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Men's Tennis

Jesse Kiuru earned a huge win at No. 1 singles on Sunday.
Jesse Kiuru earned a huge win at No. 1 singles on Sunday.
MTEN | Kiuru Earns Big Win But Gaels Fall To No. 3 UCLA
Release: Wednesday 02/24/2013 
by SMC Athletics

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- No. 3-ranked UCLA walked away with a 6-1 match victory but the Saint Mary's men's tennis team didn't leave Los Angeles empty handed after Jesse Kiuru earned a huge win at No. 1 singles for the Gaels.

Saint Mary's (4-5) did not shy from a match against one of the nation's top teams, fighting for points and making the Bruins (11-1) work. 

The fight showed especially at No. 6 singles, where Thomas Hunt took Ryoto Tachi to three sets before Tachi was able to pull out a victory with a 10-5 win in the third. 

Tuomas Manner also battled for the Gaels at No. 3 singles, dropping a 6-3, 7-5 decision to No. 55-ranked Dennis Mkrtchian.

But the highlight of the day was reserved for the top of the lineup. Kiuru found himself across from No. 58 Dennis Novikov, a player who made the second round of the U.S. Open last season.

Unfazed, Kiuru went to work. He won the first set 6-3, then followed that up with an equally impressive 6-3 win in the second to take the match in perhaps his finest victory of the spring season so far.

UCLA swept all three doubles matches to earn the first point of the day.

Saint Mary's gets back on the court Friday at 3 p.m. when it hosts Santa Clara in the Gaels' West Coast Conference opener. UC Irvine visits on Saturday for a non-conference match set to begin at noon.