Men's Tennis Loses Pac-12 Title To UCLA

Daily Trojan

Is USC's dynasty at its end?

#5 USC made an attempt to win its second consecutive Pac-12 men's tennis team title, but was stopped in the final by the top-ranked UCLA Bruins, who earned four straight singles points to take their program's first conference tournament championship. USC now enters the NCAA tournament with a 23-4 record, with three of those losses handed to them by their crosstown rivals.

The final went much like the last Trojans-Bruins match 10 days before, with USC winning the doubles point via two 8-6 decisions. Sophomore Yannick Hanfmann then earned a second point for the Trojans by taking down UCLA's highest ranked player, Marcus Giron, 6-4, 6-1. But after that, it was all Bruins the rest of the way, taking four singles wins in straight sets to take the victory. Ray Sarmiento, USC's highest ranked player, was leading in his match 6-4, 3-6, 4-2 when UCLA earn the deciding point. Had he held onto the lead, the score would have been 4-3 UCLA, the same as the two previous meetings between these teams.

USC tennis has done a good job staying strong after the graduation of Steve Johnson, who was a central component to the creation of USC's four straight national titles. But UCLA has grown into a top contender this year, winning 14 in a row after USC gave them their only defeat of 2013 in the ITA indoor tournament. The Bruins will likely hold the top seed of the NCAA tournament, while the Trojans will receive a top 10 seed and home court advantage for the first two rounds. First round matchups and locations will be revealed on Tuesday night.

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