MENâ€™S TENNIS SEASON COMES TO AN END WITH NCAA TOURNAMENT LOSS AT UCLA
LOS ANGELES — UCLA’s Matt Brooklyn, Amit Inbar and Kallim Stewart each posted straight-set singles victories to lead the ninth-ranked Bruins to a 4-0 victory over Sacramento State in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament Saturday afternoon at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
Sacramento State, which concludes its season with a 17-12 record, was making its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 12 years. The Hornets earned an automatic berth into the postseason after winning the Big Sky Conference Tournament title three weeks ago. Sacramento State had won 11 of its last 15 matches prior to today’s loss.
UCLA (15-6), who is ranked ninth in the nation and drew the No. 9 seed in the 64-team tournament field, improved to 15-6. The Bruins will now take on Cal (13-7) in the second round of the tournament tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. Cal defeated UC Irvine earlier today, 4-0, to advance to tomorrow’s second round matchup.
Sacramento State and UCLA played each other today for just the second time ever, with the teams’ other match coming in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament. The Bruins were also victorious in that match by a 4-0 score.
While Sacramento State’s season comes to a close today as a team, Hornet junior Kiryl Harbatsiuk will be making an appearance in the NCAA Singles Championships later this month (May 26) at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia.
In today’s match, the Bruins, who have four ranked singles players on their squad and a ranked doubles team, won two of the three doubles matches to earn the point and take a 1-0 lead.
Brooklyn (6-0, 6-3), Inbar (6-1, 6-2) and Stewart (7-6, 6-1) won their matches at Nos. 3, 4 and 6, respectively, to give UCLA the victory. The Bruins were also leading in the other singles matches before play was stopped because UCLA had the necessary four points to clinch the win.
Harbatsiuk was trailing in his match, 6-2, 3-2 when play was halted and will retain his school-record 25-match singles winning streak. He will bring that streak and a 26-1 singles record into the NCAA Singles Championships. Anton Stryhas was trailing in his match at No. 2 (6-2, 5-4), as was Marko Starcevic (6-1, 5-4) at No. 5. Jason Smith lost his match at No. 3, marking just the sixth time all year the sophomore had dropped a match (23-6).
Sacramento State was making its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance (1999, 2001-03, 2007, 2009-10) since joining the Div. I ranks in 1992. In addition, the team has won eight Big Sky Tournanent titles in the last 13 years (1998-99, 2001-03, 2007, 2009-10). The team’s 17-12 record marks the fourth straight season in which the Hornets have recorded at least 15 wins.
Today marked the final matches in the Sacramento State careers of Holden Ching and Stryhas, who are both seniors. Stryhas became the first player in program history to be named first team all-Big Sky Conference on four occasions and finished his career with a 72-19 singles record and 66-26 doubles mark. Ching finished his career with a 48-25 doubles record and was an honorable mention all-Big Sky selection this year.
#9 UCLA 4, Sacramento State 0
1. #71 Nick Meister (UCLA) vs. #91 HARBATSIUK, Kiryl (SAC) 6-2, 3-2, unfinished
2. #51 Haythem Abid (UCLA) vs. STRYHAS, Anton (SAC) 6-2, 5-4, unfinished
3. #58 Matt Brooklyn (UCLA) def. #109 SMITH, Jason (SAC) 6-0, 6-3
4. #117 Amit Inbar (UCLA) def. CHING, Holden (SAC) 6-1, 6-2
5. Holden Seguso (UCLA) vs. STARCEVIC, Marko (SAC) 6-1, 5-4, unfinished
6. Kallim Stewart (UCLA) def. LANTIN, Tim (SAC) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1
1. #16 Nick Meister/Amit Inbar (UCLA) def. #84 HARBATSIUK, Kiryl/STARCEVIC, Marko (SAC) 8-4
2. Haythem Abid/Matt Brooklyn (UCLA) def. STRYHAS, Anton/CHING, Holden (SAC) 8-2
3. Holden Seguso/Alex Brigham (UCLA) vs. LANTIN, Tim/SMITH, Jason (SAC) 7-2, unfinished
Sacramento State 17-12
UCLA 15-6; National ranking #9
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (4,3,6)