UCLA 4, Baylor 3

May 24, 2005

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Seventh-seeded UCLA upset No. 1 Baylor 4-3 Tuesday night to win its 16th NCAA Division I men's tennis title at Texas A&M's Mitchell Tennis Center. Title No. 16 comes 21 years after the Bruins won their last championship in 1984.

UCLA (27-3), which upset the No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds over the past three days, ends Baylor's (33-1) 57-match win streak. Baylor was trying to become the fifth team to finish a season unbeaten since the NCAA added a team tournament in 1977 and the first school to win consecutive titles since Stanford in 1998.

Baylor built a 3-1 lead in tonight's final, but UCLA pulled out a trio of three-set victories to win in dramatic fashion. UCLA's Benjamin Kohlloeffel, Alberto Francis, Philipp Gruendler and Kris Kwinta all supplied wins in singles. Francis beat Matija Zgaga 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 at No. 5, then Gruendler edged Vladimir Portnov 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4) at No. 6 to tie the score 3-3. Kwinta clinched the match at No. 3, topping Lars Poerschke 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Baylor senior Benedikt Dorsch, who won at No. 1 singles and doubles tonight, was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player for the second year in a row. He's the first player to receive this honor two times and second player from the runner-up team to win it (joining Vanderbilt's Bobby Reynolds in 2003).

Prior to tonight's win UCLA had lost in six straight championship match appearances. Bruin coach Billy Martin was at the helm in three of those losses, including last year to Baylor. Martin was on UCLA's 1975 national title team, making him person to be a head coach and player on NCAA Division I men's title teams.

UCLA beat Illinois in last year's NCAA semifinals to end the Fighting Illini's 64-match win streak, which was the longest since (the NCAA team tournament was added in) 1977. Baylor's 57-match win streak was the second longest streak during this era.

UCLA ties Southern California for second most NCAA men's tennis titles with 16. Stanford leads all schools with 17. The title is also UCLA's 97th overall NCAA team championship - tops among all schools.

NCAA All-Tournament Team

No. 1 (position) Benedikt Dorsch, Baylor
No. 2 Benjamin Kohlloeffel, UCLA
No. 3 Vlad Obradovic, Florida
No. 4 Michal Kokta, Baylor
No. 5 Alberto Francis, UCLA
No. 6 Phillipp Gruendler, UCLA

No. 1 Alberto Francis/Kris Kwinta, UCLA
No. 2 Michael Kokta/Lars Poerschke, Baylor
No. 3 Benjamin Becker/Jon Reckewey, Baylor
Most Outstanding Player: Benedikt Dorsch, Baylor

-- Courtesy ITA