A year after his program’s first loss in history to the Arizona Wildcats, senior captain Amit Inbar had one message for his Bruin squad heading into Friday’s contest with Arizona.
Not only did he want to win, he wanted to dominate the Wildcats, and his team did so with a 6-0 shutout victory.
With a chance of rain in the forecast, both coaches decided to forgo the doubles point and begin singles play to try and finish the match as quickly as possible.
In doing so, Inbar and his teammates could not savor a 7-0 victory, and instead made quick work of the Wildcats (8-13, 0-6 Pac-10) in singles en route to a 6-0 shutout win.
The No. 14 Bruins (14-5, 3-2) were paced by dominant performances from seniors Holden Seguso and Inbar, who both won in straight sets to give UCLA an early edge.
This was followed up by yet another strong performance from freshman Adrien Puget who, after a slow start, made quick work of his opponent, senior Geoff Embry, for a 6-3, 6-1 victory.
“It was a little strange at the beginning of the match to start with singles,” Puget said. “The atmosphere was a little different, but I got into the match after the first few games.”
The tightest matches of the day came courtesy of two freshmen. UCLA’s Clay Thompson dropped the first set before demolishing his opponent in the final two sets of his match for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory.
Fellow freshman Daniel Kosakowski faced a tough opponent in Arizona senior Andres Carrasco, the No. 111-ranked player in the country, but withstood the test for a hard-fought 7-5, 6-2 victory.
About the only thing that could have stopped the Bruins on this day was the chance of rain.
“We definitely came into this match with a lot of motivation to try and win as impressively as possible,” Inbar said. “I think everyone played quite well yesterday. Daniel played a good match against Carrasco, and Adrien Puget again came out with a great performance.”
The Bruins’ performance should provide them with momentum heading into their showdown against No. 6 Pepperdine (18-4, 4-0 West Coast Conference) today.
“Everyone played well today, but this team wasn’t a true test for us, especially with Pepperdine coming up,” coach Billy Martin said. “Still, it was good to get a win under our belt, so that we can get back to focusing on Monday’s match.”
In Pepperdine, the Bruins face the No. 6 team in the country and a team well-known for a boisterous demeanor, which can get under the skin of its opponents.
“They are energetic and loud, and can definitely get on the opposing team’s nerves, so coach and I have been telling the young guys to just stay focused on their game,” Inbar said.