By Steve Fanucchi
Arizona Daily Wildcat
A bolt of lightning was sent through the Arizona tennis team Friday as Southern Cal (1-0) dominated the first dual match of the year. The Wildcats (2-2 overall, 0-2 in the Pacific 10 Conference) were swept by the Trojans 7-0, stunning the UA.
Right from the get-go, the whirling winds on the overcast day seemed to take the Wildcats with them. The seventh-ranked Trojans had no mercy, dominating the match.
"We were so close at two match points in the doubles and then they just ate us for lunch, if you know what I mean," said UA head coach Bill Wright.
Two of the doubles matches were decided by tie-breaks as the Trojans won both 7-5 and 8-6.
Jan Anderson lost to the player ranked right behind him, eighth-ranked Brett Hanzen 6-1, 6-4.
In addition, Adam Peterson defeated Sten Sumberg 7-6, 6-1, Lukas Havorka beat Chris Jenkins 7-6, 6-1, Manuel Ramirez rolled past Roland Kupka 6-2, 6-1, Fernando Samoyoa routed Edward Schwartz 6-2, 6-0 and Kyle Spencer swept by James Rey 6-0, 6-2.
Saturday the Wildcats took on fourth-ranked UCLA, and if the weather was any indication, Arizona hoped to get hot.
The UA was down early as the Bruins took the doubles point and continued to stay hot as Justin Gimelstob defeated Jenkins in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 and Heath Montgomery beat Schwartz 6-4, 6-2.
UCLA was out to a 3-0 lead, and the Wildcats were down Ä but not out. Rey defeated Loren Peter 6-4, 6-2 and Sumberg beat Eric Taino 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
Anderson took 22nd-ranked Robert Janacek to three sets but the first set came down to a tie-break. At 6-6 in the first set and in the tie-break Janacek was up 6-1, but Anderson quickly made it 6-5 with four straight points but Janacek grabbed the last point and won the tie-break 7-5 and the first set 7-6. Anderson came back to win the second and third sets to take the third straight point for the Wildcats and tie the match up at three.
"We had close matches with UCLA and it is disappointing to lose but the thing that I like is that we have great team spirit this year," Anderson said. "Hopefully this is a learning experience, it is a loss but hopefully it will give us confidence."
Despite the cheers and encouragement of the UA players, the Bruins crushed them.
At 3-3 with one match left on the tennis courts, the dual match was down to freshman Kupka. In a grueling match that lasted over three hours Eric Lin of UCLA defeated Kupka 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 to give the Bruins the last point and the match.
The close match slipped away from the Wildcats when Kupka had a critical third-set point taken away from him when the judge called a shot in favor of Lin. The shot was clearly out, and the judge's call disappointed Arizona.
"It was a very tough loss," Wright said. "We played very tough against them (UCLA). It is a great disappointment for us right now."
The Bruins (4-0) came away with the victory over the Wildcats by a final margin of 4-3.
Up next for the Wildcats will be Washington Feb.24 and Illinois Feb. 25 at Robson Tennis Center.
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