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Seniors James McKie, Ryan Drake, Jean Erasmus and Anis Ghorbel with head coach Davidson Kozlowski
Courtesy: Sean Palchick

Upset Not In The Cards As No. 1 UCLA Bests Drake In NCAA Tournament, 4-0

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: May 11, 2013
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LOS ANGELES, Calif. – In life as in sports there isn’t always a storybook ending and for the Drake men’s tennis team the most-successful campaign in program history drew to a close on Saturday (May 11) as the Bulldogs suffered a 4-0 setback to No. 1 UCLA at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

The loss ended Drake's 2013 season with a school-record 25-4 ledger.

The Bruins staked themselves to an early 1-0 lead after collecting 8-6 and 8-3 victories, respectively, at the Nos. 1 and 2 doubles positions.

The 77th-ranked duo of Adrien Puget and Karue Sell posted an 8-3 triumph at No. 2 over sophomore Alen Salibasic (Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina) and freshman Ben Lott (Newcastle, England).

Trailing 7-3 on the No. 1 court, the Drake tandem of seniors Anis Ghorbel (Sfax, Tunisia) and James McKie (Edinburgh, Scotland) registered three unanswered tallies to cut the deficit to 7-6, before the No. 42 team of Marcos Giron and Dennis Novikov finished off the doubles point for an 8-6 victory.

The tandem of senior Jean Erasmus (Windhoek, Namibia) and junior Robin Goodman (Cambridge, England) were leading their tilt at No. 3 over Alex Brigham and Dennis Mkrtchian, 7-5, when play was halted.

The Bruins extended their advantage in singles to 2-0 after No. 117 Clay Thompson bested Erasmus at No. 5, 6-1, 6-0.

The Bulldogs found themselves on the wrong end of first-set decisions on the remaining five courts before battling back in the second frames to garner leads on the top-four courts.

The momentum was fleeting as Mkrtchian netted a 6-2, 6-4 decision at the No. 4 slot over Salibasic to push UCLA to within a point of victory.

The Bruins sealed the match when Giron edged McKie at No. 2, 6-3, 6-2.

The loss ended the stellar Drake careers of Erasmus, Ghorbel, McKie and Ryan Drake (Hilton Head Island, S.C.).  During their four-year career, the Bulldogs were 85-19 overall, including three NCAA Tournament appearances and a 70-10 ledger the last three seasons.

NO. 1 UCLA (26-1) DEF. NO. 31 DRAKE (25-4), 4-0

MAY 11, 2013 • LOS ANGELES, CALIF.

SINGLES:

No. 1 No. 27 Dennis Novikov (UCLA) leading No. 65 Anis Ghorbel (DU), 6-3, 2-5 unfinished

No. 2 No. 25 Marcos Giron (UCLA) def. James McKie (DU), 6-3, 6-2

No. 3 No. 22 Adrien Puget (UCLA) leading Robin Goodman (DU), 6-0, 4-4 unfinished

No. 4 No. 75 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) def. Alen Salibasic (DU), 6-2, 6-4

No. 5 No. 119 Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. Jean Erasmus (DU), 6-1, 6-0

No. 6 Karue Sell (UCLA) leading Ben Mullis (DU), 7-6 (0) unfinished

Order of Finish: 5,4,2

DOUBLES:

No. 1 No. 42 Giron/Novikov (UCLA) def. Ghorbel/McKie (DU), 8-6

No. 2 No. 77 Puget/Sell (UCLA) def. Ben Lott/Salibasic (DU), 8-3

No. 3 Erasmus/Goodman (DU) leading Alex Brigham/Mkrtchian (UCLA), 7-5 unfinished

Order of Finish: 2,1

 

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