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#2 USC men's tennis is riding an 18-match winning streak into their Final Four battle with Georgia today thanks to the formula of Steve Johnson + the freshmen = Ws.

Emilio-Gomez-Serve.jpgWatch the Trojans national semifinal LIVE on the web at Noon pacific!

A team tennis match is a race to four points.  After they battle for one doubles' point, each of the six singles matches are valued equally.  So while #1 Steve Johnson is the star of stars, he counts the same as USC's #6 Peter Lucassen.

In search of a third straight national championship, head coach Peter Smith has leaned on Johnson to lead the charge and then freshmen #4 Ray Sarmiento (pictured below) and #5 Emilio Gomez (pictured right) to bring home the victory.

Johnson has won 27-straight matches overall and he usually banks his point quickly.  He has not dropped a set in over a month (April 19 vs. UC-Irvine).

While the neophytes sometimes make it more interesting, they are nearly as dependable.  Sarmiento has won 10-straight matches in team competition since returning from an early season wrist injury.

Gomez has filled the role of closer.  In the Pac-10 decider at UCLA, he rallied from a set down to win 6-4 in the third and secure the conference crown.

The trio has not lost a singles match in the last 10 team tests.  If they can keep that streak alive, the threesome will likely be celebrating a three-peat.   

Sarmiento-Serve.png(Photos courtesy of Pac-10 and Daily Trojan)


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