Jeff Belloli, a former Servite High standout, finished his collegiate tennis career Saturday when he and Chris Numbers of San Diego State lost a semifinal doubles match to second-seeded Chris Cocotos and Alex O'Brien of Stanford, 6-3, 6-3, in the NCAA men's tennis tournament at Athens, Ga.
A doubles title was guaranteed for Stanford when Vimal Patel and Jason Yee defeated Tony Bujan and Luis Ruette of Texas Christian, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) in the other semifinal.
All six of the remaining players from Southern California universities were eliminated Saturday.
David Ekerot and Andras Lanyi of USC lost, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, to Cocotos and O'Brien in the doubles quarterfinals.
Howard Joffe of Pepperdine lost a semifinal match to sixth-seeded Wade McGuire of Georgia, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, while second-seeded Jose Luis Noriega of the University of San Diego was upset by the third-seeded O'Brien, 6-0, 6-3.
Joffe, a junior from South Africa who is 36th on the Volvo Tennis/Collegiate Rankings, held a 3-2 lead in the final set before dropping four of the final five games.
"I feel like I didn't choke," Joffe said. "I made him play all the points to beat me in the final set."
Joffe and McGuire combined for 17 service breaks in 30 games. McGuire held serve only seven times, but two of those holds closed out the first and third sets.
"I don't think I've ever been involved in a match like that where nobody could hold serve," McGuire said. "He was closing in really tight. (Georgia Coach) Manuel (Diaz) told me to hit behind him and lob a lot. I thought I was returning well and passing about as well as I have all tournament on his serve. On my serve, he really pressured me. In the third set, after I got broken, I just told myself to relax and play it out."
If O'Brien wins in both singles and doubles, he will become the first to take both titles since John Whitlinger of Stanford in 1974.
The Cardinal is also trying to become the first men's team to capture the team, singles and doubles championships since the dual match format was instituted in 1977.