No. 6 USC Men Beat U.S. Juniors In Exhibition Play
March 31, 2009
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - In an exhibition match at USC's Marks Stadium, the No. 6 USC men's tennis team pulled off a 4-3 win over the U.S. National Junior Team, topping the squad that claimed the Junior Davis Cup last year. The exhibition match did not count toward the Trojans' 2009 record on the year, but provided valuable competition for USC's doubles and singles lineup as they continue in pursuit of a conference championship and eventual trip into NCAA action.
Highlighting the USA squad, which had won the 16-under world championship Junior Davis Cup for the first time since 1991, was incoming Trojan JT Sundling, who has signed a letter of intent to come to USC next season. Sundling got an early look at his Trojans teammates-to-be in both doubles and singles play, first facing off against USC's #4-ranked doubles pair of Robert Farah / Steve Johnson and then going up against the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Week, #83 senior Abdullah Magdas in singles play.
USC worked ahead early by taking the doubles point on a sweep of that action. Farah/Johnson and Magdas/Daniel Nguyen each claimed 8-0 wins over their U.S. opponents from the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. At No. 3, USC's Andrew Kells / Matt Kecki got an 8-4 win, and USC was all set up ahead 1-0 going into singles play.
The Trojans - with top players Robert Farah and Jaak Poldma out of the lineup with injuries - reeled off three straight singles wins to clinch the match early. Kecki claimed his first, getting a 7-5, 6-1 win over Raymond Sarmiento at the No. 4 position. Making it 3-0 USC was Magdas in a 7-5, 6-3 win over Sundling at the No. 2 slot. And clinching the exhibition victory for the Trojans was Jason McNaughton at No. 3 with a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Jordan Cox. Team USA captured the next three, but USC already had the match in-hand. At No. 5, Nathan Pasha beat Daniel Nguyen 6-4, 6-1, and Clay Thompson followed with a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) win over Daniel Gliner at No. 6. Wrapping up the exhibition showdown was Denis Kudla, who edged Steve Johnson in a third-set tiebreaker 7-5, 6-3, 1-0 (11-9).
15-4 overall and 2-0 in Pac-10 play, the Trojans now get back to Pac-10 competition with a pair of matches at home this week. USC will first host Washington in a 1:30 p.m match on Friday (April 3) and then faces Oregon at 1 p.m. on Saturday (April 4) at Marks Stadium.
#6 USC 4, U.S. Junior Team 3