No. 6 USC Men Bite Back For 6-1 Win Over Huskies|
March 27, 2015
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 6 USC men's tennis team constructed a singles surge to victory after dropping the doubles point in today's Pac-12 clash with visiting No. 56 Washington. The Trojans dipped in doubles but regrouped with a string of six strong singles wins to wrap up the 6-1 comeback victory over the Huskies and notch USC's first Pac-12 win of the year. The Trojans are now 15-3 overall as they take a 1-0 start to conference play.
Things started out on a winning note for the Trojans when senior duo Eric Johnson and Jonny Wang teamed up at No. 2 doubles for a victory to open the action at Marks Stadium. Washington would work its way back into the picture, though, when Huskies Egger/Hawke snagged a late break of USC's #3 senior pair Hanfmann/Quiroz to secure the upset with a 6-4 win on court one. On court three, USC's de Vroome/Forget pairing was locked up 4-4 with Washington's Douglas/Watanabe when their match was set as the clincher. Again, the Huskies would manage a late break to steal the victory and pick up the doubles point on a 7-5 decision. That had the hosts down 1-0 going into singles play, where the Trojans would have to find a way to regain their focus.
On court two, #114 Eric Johnson started the Trojans on a comeback path when he whipped up a 6-3, 6-2 win over Jake Douglas, recording the senior's 12th consecutive singles win. Soon after, #19 Roberto Quiroz delivered a smooth 6-2, 6-2 win over Gal Hakak on court three to lift USC into a 2-1 lead for an important boost. On court one, #9 Yannick Hanfmann had kicked things into gear after a tight first set against #89 Mitch Stewart, and he'd roll up a 3-1 lead for the Trojans with his 7-5, 6-2 victory at the top of the lineup.
After stumbling in his first set on court five, #35 Jonny Wang got his feet back underneath him and was a man on a mission the rest of the way. The senior would register the clinching victory in his three-set comeback, finishing off Joao Barra with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 win that tacked that crucial fourth point on the board for the Trojans. The teams would play out the remaining matches, which were rolling into extra time as well. At the No. 4 spot, #66 Max de Vroome showed his resolve in tiebreakers. He'd pull off the first set tiebreaker before taking a loss in the second set, moving into a 10-point tiebreaker to decide it all. De Vroome and opponent Emmett Egger would draw even several times, including a 6-6 tie-up that prompted de Vroome to make a move. The junior edged ahead and once he got to match point he'd lock down the win for a final 7-6 (6), 5-7, 1-0 (10-7) victory that turned all eyes onto court six. There, USC sophomore Rob Bellamy had lost some steam in his second set against Washington's Jeff Hawke, and things were starting to slip away in the third, too. All of a sudden, Bellamy buckled back down, turning a 1-4 deficit in the third set into a run of five straight games won to put the finishing touches on victory. Bellamy's 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 win iced the 6-1 dual-match victory for the Trojans and wrapped the day's action at Marks Stadium.
USC will now turn to host No. 51 Oregon tomorrow (March 28) at 12 p.m. at Marks Stadium in another Pac-12 contest.
#6 USC 6, #56 Washington 1