Johnson, Sanchez Through To Pac-10 Singles Semis
April 29, 2011
OJAI, CALIF. -- USC's top guns on the men's and women's sides continued their reigns in the conference as Steve Johnson and Maria Sanchez have both powered through to the singles semifinals at the Pac-10 Championships in Ojai, Calif. They'll do double duty in the semis tomorrow as well. Johnson and Ray Sarmiento had a winning day today to move into a power position in the men's doubles bracket, and Sanchez paired up with Kaitlyn Christian to great success today to get the Women of Troy on a roll in the women's doubles race.
The top seed on the women's side, #2 Maria Sanchez slipped in her first set against Stanford's fifth-seeded #20 Mallory Burdette and then regrouped with a punishing comeback that saw the Trojans pin up a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over Burdette in their quarterfinal clash today. Sanchez will now move into another matchup with a Cardinal player, facing Stacey Tan in tomorrow's semifinals at 11 a.m.
Top seed and the nation's #1 player, Steve Johnson reigned supreme with another decisive straight-set push. The latest to fall at Johnson's hand -- the 23rd straight win for Johnson -- was UCLA's fifth-seeded #61 Amit Inbar, who took a 6-3, 6-3 loss to Johnson.
Three USC freshmen made appearances in today's singles quarterfinals, but all three -- Kaitlyn Christian, Emilio Gomez and Ray Sarmiento -- fell. Christian and Sarmiento both were up against seeded foes, and Gomez faced Johnson's future semifinal opponent, Adrien Puget of UCLA. Johnson and Puget will go head-to-head in the semis at 11 a.m.
On the doubles scene, Johnson and Sanchez are also going strong. Teamed up with Sarmiento, Johnson has another semifinal date tomorrow after he and his freshman teammate got two wins today. The No. 2 seed in the tourney, Johnson/Sarmiento will face UCLA's fourth-seeded Brigham/Puget in a 3:30 p.m. doubles semifinal. Brigham/Puget beat USC's Gomez/Nguyen in today's Round of 16 in order to move into position to face Johnson/Sarmiento.
Paired up with Christian, Sanchez made her move into doubles semifinal action as well. Seeded No. 2 in the tournament and ranked #5 in the nation, Christian/Sanchez powered through two teams today in order to take that semifinal slot tomorrow against ASU's fourth-seeded Hein/McKenna at 3:30 p.m. USC team Cristala Andrews / Alison Ramos put up a powerful fight as well on the other end of the bracket. The duo topped a team from Oregon before going up against top-seeded Andersson/Juricova of Cal. That quarterfinal clash went down to the wire, with the Bears edging out the Trojans 9-7 for that semifinal spot.
Complete USC results at the 2011 Pac-10 Championships are below.
TROJANS IN 2011 PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS
 #43 Daniel Nguyen
 #56 Ray Sarmiento
DOUBLES -- Championship Bracket
#99 Kaitlyn Christian
SINGLES -- Invitational Bracket
DOUBLES -- Invitational Bracket