Coming off of two straight defeats to rivals California and USC, and having lost three of its past four matches, the UCLA men’s tennis team looked to stem the tide against unranked Hawai’i on Friday, and efficiently did so.
UCLA took the doubles point in impressive fashion before going on to dominate in singles play for a 6-1 victory.
Coach Billy Martin’s experimentation with the doubles pairings worked well. New partners and fellow seniors Holden Seguso and Amit Inbar had a strong performance at No. 1 doubles, and redshirt sophomore Alex Brigham and freshman Adrien Puget played equally well on court No. 2 to secure the coveted doubles point, which had eluded the Bruins in their previous matches.
In singles play, No. 8 UCLA (10-3) was as menacing as it had been in doubles. The Bruins looked strong on several courts, headlined by freshman Daniel Kosakowski on court No. 1. Kosakowski dismantled Hawai’i senior Dennis Lajola in a comfortable 6-2, 6-3 victory. Elsewhere, on court No. 6, Brigham cruised to an impressive 6-0, 6-1 victory. This was soon followed by victories at courts Nos. 4 and 5 by Seguso and Maxime Tabatruong, respectively, to give the Bruins a comfortable 5-0 advantage.
The only suspense in this relatively one-sided contest came on courts No. 2 and 3, which saw two of UCLA’s stellar freshmen in three-set contests, with the match already in hand. Hawai’i junior Leo Rosenberg outlasted freshman Clay Thompson, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, giving the Warriors (2-8) their only point of the match. The overall match was concluded with a tight victory at court No. 3 by Puget, who split sets with his opponent, senior Jeremy Tweedt, and then battled for the victory by winning a super tie-breaker 10-6. It marked the end of a match which the Bruins needed to win in order to get back on track.
It was an important win for UCLA as it looks to regain the form which had characterized its 8-0 start to the season. The Bruins resume play on March 22, when they take on Loyola Marymount at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
Compiled by Rohan Popat, Bruin Sports contributor.