in fine form against Logan Staggs, pulling USC within one on his 6-3, 6-4 victory. While an engaging battle was raging on court one between USC's #19 senior Max De Vroome and UCLA's #8 Mackie McDonald, there was a three-setter going strong on court two. That's where the decider would fall. After falling in the first set, USC's #42 junior Nick Crystal stole the second set to bring up a third. That's where UCLA's #45 Martin Redlicki was able to make up ground and take a lead he would not relinquish. Redlicki's 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win over Crystal sealed a 4-2 win for the Bruins over the host Trojans and suspended action on court one with de Vroome trailing McDonald's 7-6 (5), 6-5.
USC will head to Ojai next to set up for its 1 p.m. Pac-12 semifinal matchup on Friday (April 22) to fight for a spot in Saturday's championship match.
#4 UCLA 4, #9 USC 2
April 17, 2016 - Marks Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
(1) #4 McDonald/Redlicki (UCLA) def. #42 Crystal/Verboven (USC) - 6-4
(2) Di Giulio/Sell (UCLA) def. de Vroome/Jaede (USC) - 7-5
(3) Bellamy/DeVine (USC) def. Cressy/Rapp (UCLA) - 6-1
UCLA wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 3, 1, 2
(1) #19 Max De Vroome (USC) vs. #8 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) - 6-7 (5), 5-6 susp.
(2) #45 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. #43 Nick Crystal (USC) - 7-5, 2-6, 6-3*
(3) #58 Gage Brymer (UCLA) def. #55 Logan Smith (USC) - 6-2, 6-2
(4) #106 Jake DeVine (USC) def. #86 Karue Sell (UCLA) - 6-2, 6-0
(5) #120 Thibault Forget (USC) def. Logan Staggs (UCLA) - 6-3, 6-4
(6) Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) def. Rob Bellamy (USC) - 6-0, 7-5
Order of finish: 4, 3, 6, 5, 2*