March 25, 2011
BERKELEY - California men's tennis senior Bozhidar Katsarov took out UCLA's Alex Brigham, 6-2, 6-2, for his eighth dual singles victory of the spring to help the No. 12 Golden Bears (9-4, 1-0 Pac-10) capture a 4-3 victory over the No. 13 Bruins (11-4, 0-1) on Fri., Mar. 25, at the Hellman Tennis Complex. The win secured Cal's sweep of its season series against UCLA for the first time since 2002.
After nearly 100 minutes on court, and three tiebreakers later, the Bears prevailed with the doubles point off bookend wins from courts one and three. Both sides started the day on the attack, which led to five-all ties across all three courts. At No. 2 doubles, junior Tommie Murphy and senior Pedro Zerbini were edged, 7-5, in their tiebreaker against Warren Hardie and Amit Inbar to swing momentum to UCLA's side.
At court three, freshman Ben McLachlan and sophomore Riki McLachlan fell behind the count, 4-1, but stayed on serve with Daniel Kosakowski and Clay Thompson to force the second tiebreaker of the day. Just eight minutes after court two wrapped up, the McLachlan's came through with a 7-5 win of their own to even the race for the doubles point.
In a drag-out battle for the point, Cal's No. 21-ranked duo of junior Nick Andrews and sophomore Christoffer Konigsfeldt pulled no punches at the top court. The tandem took shots from Brigham and Adrien Puget, but continued to press and earned a 5-2 lead in their tiebreaker. UCLA fought back to force a six-all tie before the Bears halted the Bruin comeback with the final two points for an 8-6 win.
With momentum on their side, the Bears made the first move in the singles game and claimed a 2-0 lead on a 6-3, 6-0 win by No. 119 Konigsfeldt at court four. Konigsfeldt's victory over Puget was his team-leading 15th overall. No. 69-ranked sophomore Carlos Cueto put the Bears in the catbird seat on an impressive 6-2, 6-0 win over No. 61-ranked Inbar at court two.
UCLA would not be denied, however. The Bruins tacked up their first point of the day when No. 118 Maxime Tabatruong recorded a 6-2, 6-3 win over Ben McLachlan at court five. It was too little, too late, for UCLA as the Bears secured the win a few seconds later on Katsarov's 6-2, 6-2 victory over Brigham at court six.
With the match decided, the Bruins earned two more points. At No. 3 singles, Thompson edged Andrews, 6-4, 6-4, to make the score 4-2. In another tight battle at the top court, No. 42-ranked Kosakowski clipped No. 15 Zerbini for the first set with a 7-5 score in the tiebreaker. Zerbini fought, but came up on the short end of a 6-2 decision in the second set to cement the final score, 4-3, in Cal's favor.
The Bears are back in action with a noon PT dual against two-time defending NCAA champion USC on Sat., Mar. 26. The Trojans (14-2, 0-0) are ranked No. 3 in the ITA poll. Live scores and video streaming are available via links at CalBears.com.
No. 12 California 4, No. 13 UCLA 3