No. 2 USC Men Score First Win Over Seminoles
Jan. 26, 2011
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 2 USC men's tennis team took on a new opponent on Wednesday afternoon at Marks Stadium, and forced its way to a 6-1 win over No. 27 Florida State to take a 3-0 start to the 2011 season. The Trojans followed the doubles point with a run in singles, although several matches stretched into the third set. USC has two more matches on tap this week as host of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Marks Stadium on Friday and Saturday.
In today's clash with the Seminoles, USc's powerful double pairing of Jaak Poldma and JT Sundling started the day with an 8-4 win at the No. 3 spot to get the ball rolling. Steve Johnson and Ray Sarmiento stumbled at the No. 1 position to Mirzadeh/Smith with an 8-6 loss that led Johnson to bow out of the singles lineup due to illness. With the doubles point in the balance, the Trojans took control at the No. 2 slot with Emilio Gomez and Daniel Nguyen's 8-4 win to get USC ahead 1-0 in the match.
Ray Sarmiento and Jaak Poldma made short work of their respective opponents to power up the Trojans, although the Seminoles snagged first-set wins on the other four courts. At No. 3 singles, Sarmiento took down Connor Smith 6-1, 6-2 to make it a 2-0 USC advantage, and Jaak Poldma finished soon after with a 6-3, 6-3 effort over FSU's #37 Clint Bowles at the No. 2 position. Up 3-0, it took some time before USC was in position to clinch the match. Florida State's efforts on the remaining courts hinted at a long match ahead if the Trojans were to pull it out, but JT Sundling was the first to turn the tide. After dropping the first set, Sundling cruised in the next two sets to beat Andres Bucaro 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 6 position for the clincher.
Two Trojan freshman made a similar turnaround in their matches, as newcomer Emilio Gomez bounced back with a powerful shove past Blake Davis at No. 4 to win 5-7, 6-1, 6-0 and make it 5-0 USC. Michael Grant did the same, shrugging off his loss in the first-set tiebreaker to beat Anderson Reed 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-2 on court five. That left #18 Daniel Nguyen still in battle with #42 Vahid Mirzadeh on court one. Nguyen had fallen behind 4-0 in the first set before pushing back, but fell in the first during the tiebreak. The junior took the second set, but was edged out in the 10-point tiebreak to decide the match as the Seminoles claimed their lone point of the match with a 7-6 (5), 5-7, 1-0 (10-7) win for Mirzadeh at the No. 1 position.
ITA Kick-Off Weekend begins Friday (Jan. 28) at USC. Indiana and BYU face first in a 10 a.m. match, with USC taking on San Diego State at 1 p.m. Saturday's consolation match will be held at 10 a.m. followed by the championship match at 1 p.m.
#2 USC 6, #27 Florida State 1