No. 1 USC Men Beat Out Boise State 6-1
March 26, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The top-ranked USC men's tennis team will heave a perfect 19-0 record into the coming Pac-12 play thanks to today's 6-1 win over No. 42 Boise State at Marks Stadium. The Trojans took their overall win streak out to 39 in a row with the nonconference victory, in which USC was forced to fight through several tough tests on both the doubles and singles courts. A tight doubles point gave way to a series of solid singles wins, however, with #24 Ray Sarmiento icing the win with a 6-1, 6-2 victory on court two.
Doubles play was a tight affair on courts two and three. At the No. 1 spot, USC's Steve Johnson and Roberto Qurioz took an early lead and held strong for an 8-4 win over Meredith/Sereke for an early Trojan advantage, but things weren't so certain in the other two matches. In a back-and-forth battle at the No. 3 position, USC's Emilio Gomez / Yannick Hanfmann finally managed a late break of Bettles/Pogostkiv to set up a service hold from Hanfmann that wrapped up the doubles point for USC on an 8-6 win. That left a rager at court two, where USC's #21 team of Daniel Nguyen and Ray Sarmiento had to fight off match point to stay in it for a deciding tiebreaker. Sarmiento was able to hold serve to fight back to 8-8, and in the ensuing tiebreak the Trojan duo was able to jump to a 4-0 lead before finishing off the win with a 9-8 (4) decision over Hume/Sears.
Duly boosted by that gutsy doubles win, Daniel Nguyen took a strong lead in his No. 1 singles match with Boise State's #48 James Meredith. But it would be freshman Roberto Quiroz who would end up outpacing Nguyen to the finish line for the first singles win of the day. Quiroz topped Nathan Sereke 6-1, 6-4 on court four to make it 2-0, and then Nguyen wrapped up Meredith 6-2, 6-1 at the top spot for the senior's 10th straight singles victory. Coming through with the clincher was sophomore Ray Sarmiento, who dispatched #55 Damian Hume -- his opponent on the doubles courts as well -- with a 6-1, 6-2 decision that secure a 4-0 lead and the victory for the Trojans.
With USC's 39th straight win in the books, it was Boise State's time to bite back. On court six, Scott Sears edged out Jordi Vives in a 10-point tiebreaker to claim a 6-1, 3-6, 1-0 (10-7) win that made it 4-1. #30 Yannick Hanfmann had his hands full on court three with Boise State's Andy Bettles, with Bettles snagging the first set and putting up a stiff fight in the second. Hanfmann managed to force the issue by taking the second in a tiebreak, and then had to fight off match point to Bettles in the ensuing 10-point tiebreaker to sneak away with the win on a 4-6, 7-6 (4), 1-0 (11-9) victory that made it 5-1 Trojans. The last match to wrap up was actually a straight-set affair, as USC freshman Eric Johnson finally pulled away from Filipp Pogostkin with a late break and hold to win his No. 5 match 7-5, 6-4.
The Trojans now turn to Pac-12 play later this week with a road trip to Oregon and Washington. USC will visit Washington first for a 1:30 p.m. match on Friday (March 30) in Seattle before heading to Eugene to take on the Ducks at 11 a.m. on Saturday (March 31).
#1 USC 6, #42 Boise State 1