No. 3 Trojans Take Out No. 2 UCLA Again To Reach ITA Indoor Title Match
Feb. 16, 2014
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- The No. 3 USC men's tennis team replicated last year's big semifinal win over rival UCLA with today's 4-3 victory over the No. 2 Bruins in that same round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. This time in Houston, the Trojans reigned supreme with a tight but strong win to beat out the Bruins and score another spot in the tournament title match. Now 7-0 overall, USC will go up against Ohio State tomorrow in the championship bout at 12 p.m. CT in Houston, Texas.
Junior Yannick Hanfmann was the hero today, following up a powerful effort in doubles alongside teammate Ray Sarmiento for the clinching upset to take the doubles point with a spectacular finish in singles. It was Hanfmann's big win -- a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 upset of UCLA's #5 Marcos Giron -- that sealed the deal on the Trojan victory over their rivals to secure the trip to tomorrow's final.
The Trojans had first tacked up the doubles point on a one-two punch from courts one and three. At the No. 3 spot, USC's Johnson/de Vroome punched up a winner with a 6-4 victory over Bruins Brymer/Sell. The first point would be pocketed by the Trojans with #35 Hanfmann/Sarmiento's 6-4 upset of UCLA's #9 Giron/McDonald, and USC took that important 1-0 lift on into singles play.
There, Max de Vroome kept his momentum rolling with a swift 6-3, 6-0 dispatch of UCLA's Dennis Mkrtchian at the No. 5 spot, pumping USC to a 2-0 advantage. Roberto Quiroz then whipped up another straight-set drubbing from court three as he took out #71 Mackenzie McDonald by a score of 6-2, 6-3, and USC was poised for victory, up a solid 3-0.
The Bruins wouldn't topple too easily, though.On court six, UCLA registered its first point as Joseph Di Giulio managed a 6-2, 6-3 response for a win over Michael Grant to make it 3-1. At the No. 4 spot, #26 Gage Brymer followed suit and got it to 3-2 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over USC freshman Connor Farren. On court one, UCLA's top-ranked Clay Thompson was in a second-set tiebreaker in an attempt to wrap up the tying point against USC's #7 Ray Sarmiento. Thompson would pull off the win there, getting a 6-2, 6-5 (5) victory that tugged the Bruins even with the Trojans at 3-3. That put all eyes on court two, where USC's #16 Yannick Hanfmann was in a three-setter against UCLA's #5 Marcos Giron. Hanfmann worked ahead in the third and held on, honing in on the victorious clincher with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 finish of Giron to notch the 4-3 Trojan win that propels USC into the ITA National Team Indoor Championships title match for the third straight year.
ITA NATIONAL TEAM INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS (Houston, Texas)