No. 3 USC Men Fend Off No. 12 Pepperdine 4-2
March 8, 2013
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 3 USC men's tennis team outlasted the elements and captured a 4-2 win over visiting No. 12 Pepperdine today. The Trojans and the Waves opted out of doubles and settled in for singles-only competition in order to get the match in under cloudy skies. USC improves to 14-2 with today's win over Pepperdine.
The Trojans trailed the Waves out of the gates when USC freshman Max de Vroome was upended in straight sets on court six by David Sofaer. USC sophomore Yannick Hanfmann had a quick response, however. The #63 Hanfmann delivered a swift 6-4, 6-4 win over Pepperdine's #73 Alex Sarkissian to pull the match even at 1-1. That was the lift that USC needed. In a tangle of top-10 players, USC's #4 junior Emilio Gomez pinned up a solid 6-3, 6-4 win over Pepperdine's #7 Sebastian Fanselow, and USC was up 2-1 on the Waves.
On court five, meanwhile, USC's #51 sophomore Eric Johnson was waking up after a loss in his first set. He'd get to work on a comeback trail, while #14 junior Ray Sarmiento was fending off Pepperdine's #83 Finn Tearney on court two. Sarmiento stuck to his guns and dug in for his third set when Tearney forced the issue by taking the second. Sarmiento's 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over Tearney pulled USC to a 3-1 advantage. Johnson had punched back with a 6-1 win in the second set to bring up a third. There, Johnson followed Sarmiento's lead and kept digging, hauling in the clincher on a gutsy 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 comeback win over Pepperdine's Mousheg Hovhannisyan to make it a Trojan victory. The last match of the day went the way of the Waves to round it out as a 4-2 decision. On court three, Pepperdine's #87 Francis Alcantara eked out a win on a third-set tiebreaker over USC's #27 sophomore Roberto Quiroz in a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) comeback to wrap up the day's action.
USC now takes a week off, returning to action on March 18 with a trip to Illinois to scope out the site of the coming NCAA Championships. The Trojans face the Fighting Illini at 3 p.m. CT on March 18 before heading to Notre Dame to face the Fighting Irish at 4 p.m. ET on March 20.
#3 USC 4, #12 Pepperdine 2