Women's Tennis
    Trojans Push Through To Pac-10 Quarterfinals

    April 24, 2008

    OJAI, CALIF. - The USC men's and women's tennis teams had a strong day in the opening action of the 2008 Pac-10 Championships. On the women's side, both Gabriela Niculescu and second-seeded Amanda Fink worked their way into Friday's quarterfinals, while all four Trojans were doing the same on the men's side. Freshman Jaak Poldma, second-seeded senior Kaes Van't Hof, sophomore Gary Sacks all pinned up a pair of straight-set wins while top-seeded Robert Farah grabbed a two-setter and then won in three to move into Friday's quarterfinals with the rest of the Trojan players in the mix. Quarterfinal matches are set for 11 a.m. on Friday (April 25) in Ojai, Calif.

    For Fink, her two wins - by identical scores of 6-2, 6-2 - put the junior on a path toward a possible second appearance in the singles final, which she reached as a freshman in 2006. Fink opened the day with a win over Oregon's Anna Powaska in the first round, and then topped Arizona's Danielle Steinberg by the same 6-2, 6-2 score to move into tomorrow's quarterfinals. Fink will face Cal's Cristina Visico in the quarters.

    Niculescu, playing in her first Pac-10 Championships, began the day with a decisive 6-0, 6-2 win over Washington State's Aleksandra Cekic in the first round. Niculescu came up against last year's Pac-10 singles finalist Susie Babos of Cal in the Round of 16, and the Trojan pulled out a big upset of the No. 5 seed from Cal. After dropping the first set in a tiebreaker, Niculescu regrouped and tacked up the win with a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 comeback to earn a trip to the quarterfinals. Niculescu will face UCLA's fourth-seeded Riza Zalameda at 11 a.m. tomorrow for a chance to move into Saturday's semifinals.



    USC's men had a good day of it in Ojai as well, as all four Trojans entered in the singles championship draw pushed through two wins to reach the quarterfinal round. Freshman Jaak Poldma, sophomores Gary Sacks and Robert Farah and senior Kaes Van't Hof all tallied a pair of wins to move on.

    Poldma kicked off his first Pac-10 Championships by handing out a 6-3, 6-1 loss to Cal's Pierre Mouillon before pulling off a decisive upset of the tournament's No. 4 seed Claudio Christen of Arizona with a 6-3, 6-4 win in the Round of 16. Poldma will play UCLA's No. 5 seed Mathieu Dehaine in tomorrow's quarterfinals at 11 a.m.

    Van't Hof began his pursuit of Pac-10 hardware as the No. 2 seed in the action. He grabbed a 7-6, 6-4 win over Oregon's Geoff Embry to start, and then topped ASU's Juan Carlos Rebaza 6-4, 6-3 to move into the quarters. He will square off against UCLA's Jeremy Drean in the quarterfinals.

    Gary Sacks joined the quarterfinal club as well thanks to two more straight-set wins. Sacks beat Cal's Jonathan Dahan 6-3, 6-3 to open things before posting a 7-6 (7), 6-4 win over Oregon's Francisco Gallardo in the Round of 16. Sacks will take on UCLA's Nicolas Meister tomorrow at 11 a.m. in the quarterfinals.

    Top-seeded Robert Farah began things with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Arizona's Peter Zimmer before stretching out a three-setter against UCLA's Michael Look. Farah took Look down with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win, and will move on to face Cal's Pedro Zerbini tomorrow at 11 a.m.

    Bowing out of the championship singles action with first-round losses were three Women of Troy: Sarah Fansler, Maria Sanchez and Leyla Entekhabi.

    Tomorrow, doubles competition begins on both the men's and the women's sides. USC's Fink/Niculescu are seeded No. 2 on the women's side, while for the men Farah/Van't Hof are the top seed and Magdas/Sacks are also in on the championship doubles competition.

    For full results, see below, or visit www.ojaitourney.org.


    Pac-10 Singles Championship Matches
    Leyla Entekhabi
    First round: lost to (8) Tracy Lin (UCLA) - 6-1, 6-4

    Sarah Fansler
    First round: lost to Bojana Bobusic (CAL) - 5-7, 6-3, 6-3

    (2) Amanda Fink
    First round: def. Anna Powaska (ORE) - 6-2, 6-2
    Round of 16: def. Danielle Steinberg (ARIZ) - 6-2, 6-2
    Quarterfinals: vs. Cristina Visico (CAL) - 11 a.m. Friday

    Gabriela Niculescu
    First round: def. Aleksandra Cekic (WSU) - 6-0, 6-2
    Round of 16: def. Susie Babos (CAL) - 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2
    Quarterfinals: vs. Riza Zalameda (UCLA) - 11 a.m. Friday

    Maria Sanchez
    First round: lost to (7) Nadia Abdala (ASU) - 7-5, 6-3

    Pac-10 Singles Invitational Matches
    Lyndsay Kinstler
    First round: def. Aleksandra Krsljanin (WASH) - 7-5, 7-5
    Round of 16: lost to Jennifer Yen (STAN) - 6-3, 5-7, 6-3

    (6) Cristala Andrews
    First round: def. Ashley Anderson (WASH) - 6-1, 6-3
    Round of 16: def. Stephanie Wetmore (UCLA) - 6-2, 6-1
    Quarterfinals: vs. Lauren Megale (ASU) - 11 a.m. Friday


    Pac-10 Singles Championship Matches
    (1) Robert Farah
    First round: def. Peter Zimmer (ARIZ) - 6-3, 6-4
    Round of 16: def. Michael Look (UCLA) - 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
    Quarterfinals: vs. Pedro Zerbini (CAL) - 11 a.m. Friday

    Jaak Poldma
    First round: def. Pierre Mouillon (CAL) - 6-3, 6-1
    Round of 16: def. (4) Claudio Christen (ARIZ) - 6-3, 6-4
    Quarterfinals: vs. (5) Mathieu Dehaine (UCLA) - 11 a.m. Friday

    Gary Sacks
    First round: def. Jonathan Dahan (CAL) - 6-3, 6-3
    Round of 16: def. Francisco Gallardo (ORE) - 7-6 (7), 6-4
    Quarterfinals: vs. Nicolas Meister (UCLA) - 11 a.m. Friday

    (2) Kaes Van't Hof
    First round: def. Geoff Embry (ORE) - 7-6, 6-4
    Round of 16: def. Juan Carlos Rebaza (ASU) - 6-4, 6-3
    Quarterfinals: vs. Jeremy Drean (UCLA) - 11 a.m. Friday

    Pac-10 Singles Invitational Matches
    (1) Abdullah Magdas
    First round: def. Patrick Brogan (ASU) - 6-2, 6-1
    Round of 16: def. Mikael Myrhed (ORE) - 6-3, 6-1
    Quarterfinals: vs. David Chu (WASH) - 11 a.m. Friday

    Jack Levis
    First round: def. Nicolai Horgen (CAL) - 5-7, 6-2, 6-4
    Round of 16: lost to David Chu (WASH) - 6-4, 6-4

    Daniel Gliner
    First round: def. Ravid Hazi (ARIZ) - 6-3, 6-3
    Round of 16: def. Jeffrey Zeller (STAN) - 7-5, 6-3
    Quarterfinals: vs. (4) Wes Miller (ASU) - 11 a.m. Friday

    (3) Jason McNaughton
    First round: lost to Tobi Obenaus (WASH) - 6-2, 7-6 (11)

    Andrew Piotrowski
    First round: def. John Nanosky (ASU) - 7-6 (3), 6-2
    Round of 16: def. Ahmed Ismail (UCLA) - 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
    Quarterfinals: vs. Bozhidar Katsarov (CAL) - 11 a.m. Friday