No. 6 USC Men Fall To No. 8 Rival UCLA 4-1 In Westwood

    Thibault Forget registered USC's singles win in a road loss at UCLA.
    April 21, 2017

    WESTWOOD, CALIF. — The No. 6 USC men’s tennis team was making moves against No. 8 rival UCLA, but the Bruins were able to fend off the Trojans’ comeback hopes with a 4-1 victory in Westwood today. The loss moves USC to 22-5 overall and to a 5-2 finish in Pac-12 play as the Trojans now turn to the coming Pac-Tournament running April 26-29 in Ojai, Calif.

    The Bruins made the first move with a win on court one in doubles, as #12 Redlicki/Zhu topped the #10 Trojan tandem of Brandon Holt and RileySmith 6-3. The Trojans battle back with the reliable Rob Bellamy and Jack Jaede drumming up a 6-2 win at the No. 3 spot over UCLA’s Cressy/Goldberg, but the Bruins were up a break on court two and would hold their ground. UCLA’s Rapp/Di Giulio finished off the doubles point for the Bruins with a 6-3 win over USC’s #85 Nick Crystal and Laurens Verboven, and it was on to singles with the hosts gripping a 1-0 advantage. 

    In singles, USC wound up in a 2-0 hole when Evan Zhu managed a 6-2, 6-4 win over USC’s #79 Logan Smith on court two. The Bruins would maneuver into the driver’s seat next in taking a 3-0 lead with a 6-3, 6-4 win from Logan Staggs over USC’s Jack Jaede at the No. 4 spot. From there, however, the Trojans dug in and started to work to shift the momentum in the match. On court five, USC’s Thibault Forget cruised along to a 6-2, 6-4 victory over UCLA’s Austin Rapp to lodge a point on the board for the Trojans. Down 3-1, USC looked to extend matches on courts one and two, while court six also was bending toward a potential third set. At the top spot, USC’s #22 freshman Brandon Holt had successfully rallied his match against #21 Gage Brymer into a third set after dropping the first. On court two, senior Nick Crystal looked to be doing the same before getting tangled up in yet another tiebreaker to decide the set. Crystal had taken #57 Martin Redlicki down to the wire in the first set before falling 11-9 in the tiebreaker. In the second-set breaker, Redlicki dug in his heels and wound up locking in the clincher for the Bruins on a 7-6 (9), 7-6 (2) win over Crystal. That suspended action on court one and on court six, where Riley Smith had won his first set and was entering a tiebreaker of his own in the second against UCLA’s Joseph Di Giulio.

    With a 5-2 finish in the Pac-12 regular-season, the Trojans await the seeding announcements from the conference for the 2017 Pac-12 Tournament, which will be held April 26-29 in Ojai. The Pac-12 Tennis Championships Central page is:

    #8 UCLA 4, #6 USC 1
    April 21, 2017 | Sunset Tennis Courts (Westwood, Calif.)
    (1) #12 Redlicki/Zhu (UCLA) def. #10 Holt/R. Smith (USC) - 6-3
    (2) Rapp/Di Giulio (UCLA) def. #85 Crystal/Verboven (USC) - 6-3
    (3) Bellamy/Jaede (USC) def. Cressy/Goldberg (UCLA) - 6-2
    UCLA wins doubles point.
    Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
    (1) #21 Gage Brymer (UCLA) vs. #22 Brandon Holt (USC) - 6-2, 5-7, 0-1, unfinished
    (2) #57 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. Nick Crystal (USC) - 7-6 (9), 7-6 (2)*
    (3) Evan Zhu (UCLA) def. #79 Logan Smith (USC) - 6-2, 6-4
    (4) Logan Staggs (UCLA) def. Jack Jaede (USC) - 6-3, 6-4
    (5) Thibault Forget (USC) def. Austin Rapp (UCLA) - 6-2, 6-4
    (6) Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) vs. Riley Smith (USC) - 5-7, 6-6, unfinished
    Order of finish: 3, 4, 5, 2*