LOS ANGELES -- Second-ranked UCLA played a thriller on Sunday at USC's Marks Tennis Stadium, registering a 4-3 victory against No. 4 Georgia at the first Pac-12/SEC Challenge. UCLA concludes the event with a 2-0 record, as the Bruins also defeated No. 11 Florida, 4-1 on Saturday.
Similar to its match with the Gators on Saturday, UCLA (5-0) surrendered the doubles point yet again on Sunday, suffering losses at court Nos. 2 and 3. After Georgia took a 6-3 win at the No. 2 position, the point was clinched at the No. 3 spot, where Eric Diaz and Austin Smith notched a 6-3 win over Dennis Mkrtchian and Karue Sell.
Although UCLA was able to reel off four-straight victories after losing the doubles point to Florida the previous day, it was apparent early on that Georgia was going to make the Bruins work a little bit harder on Sunday. In fact, the Bulldogs would go ahead 2-0 when 102nd-ranked Nick Wood dispatched of Mkrtchian, 6-5(4), 6-1 at court No. 5.
UCLA, however, stormed back to take the next two matches and tie the dual at 2-2. Gage Brymer, who is ranked No. 120 in singles, upset 47th-ranked Garrett Brasseaux, 6-2, 6-3 at court No. 4, while 11th-ranked Marcos Giron edged Smith in straight sets at court No. 1. Giron, ranked No. 11 nationally, fought off four set points in the first set to eventually win 6-5(7), 6-3.
The Bulldogs and Bruins would then trade victories, with 21st-ranked Nathan Pasha of Georgia downing 62nd-ranked Mackenzie McDonald at court No. 3, and top-ranked Clay Thompson besting 48th-ranked Ben Wagland at court No. 1.
Thompson's victory meant that the dual would be decided at court No. 6, where Bruin freshman Joseph Di Giulio was on serve early in the third set against Bulldog senior Hernus Pieters. With Pieters serving to stay in the match down 4-5, Di Giulio got the break, taking the match 6-0, 5-6(7), 6-4 to clinch the 4-3 victory for UCLA.
The 2014 Pac-12/SEC Challenge was the first of a four-year agreement between UCLA, Georgia, Florida and USC to play in the event. Georgia will host it in 2015, followed by UCLA in 2016 and Florida in 2017.
With the loss on Sunday, Georgia falls to 2-2 on the season. The Bulldogs lost to No. 3 USC on Saturday.
No. 4 USC 4, No. 11 Florida 0
LOS ANGELES -- Fourth-ranked USC pocketed another marquee win in the first edition of the Pac-12/SEC Showdown, knocking down No. 11 Florida with a 4-0 shutout at Marks Stadium. The top of the lineup was all business today for the Trojans, with victories coming from the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles courts as well as the top two singles slots. Putting the finishing touches on today's victory was freshman Connor Farren from court four, as he wrapped up the action to net the Trojans their fourth dual match win of the year.
The Trojans wrapped up the doubles point in fairly smooth fashion, with court two's Connor Farren and Roberto Quiroz combining forces with a vengeance once again. The duo took out Florida's Lipman/Watson 6-2, and their court one compatriots took care of business next. Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento delivered a 6-3 win over Alford/Piro to take USC ahead 1-0 in the match and bring up singles action.
Shining bright at the top of the lineup in singles were Sarmiento and Hanfmann. No. 10 Sarmiento walloped Florida's Diego Hidalgo 6-2, 6-2 to bump USC ahead 2-0. Meanwhile, his doubles partner, No. 32 junior Yannick Hanfmann, was doing work on court two. Hanfmann pulled off the first set in a tiebreaker before cruising past No. 28 Stephane Piro with a 6-5 (5), 6-2 win that put USC on the brink of victory. The remaining courts looked to be bound for third sets, but freshman Farren was ready to pounce and wrap up the match early. He, too, plugged in a first-set win with a tiebreaker before hitting his stride in the second and putting a stop to things with his 6-5 (5), 6-3 clincher against No. 109 Maxx Lipman on court four.
No. 6 Tennessee 4, No. 30 Tulsa 3
TULSA, Okla. -- With the match coming down to his court, junior Brandon Fickey once again delivered the victory for Tennessee.
Fickey rallied from a break down in the third set to beat No. 71 Carlos Bautista 6-4, 5-6 (3), 6-4 on court 3 to clinch the Vols' 4-3 victory against Tulsa at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
The Vols (7-1) won the doubles point and took a 3-0 lead in the match on victories by Hunter Reese on court 2 and Markus Kerner on court 6. Tulsa rumbled back to tie the match at 3-3 a few minutes later, setting a familiar stage for Fickey.
Twice last season, Fickey wrapped up 4-3 victories for the Vols, doing so against Wake Forest on the road and Clemson in the second round of the NCAA Championships. Like the Clemson victory, Fickey had been struggling to find his form on the singles court because an injury layoff. He entered this spring season having missed four months of practice while recovering from a back injury.
Fickey and Bautista exchanged leads early in the third set, but Bautista broke Fickey's serve to go ahead 4-3.
Tulsa fans chanted for the Golden Hurricane during the changeover, but Fickey stayed calm as he returned to court. He rallied to win the last three games of the match while his teammates cheered him along the neighboring court.
With Bautista serving down 5-4, Fickey hit a backhand winner on the approach to capture the Vols' first road victory of the season.
No. 7 Baylor 6, No. 73 Purdue 1
WACO, Texas -- Seventh-ranked Baylor remained perfect on the year with a 6-1 victory against No. 73 Purdue (1-1) Sunday at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center. The match was originally scheduled to be played outside at the Hurd Tennis Center, but was moved indoors due to rain in the area.
Baylor (4-0) claimed its fourth straight doubles point of the season with wins on courts two and three. Julian Lenz and Robert Verzaal was the first pairing off the court after getting past Diego Acosta and Mateus Silva, 6-1, in the No. 3 spot, before Tony Lupieri and Vince Schneider clinched the point with a 6-4 victory on court two.
The second-ranked Lenz gave the Bears a 2-0 lead in the match with his 6-1, 6-2 victory on court two over the Boilermakers' Mark Kovacs. No. 92 Lupieri was the next BU player off court with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Aaron Dujovne to put the Bears one point away from clinching the match. The Boilermakers then answered back on court five with a 6-3, 6-2 Acosta victory over Verzaal to bring the match to 3-1.
Mate Zsiga clinched the match deciding point on court three in upset fashion getting past 96th-ranked Ricky Medinilla 6-1, 6-4. The Bears claimed their fifth point on court one with seventh-ranked Patrick Pradella getting past Szymon Tatarczyk 6-1, 6-5(7). Schneider got a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 win over Silva on court six to round out BU's 6-1 victory.
No. 8 Oklahoma 4, No. 57 Indiana 0
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma swept No. 57 Indiana 4-0 Sunday afternoon at the Gregg Wadley Tennis Pavilion.
The Sooners (4-0) collected singles points at the 1, 3 and 4 spots, while its Nos. 2 and 3 pairs secured the doubles point.
In the No. 4 position, freshman Andrew Harris earned the first point, beating Bednarczyk in straight sets 6-5, 6-4.
Alcorta got the next point, ousting Sven Lalic in the No. 1 spot 6-4, 6-4.
Junior Dane Webb clinched the Sooner victory with a 6-5, 6-4 win versus Dimitrije Tasic 6-5, 6-4.
At the No. 3 position, Nick Papac and Peerakit Siributwong won the first doubles match for OU, topping Chris Essick and Stefan Lugonjic 6-2.
Spanish tandem Axel Alvarez and Guillermo Alcorta secured the doubles point for OU with a 6-5 win against Sam Monette and Daniel Bednarczyk
“We played pretty solid today,” head coach John Roddick said. “We played really good doubles again. It was a tough one and they played hard and pushed us in matches.”
“We just have to do a little better job of winning a few more of the big points, I feel like we played a little passive on those and they played really aggressive, I think that’s why the match was fairly close in a lot of the score lines. All in all we’re hitting the ball well, we just have to take control.”