Trojans Push Into Pac-10 Quarterfinals
April 28, 2011
OJAI, CALIF. -- The USC men's and women's tennis teams have five players set up with singles quarterfinal slots for tomorrow's continuation of the 2011 Pac-10 Championships in Ojai, Calif. Trojans Steve Johnson, Emilio Gomez and Ray Sarmiento had a winning first day of action on the men's side, while Women of Troy Maria Sanchez and Kaitlyn Christian were dominating the women's competition. Doubles play also gets going tomorrow, with five USC teams teaming up on the doubles courts.
USC boasts the top seeds in singles for both men and women. Top-ranked Steve Johnson and #2 Maria Sanchez lead their respective packs, and both put up powerful fights today in the first two rounds of singles play. Johnson delivered a 6-3, 6-4 win over Alex Brigham of UCLA in the first round, then topped Oregon's Alex Rovello 6-2, 6-1 to earn a spot up against UCLA's #61 Amit Inbar in tomorrow's quarterfinals. Sanchez, meanwhile, game up just five games in her first two matches as she beat WSU's Ksenia Googe 6-1, 6-1 before a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Oregon's #107 Pavlina Smatova. Sanchez will face Stanford's #20 Mallory Burdette tomorrow at noon in the quarters.
Joining the two Trojan powerhouses in quarterfinal play tomorrow are three USC freshmen. On the men's side freshman Emilio Gomez and Ray Sarmiento continued the straight-set trend on day one. Gomez beat Arizona's Andre Vidaller 6-2, 6-2 and then took down No. 5 seeded and #62-ranked Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan of Washington 7-5, 6-2 to put him up against UCLA's fourth-seeded Adrien Puget tomorrow. Sarmiento beat Puget last week in USC's win over the Bruins in Pac-10 play to build up a head of stream entering the action in Ojai. Sarmiento beat Stanford's Matt Kandath 6-4, 6-2 in the first round and then served up a 6-1, 7-5 win over UCLA's Clay Thompson. Sarmiento will now go up against defending Pac-10 singles champ Bradley Klahn tomorrow in the quarterfinals.
Keeping in step with her fellow freshmen counterparts on the men's side, Kaitlyn Christian was even more decisive in her wins today, matching Sanchez' mark of only five games lost on day one. Cgristian blasted Oregon's Patricia Skowronski 6-2, 6-0 first, then knocked out Washington's Anett Schutting 6-3, 6-0. Christian will take on Stanford's seventh-seeded #25 Kristie Ahn tomorrow in a noon quarterfinals.
Full USC singles results are below. Doubles play kicks off tomorrow. See below for USC's matchups in the championship and invitational brackets.
TROJANS IN 2011 PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS
 #43 Daniel Nguyen
 #56 Ray Sarmiento
#99 Kaitlyn Christian
SINGLES -- Invitational Bracket