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