No. 5 USC Men Double Up With Wins|
March 9, 2014
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- USC's fifth-ranked men's tennis team picked up two more wins in a doubleheader today against No. 12 Baylor and UC Riverside to move to 14-2 on the season.
The Trojans started off the day with a 5-2 talented Baylor squad. The Bears (8-4) came out of the games strong when Diego Galeano and Tony Lupieri took down down USC's Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson on court two in a resounding 8-1 victory.
"I felt today was a signature win for us - a defining 2014 season win," USC head coach Peter Smith said. "Our backs were against the wall and we fought and fought and fought to get the win against a very good Baylor team. To have Eric, Ray and Yannick all come back from a set down to win their matches says a lot about our heart. We are looking forward to a very good Notre Dame team on Friday."
This left all eyes on court three, where USC's Roberto Quiroz and Rob Bellamy were battling it out with Baylor's Michel Dornbusch and Julian Lenz. It was the first time these Trojans had played together this season, as Quiroz's usual partner, Connor Farren was out with a foot injury. Dornbusch and Lenz took the match 8-6 and the Trojans headed into singles play down 1-0.
The Bears quickly extended their lead to 2-0 when Lupieri defeated USC's #43 Jonny Wang, 6-1, 6-1. It was the last match the Trojans would drop all day, though, as they came roaring back with five straight wins.
USC's #80 Quiroz served up an easy 6-1, 6-2 win over Zsiga to pull USC within one point. Then, de Vroome topped #18 Galeano, 6-3, 6-3 to tie the match up.
With the score tied, all three remaining matches would go to three sets.
On court six, Johnson dropped the first set but flexed his muscle in the next two sets, pulling off a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Dornbusch to give USC its first lead of the day.
With the Trojans up 3-2, the fate of the match was left up to the players on the top two courts. On court one, USC's Sarmiento and Baylor's Lenz, who are tied for #6 in the nation, duked it out. Sarmiento dropped the first set, but was able to make a comeback in the second, pulling off a tiebreak victory. After that, he didn't look back, charging ahead to a 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-0 win to clinch the match for the Trojans.
USC's #10 Hanfmann was left playing the closest match of the day, eventually dialing up a 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory over a fellow German in Baylor's #13 Pradella.
This capped off a 5-2 Trojan victory, which took four and a half hours -- but USC's day was only halfway over, as the team had to get right back on the court to host the UC Riverside Highlanders.
That match would prove much easier for the Trojans, who came out on top with a 7-0 win. USC rested some of its starters, but still got the job done in doubles.
Johnson and de Vroome moved up to court two and delivered an 8-2 win over UCR's Marcus Vizcarra and Jack Felich to get the Trojans off on the right foot. Quiroz and Bellamy clinched the doubles point for USC with an 8-3 victory over UCR's Michael Carella and Cooper Bridge on court one.
All six Trojan singles players served up straight-set victories to earn USC its second win of the day.
Quiroz maintained his momentum throughout the day, defeating UCR's Luis Gaståo, 6-2, 6-0 on court one to increase USC's lead to 2-0. Not long after that, Michael Grant put up a 6-2, 6-1 score against UCR's Sean Yun on court four.
De Vroome clinched the match for the Trojans with a dominant 6-2, 6-0 win over UCR's Cooper Bridge next on court two.
Even after the match was clinched, the Trojans refused to let up. Wang defeated UCR's Felich, 6-1, 6-2, before Nick Crystal won 6-2, 6-3 over UCR's Carella in his dual-match singles debut at Marks Stadium.
Bellamy took it home for USC with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over UCR's Vizcarra to end the Trojans' long day.
Next up for USC is another double-header at Marks Stadium. The Trojans will host #9 Notre Dame and Hawai'i on Friday, March 14, beginning at noon.
#5 USC 5, #12 Baylor 2
#5 USC 7, UC Riverside 0