University had the Southern Section Division II tennis title in its grasp Wednesday, but North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake took it back, winning its third consecutive title by defeating the Trojans, 10-8, at UC Irvine.
The second-seeded Trojans (19-4) led, 6-2, midway through the second round and held leads in two of the remaining singles sets, but the top-seeded Wolverines mounted a furious comeback, winning all three and breaking University's back.
Junior David Frankel, Harvard-Westlake's No. 2 singles' player, trailed freshman Henry Mak, 5-2, and was down three set points, when he won five straight games to put Mak away, 7-5.
"I wanted this all year," Frankel said. "We got off to a pretty bad start and I knew if I didn't win that set, we were going to lose."
Teammate Andrew Rosenfeld, a junior, followed suit, and after trailing Greg Biorkman, the Trojans' top singles player, 3-0, battled back to hand Biorkman his second loss of the day, 6-4.
Freshman Aaron Yovan was the only other hope in the round, taking the Wolverines' top player, Prakash Armitraj, to a tie-breaker, but Armitraj jumped out to a 3-0 lead and went on to win, 7-6 (7-3).
University held an 8-7 lead after the doubles play ended in the third round, and led on games. All the Trojans needed was one victory in singles to send the match into a tiebreaker, which they would have won.
"I talked to them before they began playing and let them know what needed to be done," second-year Wolverine Coach Marty Klein said. "I've counted on my singles all year and I knew they could do it again. They are my money-men."
But, Harvard-Westlake, feeding off the momentum of the second round, went on to sweep the Trojans in singles, losing only two games in the process.
"Our singles struggled in the last two rounds," said Josh Davis, who is retiring after 11 years of coaching the Trojans. "Our singles were our best part all season, but today they just really struggled."
Yovan and Mak picked up the only points in singles for University, early in the first round. Yovan defeated Frankel, 6-0, and Mak defeated Rosenfeld, 6-3. Biorkman finished, 4-6, 0-6, 4-6.
The Trojans won six of nine sets in doubles, led by Scott Morgan and Philip Osztermann, who swept, 6-1, 7-5, 6-2. Jeff Lawrence and Anson Hsu won two of three, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, and Steve Huang and Ed Lee finished, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3.