And the Bruins fall to the Trojans, 2-5 at USC [POST-MATCH RECAP]

Dear Bruin fans out there,

Well, the wind did not blow in our favor–metaphorically speaking, of course. We lost a tough one to USC today and no doubt we are all disappointed with the outcome. Truthfully, it was one of those very odd matches that go exactly as they start out; for example, in singles, Daniel, Clay, and Max were losing and Adrien, Amit, and Holden were winning. And really, it was that simple, folks. Every result (with the exception of Adrien, who I’m confident would have won if the match had not already been clinched) was relatively one sided…I’ve never seen so little third setters/close sets in a UCLA-USC match in my life! Really, for all the dramatic finishes and matches over my now four years, this is by the quickest and most straightforward.

Truthfully, three guys played well and three guys did not play well, admittedly, and it came down to the doubles point where we fell just a bit short. Rarely do I reflect back on doubles, but it is appropriate this time; we came out with so much energy–quite possibly the best start of the season. The first 15-20 minutes or so, the guys were competing well and from the crowd, I would have thought we were at home! However, the matches got tight and it seemed that USC was just able to apply a little bit more pressure to us at the right time and took each match. And with singles splitting so evenly, the doubles point did us in.

Again, from a logical standpoint of reflecting from the match, just odd how every match was so decisive (again, I’m excluding Adrien), which is opposite of how college tennis and especially this rivalry tends to work out! A few good matchups for us and few bad ones, and the deciding factor was the doubles that, ironically, we started the best all year and ultimately lost when we got ahead. I think, no doubt, our doubles needs to improve but I’m confident that the guys will keep working–especially, they have all weekend at the La Jolla Doubles Tournament in San Diego to really focus on and hone in on a few things.

Emotionally, well, it hurts–if it doesn’t hurt, at least a little, then you should not be playing sports! You play this game to invest yourself emotionally into these situations and sometimes they don’t go your way. Losing is always rough for competitors like these guys and to lose against our arch rival makes it even worse. No doubt. So admittedly, I think it is safe to say–myself included–that we are disappointed in the loss, aided by the fact it is against USC. We felt good that we would bounce back from our previous loss against Cal and we did in terms of our competitive spirit and fight. So from that point, it was a positive…just unfortunately, we could not pull away with the win.

However, you have to give credit where credit is due; USC capitalized in the doubles and won in singles where they needed to. I think both teams had opportunities–albeit some slimmer than others–but the Trojans did the most to them so hats off their team and coaches for a well-deserved win. And after that, we have to move on. The good thing is, is that it is not going to count for the Pac-10 Conference matches, so we will play them again at our place for the conference standings. I had the privilege of speaking with Clay Thompson after the match and while he was of course bummed from the result–the guy is the ultimate competitor–this loss just makes him and all of us more hungry when we go out and play them in another month or so.

The team will relax, recharge, and play some doubles this weekend at La Jolla. I will not be going, unfortunately, as I have a lot of homework and studying to do–but I have been before and it is a great “re-charger” in the middle of our season. After this loss, it is good to reflect a bit; we have have some great wins and now some disappointing losses. From here on it, the intensity and the value of each match increases. Pac-10 conference play will begin, the NCAA tournament will be on the horizon, and from here on out, things get tougher. I’m confident that this team will bounce back. We showed fire today and unfortunately, came up a bit short.

Coming from experience, I told Clay that “it is ok to beat yourself up over the match–but only for a little bit and only for tonight.” Because while emotional investment is good–and important to success and personal growth–it is also important to know that it is only one match and one loss and neither of those things make a season. Our ultimate goals of a Pac-10 Championship and a NCAA Championship are not affected by what transpired today so it is imperative that we keep working hard, add this to fuel our fire, and jump out of bed tomorrow like the loss never happened. We must move on because there is too much at stake and too much potential in this team. My faith has not wavered!!! Not with this team, and not with these guys. Never.

Thanks everyone who made the trek out to USC–it was so wonderful seeing and hearing some blue! And for those who did not and followed the Twitter/blog, thanks for your support, as well! I received word (thank you for letting me know!) that the USC scoreboard was not working, so hopefully we were able to keep you in the loop as much as possible. (I obviously have no control/knowledge of what is going on at USC in terms of their scores/stats, etc.) Until later UCLA fans, forever and always, GO BRUINS!!!!!!!

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One Comment on “And the Bruins fall to the Trojans, 2-5 at USC [POST-MATCH RECAP]”

  1. Ramona Brigham Says:

    Well said Barry, now go and take care of those papers! hahahahaha

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