Feb. 11, 2015
USC Men's Tennis Release
(Complete release, draw and results attached as PDF)
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The No. 1 USC men's team packing up for an eighth consecutive trip to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships this week. Runners-up in the last two tournaments and champs in 2012, the Trojans have set a trend of title matches in recent years. The defending NCAA champs enter this 2015 ITA tourney as the team to beat once again, set up as the top seed in the draw. The Trojans (6-0) will open up this trip to Chicago with a matchup against No. 22 Penn State in the Round of 16 on Friday (Feb. 13). A win there would put USC in the quarterfinals on Saturday (Feb. 14) against either No. 8 Ohio State or No. 9 Texas. The semifinals are set for Sunday (Feb. 15), and the championship match will be held on Monday (Feb. 16).
EVENT CENTRAL PAGE
ITA RANKINGS UPDATES
The Trojans --- winners of five NCAA Championships in the past six years and the nation's leader with 21 total titles -- opened their 2015 campaign ranked No. 1 in the nation. In the latest set of national rankings (Feb. 3), USC remains locked in as the top team in the land. USC also boasts the top-ranked doubles team in the nation, with seniors Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz tabbed at #1 in the most recent individual rankings, released Feb. 10. Yannick Hanfmann also is USC's highest ranked singles player, weighing in at #7 in the nation as he continues his senior season. Fellow senior Jonny Wang is next in line, now ranked at #20 in the nation in singles. Joining that pair in the singles rankings are #24 Roberto Quiroz and #49 Nick Crystal. Also in doubles, USC now has #38 Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson teaming up for a spot in the rankings.
ITA INDOOR LINEUP
The 2015 ITA National Team Indoor Championships boasts a field of 16 of the top-22 teams in the nation. Defending champion Ohio State enters as the No. 8 seeded team in the draw (and ranked No. 8 in the nation). Following top-seeded USC (No. 1) are No. 2 Oklahoma (2), No. 3 Virginia (3) and No. 4 Georgia (4). Illinois (5) picks up the No. 5 seed, followed by No. 6 Duke (6), No. 7 UNC (7). The other eight teams include No. 9 seed Texas (9), No. 10 UCLA (t10), No. 11 Baylor (t10), No. 12 Cal (13), No. 13 Columbia (15), No. 14 TCU (17), No. 15 Ole Miss (19) and No. 6 seed Penn State (22).
AT LAST YEAR'S TOURNEY
Last year in Houston, USC worked its way through to the title match of the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships for the third straight season. The No. 3 seeded Trojans opened up with a 4-1 win over No. 14 Tennessee in the Round of 16 before taking down No. 6 Baylor in the quarterfinals. That set up an early clash against crosstown rival UCLA in the semifinals. The Trojans and the Bruins had met in last year's semi as well, and this season the Trojans replicated their efforts with another 4-3 victory over UCLA. Yannick Hanfmann held on for the clincher in that one, upsetting #5 Marcos Giron with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory that sealed the tight win for the Trojans and sent them into the title match for the third year in a row. There, USC was up against an upset-minded No. 5 seed Ohio State, which had upended top-seeded Virginia in the semifinals. The Buckeyes handed the Trojans their first loss of a double point on the year, and went on to post a 4-1 decision over USC to claim the title. USC junior Roberto Quiroz was the lone Trojan to come away from the tourney unscathed, having won two doubles and two singles matches during the action. For his winning efforts, Quiroz was named Pac-12 Player of the Week.
USC claimed a decisive 7-0 win over UC Irvine last weekend at Marks Stadium. Initially planned to be a doubleheader, the match against San Diego State was canceled due to rain. Due to the potential of early rain in the match against UC Irvine, both coaches decided to forgo the doubles portion of the competition and only compete in singles. The Trojans sprinted through the singles competition. #8 Jonny Wang set the tone as he finished first over opponent Tyler Pham with a 6-2, 6-0 decision. Not far behind, senior Eric Johnson shut out UCI player Shuhei Shibahara 6-0, 6-0, to build a 2-0 lead for the Trojans. Connor Farren posted a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Justin Agbayani, but it was #104 Max de Vroome who registered the clincher, beating Rafael Davidian 6-2, 6-2. The two remaining matches were played out as well. #3 Yannick Hanfmann defeated Nico Mertens 6-2, 6-3, and #58 Nick Crystal closed out Jonathan Hammel 6-3, 6-2 to finish off the singles play. Even though USC had secured a 6-0 victory over UC Irvine, there was considerable time left over. Since it had not yet begun to rain, the coaches elected to play the doubles portion of the competition. The Trojans breezed through doubles as well. The duo of Wang and Bellamy on court three shut out Irvine's Mertens and Shibahara 6-0. Crystal and Farren were the next pair to finish in a 6-2 decision over Pham and Hammel to collect the doubles point.
TROJANS OWN ATHENS
USC swept up two top-10 wins last week in revisiting the site of its 2014 NCAA Championship with action in Athens, Ga., for the 2015 Pac-12/SEC Showdown. There, the top-ranked Trojans topped No. 17 Florida 5-2 before shutting down host No. 7 Georgia 4-0. The opening matchup with the Gators saw the Trojans wake up and snag the first win on a 6-4 upset victory by USC's Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson over Florida's #49 Lipman/Orkin on court two. At the No. 1 spot, USC's top-ranked doubles duo of Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz saw themselves tangled up and heading into a tiebreaker against Florida's #32 Hidalgo/Watson. The Trojans would prevail in pulling of the tiebreak win for a 7-6 (5) decision that pocketed the first point of the match for the Trojans and suspended play on court three. Singles action was another tough test. A string of three-set battles ensued there, although USC's #68 Roberto Quiroz was able to hit the finish line first with a straight-set win on court two over #81 Elliott Orkin on a 6-2, 7-5 decision. That pumped USC ahead 2-0 in the match. On court one, USC's #3 Yannick Hanfmann had slipped up in his first set against Florida's #34 Maxx Lipman, but the Trojan found a groove in the next set and stayed on pace for an eventual 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 comeback that pulled USC to a 3-0 advantage. The Gators would rally back and make it 3-2 next, though. Buoyed by tiebreak wins in the second set on both courts three and four, the Gators rang up a pair of three-set comebacks of their own. At the No. 3 position, Florida's #50 Diego Hidalgo bounced back to beat USC's #8 Jonny Wang 0-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 and make it 3-1. Then, Florida's Gordon Watson made a similar statement, and went on to cap his win over USC's Eric Johnson with another tiebreak win for a 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4) comeback that pulled the Gators within one at 3-2. While all those three-set battles were broiling, the No. 5 singles match was able to get started once court one cleared. With only four indoor courts available, the No. 5 and No. 6 matches were delayed in their starts. But once USC's #58 Nick Crystal got to his court, the sophomore was ready to make his mark. Crystal ripped through to a 6-2, 7-5 win over Oliver Landert to secure victory for the Trojans, now up 4-2 in the match. Rob Bellamy's No. 6 singles match would move outdoors to be completed, while the second dual match of the day between UCLA and Georgia got started up indoors. Out in the fresh air, Bellamy would pick up a 7-6 (5), 2-6, 1-0 (10-6) victory over Jordan Beluga to wrap the match score as a 5-2 USC win. The next afternoon against the host Bulldogs, USC again showed its comfort level in Athens by striking quickly in doubles. Sparked by a 6-2 win by top-ranked USC pair Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz over UGA's #16 team of Oosterbaan/Wagland, the Trojans kept firing off wins. Fellow NCAA vets Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson would team up on court two for a 6-3 win over UGA's #34 Diaz/Smith, and that had USC leading its host 1-0 out of the gates. In singles, Hanfmann and Quiroz again hit the finish line first. Both members of the 2012 and 2014 championship teams in Athens, the seniors made themselves at home in Georgia's indoor facility once again. #68 Quiroz drummed up the first singles win on a 7-5, 6-2 upset of #15 Nathan Pasha on court two to make it 2-0 Trojans. #3 Hanfmann, meanwhile, was up against #32 Wayne Montgomery on court one, and the USC senior put his team in position for victory with a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win there. Fellow senior Eric Johnson also was in familiar territory in Athens. He'd get the clincher on a three-set battle in which he took down Georgia's #101 Nick Wood with a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 decision that put a stop to the match with the Trojans holding that 4-0 victory.
ROBERTO RULES IN ATHENS
USC senior Roberto Quiroz secured his fifth career selection as the Pac-12 Player of the Week with a powerful performance in Athens, Ga., at the Pac-12/SEC Showdown. Quiroz was victorious across the board in USC's winning weekend. The senior whipped up doubles wins in both matches to help USC pocket the first point in both eventual Trojan wins. The momentum he gathered up in doubles would propel Quiroz to two quick straight-set victories in singles. Against Florida's #81 Elliott Orkin, Quiroz' 6-2, 7-5 win lifted USC to a 2-0 lead over the Gators, en route to a final 5-2 victory. The next day, Quiroz whipped up the first singles win for the Trojans once again. This one was a big one, as the #68 Quiroz upset Georgia's #15 Nathan Pasha with a 7-5, 6-2 win to again put USC ahead 2-0 on the way to a final 4-0 shutout of the Bulldogs from his court two spot. The USC men are now 5-0 overall with the winning road trip. Quiroz is now 10-2 overall in singles play and is 2-0 in dual matches.
CRYSTAL SHINES THROUGH
Nick Crystal pinned up two powerful singles wins to help drive the Trojans through two sweeps of opponents at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Crystal also was victorious in his doubles match vs. Louisiana alongside Connor Farren to help spark USC in its opening win over the weekend and push him on to a selection as the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Jan. 26. It's the first career honor for Crystal, and he's the first Trojan to win the award this season. Crystal was the first to win his singles match on both days, taking USC to a 2-0 lead against #73 Louisiana and then also against #57 Santa Clara. Crystal stands as USC's winningest player to date this season, now holding a 14-3 overall record in singles play. He's also now 3-0 in dual matches thanks to his efforts in helping USC win a place at the upcoming ITA National Team Indoor Championships after this week's wins at ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
2015 TROJANS AT A GLANCE
Tthe Trojans enter 2015 looking to add to their growing collection of recent NCAA championships. USC's fifth title in the past six years netted the university its 100th all-time NCAA Championship last year. The 2015 Trojans are certainly up to the task of defending that crown, thanks in part to a set of five Trojans who opened the season in the national singles rankings as well as the top-ranked doubles team in the land. USC seniors Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz began 2015 as the nation's #1 pair, standing as the 2014 ITA National Indoor doubles champs and finalists at the ITA All-American in the fall. Both All-Americans, the seniors also appear on the singles list. Hanfmann reigns supreme as the highest ranking Trojan of them all, standing out at #3 in the nation. He reached the singles final at the ITA All-American and reached the quarterfinals at the ITA National Indoors. Next in line is another USC senior. Jonny Wang enjoys easily his highest post of his Trojan career, ranking #8 in the nation after a powerful fall campaign. Wang was a finalist at the ITA Southwest Regional Championships and reached the Round of 16 at the ITA All-American and ITA National Indoors. Sophomore Nick Crystal, meanwhile, stands at #58 in the nation. He reached the final of the USTA Clay Court Invitational and swept the titles at the Battle in the Bay in the fall. Senior Roberto Quiroz was limited in his action during the fall, and picks up a #68 ranking to start the spring, having reached the Round of 32 at the ITA All-American. Rounding out the USC rankings list is junior Max de Vroome -- clincher of the 2014 NCAA Championship victory. The junior reached the ITA Southwest Regional semifinals during the fall.