March 31, 2015
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THE LAST MEETING
April 13, 2014
Salt Lake City, Utah
No. 2 USC Men Roll On To 4-1 Win At Utah
The No. 2 USC men's tennis kept its Pac-12 slate clean with one match to go after a 4-1 win over No. 51 host Utah today. The Trojans hauled in the doubles point before heading into singles action, where USC made a strong stand in securing three wins to punch up the road victory and improve to 24-2 overall with a 6-0 mark in Pac-12 play.
THE LAST MEETING
April 11, 2014
No. 2 USC Men Cruise To 5-0 Sweep of Arizona
The No. 2 USC men's tennis team whipped up its 14th straight win with another swift shutout of a Pac-12 foe. This one came in a 5-0 sweep of host Arizona, who couldn't keep pace with the streaking Trojans as they snagged a quick doubles advantage and rolled right along to victory. A singles win from senior Michael Grant sealed the deal, improving USC's overall record to 23-2 along with a still-perfect 5-0 Pac-12 mark.
The No. 7 USC men roll through more Pac-12 play on their home courts this week, welcoming Utah and Arizona to Marks Stadium. The Trojans (16-3, 2-0 Pac-12) are set to take on the Utes at 3 p.m. on Friday (April 3) before turning to face the Wildcats at 1 p.m. on Saturday (April 4).
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. USC was at No. 2 for one cycle after taking second at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, but bounced back to No. 1 on Feb. 24. The Trojans' upset loss to No. 51 Tulsa, dropped USC out of the top spot. USC is now ranked No. 7 in the latest set of national rankings (March 31), matching USC's lowest since standing at No. 7 in the March 8, 2011 team rankings. Individually, USC remains stacked in the rankings department. Seniors Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz opened the year tabbed at #1 in doubles, and have since move to #3 in the latest set of individual rankings, released March 24. Yannick Hanfmann remains USC's highest ranked singles player, weighing in at #9 in the nation as he continues his senior season. Fellow senior Roberto Quiroz is next in line, ranked at #19 in the nation in singles. Joining that pair in the singles rankings are #35 Jonny Wang, #66 Max de Vroome, #68 Nick Crystal and #114 Eric Johnson. Also in doubles, USC has #53 Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson teaming up for a spot in the rankings.
The Utes enter the week 10-8 overall and 0-2 in Pac-12 play after falling to No. 43 Stanford 6-1 and to No. 30 Cal 7-0 last week. Utah has no players nationally ranked in singles or doubles. USC is 29-1 all-time against the Utes after a 4-1 win last season in Salt Lake City.
The Wildcats enter the week 8-13 overall and 0-2 in Pac-12 play after falling to No. 30 Cal 4-0 and to No. 43 Stanford 7-0 last week. Arizona has #53 Naoki Takeda nationally ranked in singles and no ranked doubles teams. USC is 97-2 all-time against the Wildcats after a 5-0 win last season in Tucson.
USC settled back in at home to open a stretch of four straight Pac-12 matches at Marks Stadium and picked up two conference wins last week, beating Washington and Oregon by identical 6-1 scores. The Trojans dipped in doubles but regrouped with a string of six strong singles wins to wrap up the comeback victory over the Huskies and notch USC's first Pac-12 win of the year. Things started out on a winning note for the Trojans when senior duo Eric Johnson and Jonny Wang teamed up at No. 2 doubles for a victory to open the action at Marks Stadium. Washington would work its way back into the picture, though, when Huskies Egger/Hawke snagged a late break of USC's #3 senior pair Hanfmann/Quiroz to secure the upset with a 6-4 win on court one. On court three, USC's de Vroome/Forget pairing was locked up 4-4 when their match was established as the clincher. Again, the Huskies would manage a late break to steal the victory and pick up the doubles point on a 7-5 decision. That had the hosts down 1-0 going into singles play, where the Trojans would have to find a way to regain their focus. On court two, #114 Johnson started the Trojans on a comeback path when he whipped up a 6-3, 6-2 win, recording the senior's 12th consecutive singles win. Soon after, #19 Roberto Quiroz delivered a smooth 6-2, 6-2 win on court three to lift USC into a 2-1 lead for an important boost. On court one, #9 Yannick Hanfmann had kicked things into gear after a tight first set, and he'd roll up a 3-1 lead for the Trojans with his 7-5, 6-2 victory at the top of the lineup. After stumbling in his first set on court five, #35 Jonny Wang got his feet back underneath him and was a man on a mission the rest of the way. The senior would register the clinching victory in his three-set comeback, finishing off Joao Barra with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 win that tacked that crucial fourth point on the board for the Trojans. The teams would play out the remaining matches, which were rolling into extra time as well. At the No. 4 spot, #66 Max de Vroome showed his resolve in tiebreakers. He'd pull off the first set tiebreaker before taking a loss in the second set, moving into a 10-point tiebreaker to decide it all. De Vroome and his opponent would draw even several times, including a 6-6 tie-up that prompted de Vroome to make a move. The junior edged ahead and once he got to match point he'd lock down the win for a final 7-6 (6), 5-7, 1-0 (10-7) victory that turned all eyes onto court six. There, USC sophomore Rob Bellamy had lost some steam in his second set, and things were starting to slip away in the third, too. All of a sudden, Bellamy buckled back down, turning a 1-4 deficit in the third set into a run of five straight games won to put the finishing touches on victory. Bellamy's 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 win iced the 6-1 dual-match victory for the Trojans and wrapped the day's action at Marks Stadium. The next day, USC successfully defended their home court once again. The Trojans snagged the first win of the day Hanfmann/Quiroz won 6-4. On court three, a new pair of de Vroome and Thibault Forget also won 6-4 to grab the doubles point for USC. To start singles, #66 de Vroome blasted through his match to win 6-4, 6-4 on court three. The quick wins continued to roll in. #68 Nick Crystal was next to finish with a solid 6-3, 6-3 win to lead the match 3-0. Seconds after that finish, #35 Wang sprinted through the second set to collect a 6-4, 6-1 win and clinch the match for USC. Next, on court six, Forget earned his second dual-match singles win at Troy with a decisive 6-2, 6-2 victory. The two remaining matches on courts one and two were quickly turning into nail biters. #114 Johnson took a rare loss that snapped his 12-match singles winning streak as he fell 7-6 (3), 6-3 on court one. The last man standing would be #19 Quiroz, who tacked up a 7-5, 6-7 (5), 1-0 (10-3) win on court two to close out the action at Marks Stadium.
BY THE NUMBERS
USC has moved three players into the 20-win column in singles play so far, led by Nick Crystal's team-best 22 singles wins to date. Joining him in the club are Max de Vroome and Jonny Wang with 21 wins apiece. In doubles, USC's #3 pair of All-Americans Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz are a win away from a place in that pack, holding a 19-5 overall record so far.
BEATING THE BRUINS
USC was resoundingly triumphant in its home battle against rival UCLA. Hosting the No. 14 Bruins in the first crosstown showdown of the season, the No. 5 Trojans held their ground and stayed a step ahead of UCLA for a 4-1 victory at Marks Stadium. After a stubborn stand in doubles play, USC got a spark in singles play from junior Max de Vroome's shutout on court six. UCLA would pull off a win on court two, but the Trojans remained anchored by the bottom half of the lineup as Nick Crystal snagged a straight-set win on court five before Jonny Wang clinched it all for the Trojans from court four, later earning himself his first career selection as the Pac-12 Player of the Week on March 16. The Trojans emerged victorious in a tight doubles battle, with court three's Trojan tandem of Crystal and Thibault Forget coming up big to clinch the point on a 6-3 win. USC's #4 senior pair of Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz had given USC a leg up from court one with a smooth 6-2 win over UCLA's #6 McDonald/Redlicki to register the first win of the day. On court two, UCLA managed a 6-3 victory over USC's #50 Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson to pull the doubles action even and put the clincher on court three. De Vroome's loss in doubles left the #50 junior unfazed as he gave up no ground to UCLA's Ryoto Tachi on court six, delivering a stifling 6-0, 6-0 sweep that promptly tacked a 2-0 lead to the scoreboard for the Trojans. On court two, however, a late break in the first set knocked USC's #20 Quiroz off balance, and UCLA's #3 Dennis Mkrtchian worked out ahead for a 6-4, 6-3 decision that cut the scoreline down to 2-1. On court five, though, USC's #51 sophomore Crystal had pulled off a late break of Bruin Gage Brymer in the first set and would dig in further and roll along to a 7-5, 6-2 victory to plug a 3-1 advantage on the board for the Trojans. That marked Crystal's 10th consecutive singles win, and it was a big lift for the Trojans. After trading breaks on court four, USC's #35 Wang wrapped up a win for himself and secured victory for the Trojans on his 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over Karue Sell.
ITA INDOORS RECAP
Out in Chicago at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in February, the top-seeded Trojans worked their way to the title match for the fourth straight season. Opening up against No. 22 Penn State in their Round of 16 match, the Trojans swept through to a 4-0 win to advance. That pushed USC into a quarterfinal clash against Ohio State, which had beaten the Trojans in last year's championship match. USC found revenge in this year's matchup. The clincher came from top gun Yannick Hanfmann for the second straight match, with the senior's win on court one wrapping up a 4-1 victory for the Trojans to advance. In the semis, USC tangled with No. 4 Georgia for the second time in two weeks, having silenced the Bulldogs in Athens to start the month. This time, Georgia was able to grab the doubles point, but the Trojans charged back with four singles wins, capped by the clincher from senior Roberto Quiroz for the 4-1 comeback. That earned the Trojans yet another championship rematch, pitting USC against Oklahoma for the first time since the Trojans beat the Sooners in last year's NCAA Championship. This time, the Sooners took a 2-0 lead on the Trojans before senior Eric Johnson continued his winning ways with yet another singles victory to cut the margin down to 2-1. Oklahoma got ahead 3-1 next before Nick Crystal pulled off a three-set comeback win on court six to keep USC within reach, only to see the Sooners get the clincher with a three-setter on court five to ring up a 4-2 victory over the Trojans. After the close of the event, USC landed several Trojans on the ITA National Indoor All-Tournament Team for their powerful efforts in Chicago. In singles, Yannick Hanfmann was named to the No. 1 spot, Eric Johnson picked up the No. 4 singles spot, and Nick Crystal earned his place at No. 6. In doubles, Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson were tabbed on the All-Tourney Team at No. 2 doubles.
USC senior Eric Johnson was instrumental in driving the USC men to a fourth straight trip to the final of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. He pinned up straight-set singles wins in the Round of 16, quarterfinal and semifinal to move USC into the title match. In doubles, he also was victorious alongside teammate Max de Vroome in the first two matches, while having his match suspended in the semifinal. He beat a ranked opponent in the quarterfinal round, topping #68 Ralf Steinbach of Ohio State to help USC win that match - a rematch of the 2014 ITA Indoors title match. In the final, Johnson was the only Trojan to win out in doubles and singles as USC fell 4-2 to No. 2 Oklahoma. The singles win marked Johnson's sixth straight victory and gave him an 8-1 mark in dual-match singles play. For his efforts, Johnson not only was named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Feb. 23 for the first time in his career, he earned multiple honors on the ITA National Team Indoor All-Tournament Team. He secured spots on team for his work at No. 4 singles and at No. 2 doubles with de Vroome. After another winning run at the BNP Paribas Collegiate Challenge, Johnson grabbed another pick as the Pac-12 Player of the Week on March 23. Currently ranked #114 in the nation in singles, Johnson recently held a 12-match singles win streak and is now 18-8 overall with a 14-2 mark in dual matches.
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 improved to 5-0 overall with that winning road trip. Currently ranked #19 nationally in singles, Quiroz is now 18-5 overall in singles play and is 10-3 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 ranked #68 in the nation in singles and holding a 22-4 overall record in singles play. After starting the dual-match campaign on a 10-match singles win streak, Crystal is currently 11-1 in dual matches.
BREAKING GROUND ON NEW DIGS
The USC men's and women's tennis teams have called the David X. Marks Tennis Stadium home since its construction in 1971. This year, Trojan tennis will see its home revamped and renovated, bringing the venue up to date and in line with the impressive accomplishments of both programs. A ceremony to kickstart the renovation of Marks Stadium, which includes breaking ground on the Buntmann Family Tennis Center, was held on Tuesday (Feb. 24). Goals for this renovation are to elevate Marks Tennis Stadium to be on par with the best facilities in the country by creating an inviting, elegant, bright and safe training and competition environment. The Buntmann Family Tennis Center entrance and lobby will welcome fans and visitors and put on display the rich history of USC tennis. To improve the building functionality and support the tennis program operations, the new Lisa and Douglas Goldman Family Student-Athlete Learning Studio will support direct collaboration between coaches, staff and athletes on a daily basis. The teams will be able to utilize and enjoy brand-new suites with lockers, showers, team meeting rooms and lounges. Both teams will have access to a new training room, a stringing storage area and a large multi-purpose room. To better accommodate and enhance the spectator experience, new spectator shade canopies will be added, a new elevator to the seating area will be installed. In addition to the lead gift from the Buntmann family, the renovation has been made possible thanks to financial support from the Lisa and Douglas Goldman family, the Fritz B. Burns Foundation, John Shea and Michael Uytengsu. The renovation is expected to be complete for Spring 2016.
2015 TROJANS AT A GLANCE
The 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.