Men’s tennis falls to No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus

first_img“[Bulis and Smith did an] exceptional job, [we are] very proud of them,” Masi said. “Unfortunately, we just came up short.” USC turns its focus to Tuesday’s match against Wisconsin in Madison, Wis., and the ITA National Team Indoor Tournament, also set in Madison, Friday through Monday. The No. 1 USC men’s tennis team traveled to Columbus, Ohio to take on No. 2 Ohio State Sunday, falling 4-2 to the Buckeyes in a tightly contested matchup. The Buckeyes started off strong, winning two of their three doubles matches against USC. Ohio State’s partnership of No. 70 sophomore James Trotter and freshman Justin Boulais narrowly beat the team of Bulis and Holt 7-6 in a tiebreaker. Additionally, No. 31 redshirt senior Kyle Seelig and No. 22 freshman Cannon Kingsley also beat the Trojans’ pair of Dostanic and Frye, 6-4.  Masi attributed some of the issues the Trojans faced in Columbus to the fact that the matches were played indoors. USC has tended to play better on outdoor courts like those at David X. Marks Tennis Stadium, the Trojans’ home courts.  Down 0-1, the Trojans tried to bounce back in singles play with Cukierman set to face off against Kingsley. However, the nation’s top player was upset by the freshman Buckeye, losing in straight sets 6-4 and 6-2. Building off the surprising win, No. 19 junior John McNally defeated Holt in 6-3 and 6-4 sets. It was Holt’s first loss of the season as the senior entered the weekend at 11-0 in doubles play and 7-0 in singles play on the season. Smith kept the Trojans alive by knocking off Seelig in a tough match, winning 3-6, 6-1 and 6-4. Masi also praised Smith for his work against the ranked opponent. “Riley obviously coming back from a set behind … winning in three sets — that was awesome,” Masi said. However, the Trojans’ comeback attempt fell short there. Dostanic fell to Trotter 6-4, 6-7 (4) and 6-2 win to put USC away. Senior Riley Smith was one of two Trojans to win their match at Ohio State. Smith defeated Ohio State redshirt senior Kyle Seelig. (Daily Trojan file photo) USC brought their top players to the contest: No. 1 junior Daniel Cukierman, No. 15 sophomore Mor Bulis, No. 24 senior Brandon Holt, No. 33 senior Riley Smith, No. 65 freshman Stefan Dostanic, No. 69 freshman Ryder Jackson and sophomore Bradley Frye.  Ohio State was coming off a big win against then-No.1 Texas Feb. 1 and now looked to challenge the Trojans on their home courts.  However, USC fought back. First, Bulis was able to win easily against Boulais in two straight 6-2 sets. Head coach Brett Masi applauded Bulis’ impressive performance.  Despite the disappointing outcome and USC likely losing its top seed, Masi had some positive takeaways from the weekend. Overall, he was impressed by both Bulis and Smith and their contributions to the team effort. “They struggled with the [climate] elements — I think everybody did,” Masi said about the indoor setting. “It is just getting used to the elements of playing in different environments. Like indoors, as opposed to playing outdoors, is just a different type of tennis, and [we] got to get acclimated to it.” “Mor did a really good job in his singles match,” Masi said. “[He] played a great match, beating [Boulais], two in two [sets].”  last_img read more

Bullish Wenger faces up to biggest 12 days of his career

first_imgShare on Facebook This article is more than 11 years old Share on Twitter This article is more than 11 years old Share via Email Share on Facebook Arsenal First published on Tue 1 Apr 2008 20.35 EDT Arsène Wenger hasn’t lost a home game against Liverpool since 2000. Photograph: Tony O’Brien/Action Images Share on Pinterest Reuse this content Share via Email Dominic Fifield Share on WhatsAppcenter_img @domfifield Share on Twitter Tue 1 Apr 2008 20.35 EDT Topics Bullish Wenger faces up to biggest 12 days of his career Arsène Wenger confronted the first of four games which could define Arsenal’s season last night by admitting that the next 12 days represented the greatest challenge of his managerial career to date, his side’s campaign having reached “the moment of truth”.Arsenal welcome Liverpool to the Emirates this evening for the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final, with a league meeting between the sides to come on Saturday. Tuesday’s second leg will be followed by what may prove to be a crucial Premiership trip to Manchester United, on April 13, and Wenger insisted his team could emerge from an awkward dip in form to claim the season’s two most significant trophies.”Going into March and April, if you’ve done well in the season up to then it’s the moment of truth,” said the manager. “You work the whole year for that. This will be the highest challenge for me in my career. The next 12 days will define our season because I strongly believe that we are still in the championship race. Our next two league games are Liverpool and United to go with the two Champions League games, so this next period is vital.”I still think about the European Cup final against Barcelona [in 2006], and I’m not the only one. I think Thierry Henry is still replaying the two chances he had in his mind too. But let’s make it happen this year. It is the last great objective for me. We’re still in it, a cup among the top of the top in Europe, the cream of the cream.”We know Liverpool have a great record in this competition but, on the day, it’ll be about producing a performance. If we do – and I’m convinced we will – we can beat Liverpool, Milan or anybody in the world.”Wenger has been watching videos of the defeat by Barcelona in recent days, reliving the frustration of that evening in Paris when two goals were shipped in the last 14 minutes, and admits he is still “haunted” by the defeat. The French manager hopes there will be a first European Cup in May to add to the four FA Cups and three league titles that his career in north London has yielded to date, but he will be all too conscious of the disappointment he endured in a tightly packed period a little over a year ago. Then his side were jettisoned from the FA Cup and Champions League within 12 days of losing the Carling Cup, but there is a conviction that lessons have since been learned.”I want my team to play without any restrictions in these games, with no fear,” he said. “Just with the belief that we are a great side and we can achieve what we want. The way we play our football gives me confidence. I believe in my team, in the way we play the game and in our quality.”You have to keep the strengths of the other team quiet and, at the moment, the people who are finishing the most in Liverpool’s team are Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres through the middle.”These are two teams who have no excuse to be low on confidence – we are in a stronger position now than we were before the Bolton game – and this will be an outstanding game to watch.”Mathieu Flamini will be retained in central midfield, Wenger having received a call from Juventus assuring him that the Italian club are not attempting to sign the France international on a pre-contract agreement. Progress in talks about a new deal at the Emirates remains sluggish. Wenger will hope that the 24-year-old can be persuaded to remain at a club who still aspire to regaining the Premiership title.”We believe we can still win the championship,” added Arsenal’s manager.”You think I’ve been fighting since the first day of the season in the championship to finish second? I want to finish first. I feel that, recently, we’ve been very, very unlucky.”After that victory against Bolton we’ll give absolutely everything to come back in the race. What I have learned is that when our backs are to the wall we have extraordinary resources.”We have the belief and the desire to win the Champions League. Don’t count on us to give up now after all we’ve gone through since the first game of the season and with all the bad luck we’ve had in the last few games.”Manchester United have six games to go and four of them are away from home. They must play against us and at Chelsea as well. It will also depend upon how committed teams are to play in every game. Some teams don’t have a lot to go for – you could see that in Aston Villa, for example [last Saturday].”Manchester United have the advantage, but they have a difficult schedule as well. It depends now on the last six games. But, for now, it is about the Champions League. We are on the train, and we want to stay on it.” Share on Messenger Soccer Soccer news Shares00 Share on LinkedInlast_img read more