USC Snaps Host Georgia 4-2
March 19, 2010
FOR RELEASE MARCH 19 ATHENS, GA. - The No. 3 USC men's tennis team picked up a big road win on Friday afternoon, topping No. 6 Georgia on the Bulldogs' home courts. The Trojans' 4-2 win over Georgia snapped a 71-match home win streak held by the Bulldogs. USC picked up the doubles point for an early advantage and warded off UGA comeback hopes as Daniel Nguyen and Steve Johnson got straight-set singles wins before Robert Farah staged a comeback to win in three and clinch victory for the Trojans. USC improves to 14-2 overall with today's victory, while Georgia goes to 12-3.
"It was a great atmosphere and wonderful to get the win in that kind of environment," USC head coach Peter Smith said. "It was great to see our character shine through in the key moments in the match."
After a tough loss two days ago, USC regrouped and snagged that all-important doubles point for an early advantage in the match. USC's #14 Farah/Johnson rolled past #39 Hunt/Schnugg at the top doubles slot with an 8-2 win for the first step forward. At No. 3, Georgia's Seal/Vitulli made things interesting with an 8-2 win over USC's Poldma/Sundling, but the Trojans clinched the point from court two. There, McNaughton/Nguyen exacted an 8-5 win over Bernstein/Garrapiz to push USC ahead 1-0 in the match.
Georgia evened the score with a win at the No. 4 singles position as Drake Bernstein beat #84 Peter Lucassen 6-0, 6-4. On court two, Robert Farah slipped in a first-set tiebreaker but got up a break early in the second set. Meanwhile, Jason McNaughton at the No. 6 slot had forced his way into a third set while Trojan teammates Daniel Nguyen and Steve Johnson were both within reach of wins in their respective matches, each up a break and looking for another break to win. Both Bulldogs held serve to stretch out their matches, only to have Nguyen step to the line and pound out a 6-3, 6-3 win over Bo Seal to put USC ahead 2-1 in the match. Johnson served up a similarly strong hold to win his match 6-3, 6-4 and put the Trojans within clinching distance, up 3-1.
Farah continued to roll in his second set, dominating play to jump ahead 5-0 and claim the set 6-1, forcing a trip to a third set for the Trojan senior. Farah would remain strong in the third as he picked up the match-clinching win with a 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-3 comeback. Farah's win countered a three-set Bulldog win on court six, as McNaughton fell 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to Christian Vitulli. The last match raging was on court three, as #72 Jaak Poldma was also making a comeback push in a third set. With the match decided, Poldma's competition was suspended with the junior locked 2-2 in the third.
"Robert played hurt the whole match," Smith said of Farah's impressive comeback effort. "For Rob to do what he did while hurt really shows his spirit and what a leader he is."
#3 USC vs. #6 Georgia