USC Men Beat Stanford To Win Pac-12 Tournament Championship|
April 25, 2015
OJAI, CALIF. -- The No. 8 USC men's tennis team secured the Pac-12 Championship today with a comeback effort to beat top-seeded and No. 26-ranked Stanford. The 4-3 victory -- clinched by Eric Johnson with a three-setter -- avenged an earlier loss to the Cardinal while claiming USC's second Pac-12 tournament title. Now 22-4 overall, the conference champs now turn their focus to the coming NCAA Tournament as the automatic qualifier out of the Pac-12.
USC fell behind in the title match when Stanford grabbed the doubles point out of the gates. The Trojans snagged the first victory when Nick Crystal and Thibault Forget got the win on court three, but the Cardinal answered back. Wins over USC's #3 Hanfmann/Quiroz on court one and over de Vroome/Johnson on court two put the 1-0 advantage in Stanford's hands as the teams headed into singles play.
There, USC evened the score when #38 Jonny Wang whipped up a swift 6-2, 6-2 win on court four over Nolan Paige. That crafted some momentum for the Trojans, as#22 Roberto Quiroz jammed up David Wilczynski with a 6-4, 6-4 decision on court three, lifting USC to a 2-1 lead. But the momentum changed hands soon after once again. Stanford stole back into the lead, moving ahead 3-2 to heap pressure on the Trojans. David Hsu pulled the teams even with his 7-5, 6-4 win over USC's #86 Max de Vroome at the No. 5 spot. Next, on court one, #30 Tom Fawcett made a comeback push with a 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over #11 Yannick Hanfmann to bump Stanford into a 3-2 advantage.
Again, the Trojans answered the call. On court six, #67 Nick Crystal maneuvered out of reach of Maciek Romanowicz right on time, delivering the equalizer with a 7-6, 6-4 decision that made it 3-3. With it all on the line, the match came down to court two. That's where USC's #100 Eric Johnson was tangling with Stanford's #69 John Morrissey, and where Johnson was working his magic to create some space on his Cardinal foe. Johnson sealed the deal for the Trojans with his championship-clinching 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 victory.
The championship match will be broadcast tomorrow (April 27) at 7 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks, giving fans a chance to relive the Trojans' title-winning effort. The championship is USC's second Pac-12 crown since winning it in 2012 when the tournament format was first introduced in Ojai.
2015 PAC-12 TOURNAMENT (Ojai, Calif.)