No. 4 USC Men Top No. 8 Notre Dame And Hawai'i
March 14, 2014
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 4 USC men's tennis team notched two more wins today in a doubleheader matchup against Notre Dame and Hawai'i. The No. 4 Trojans (15-2) swept the No. 8 Fighting Irish (11-5) and the Rainbow Warriors (1-6), only dropping one set all day.
Both the Trojans and the Fighting Irish brought their energy into the top-10 matchup, creating an intense environment in doubles to start the busy day at Marks Stadium.
"Great day to be a Trojan," USC head coach Peter Smith said. "Top to bottom, we came to play. We squeaked through a tight doubles point and then played great singles."
USC's eighth-ranked duo of Ray Sarmiento and Yannick Hanfmann battled it out against Notre Dame's 28th-ranked Alex Lawson and Greg Andrews on court one, pulling off an 8-5 victory to get the ball rolling for the Trojans. Hanfmann and Sarmiento moved to 8-1 on the season with the win. USC's Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson followed suit, topping Notre Dame's Billy Pecor and Josh Hagar, 8-6, in a hard-fought match. This suspended play on court three, where USC's Roberto Quiroz and Rob Bellamy were all tied up with Notre Dame's Eddy Covalschi and Quentin Monaghan.
The Trojans headed into singles play with a 1-0 lead over the Irish and rattled off a couple quick wins. On court five, USC's Johnson burst out of the gates with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Notre Dame's Wyatt McCoy. Not long after, Johnson's doubles partner, de Vroome, topped Notre Dame's Covalschi, 6-2, 6-3, to put the Trojans up 3-0. Quiroz was the clincher for USC, dialing up a 6-2, 6-3 score over Notre Dame's Ryan Bandy to increase the Trojans' lead to 4-0. This took the pressure off of the remaining three Trojans, but they still all came up with victories. Hanfmann defeated Notre Dame's Quentin Monaghan by a close 6-4, 7-5 score before USC's Michael Grant beat Pecor, 6-1, 6-4.
That left all eyes on court one, where Sarmiento was locked in combat with the Irish's only ranked singles player. Sarmiento posted a 7-5, 6-3 win over Notre Dame's Greg Andrews to end the match and earn the Trojans their first victory of the day. But USC's day was only halfway done, as the Trojans got back out on the court to take on the Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors not long after.
The coaches opted to skip doubles play in the match, so the singles action began immediately. Once again, the Trojans picked up two quick victories to take an early lead. On court three, USC's Jonny Wang saw his first action of the day, and made good use of it, pummeling Hawai'i's Chas Okamoto, 6-0, 6-1. On court two, USC's Johnson posted another impressive win, defeating Hawai'i's Danilo Casanova, 6-2, 6-1. Next, freshman Nick Crystal added another win to his young career, beating Hawai'i's Pavel Liska, 6-1, 6-2.
With the Trojans up 3-0, Bellamy clinched the match and the second victory of the day for USC, putting up a 6-1, 7-5 over Hawai'i's Carter Lam. USC's Grant increased the Trojans' lead to 5-0 with an easy 6-1, 6-3 victory over Hawai'i's David Schuster. Quiroz was the last man standing, and his match against Hawai'i's Jonathan Brooklyn was just getting interesting. After taking the first set, 6-1, Quiroz' fatigue began to show and Brooklyn began to gain momentum. Brooklyn would take the second set in a tiebreaker, leading to a tiebreak to determine the winner of the match. Quiroz and Brooklyn traded points until the Trojan took control and eventually won 6-1, 6-7 (4), 10-7 to bring an end to USC's long day.
The Trojans will follow up these wins by heading out to take on No. 45 Alabama and No. 54 Ole Miss next week.
#4 USC 7, #8 Notre Dame 0
#4 USC 6, Hawai'i 0