As The Nation's New No. 1 Team, USC Men Silence San Diego State 7-0|
March 25, 2014
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC men's tennis team took over as the nation's top-ranked team midway through today's tangle with San Diego State. The national rankings posted somewhere between the close of doubles and the start of singles play at Marks Stadium, with USC bumping from its previous hold at No. 4 up to No. 1 in the land. It's the first time the Trojans have reigned supreme at the top spot since the close of the 2012 season, when USC finished off its fourth consecutive national championship run.
However, only USC head coach Peter Smith was privy to the new rankings during today's bout with the No. 75 Aztecs. And still, the Trojans carried themselves like champions down the line for a 7-0 sweep of visiting San Diego State. The win was the Trojans' ninth straight, and bumped their 2014 tally to an 18-2 overall record as their now set up for their first Pac-12 matches of the year. USC will visit Oregon and Washington later this week for conference competition.
"I love our pride on every court," USC head coach Peter Smith said. "They fight hard every day. This team has a high degree of competitiveness, and the depth of the team pushes all of them to be better."
In today's matchup against No. 75 San Diego State, the Trojans were locked in from the start. At the top spot in doubles, Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson clocked in with a speedy 8-2 win over Aztecs Khachatryan/Nicholas. Coming through with the first point of the match was Nick Crystal and Roberto Quiroz, who beat out their teammates on court three and pinned up the clincher with an 8-5 decision over Gelbrich/Jebens at the No. 2 spot.
The teams swung into singles play from there, with USC dominating to the tune of straight-set wins on all courts but No. 2. At that spot, USC's #100 sophomore Max de Vroome made up for lost ground in the second set by pummeling his opponent Hunter Nicholas in the tiebreaker, wrapping his match and the day's action with a 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (10-2) win highlighted by booming play from the service line during the breaker.
The Trojans' singles steamroll had begun on court six, where freshman Rob Bellamy drummed up a quick 6-1, 6-1 win over Andranik Khachatryan for a lift to a 2-0 lead for USC. That marked the freshman's seventh straight since victory. Michael Grant took care of business at the No. 4 spot next on a swift 6-0, 6-2 takedown of Milen Ianakiev to make it 3-0. The deciding blow was dealt by #56 junior Roberto Quiroz, who buckled in for a 6-2, 6-2 victory -- his eighth in a row -- over Thorsten Bertsch on court one to net the 4-0 lead for the Trojans.
Next in line with a straight-set win for USC was junior Eric Johnson, whose 6-1, 7-5 win over Freddy Gelbrich got USC up 5-0 from court three. At the No. 5 spot, #44 Jonny Wang rang up a 6-2, 6-3 win, coming back form down a break in the second set to beat Juan Florez and boost USC to the 6-0 advantage that set up de Vroome for his finishing touches in a tiebreaker to wrap the day's action at Marks Stadium.
USC's coming road trip will take the Trojans to Oregon for a 1:30 match on Friday (March 28) and then to Washington to face the Huskies at 1 p.m. on Saturday (March 29).
#1 USC 7, #75 San Diego State 0