Ray Sarmiento Named Pac-10 Player of the Week|
April 25, 2011
Freshman Ray Sarmiento helped the Trojans post a perfect Pac-10 season and end the regular season on a 14-match win streak with wins in doubles and singles last week, and has now earned himself his second selection of the season as the Pac-10 Player of the Week.
In a clean sweep of #49 UC Irvine in nonconference play, Sarmiento combined with Daniel Nguyen for a doubles win, then pinned up the first USC singles win of the day with an overpowering 6-1, 6-3 win over Anteater Ryan Cheung. Sarmiento and the Trojans then headed across town to pay a visit to rival UCLA, which had served up Pac-10 wins of the Trojans the past six seasons.
With big help from Sarmiento, USC secured its first undefeated Pac-10 finish since 1987 with a 4-3 win over No. 9 UCLA. Sarmiento first took a stand in doubles with the clinching win from the No. 3 spot, combining with Nguyen again for an 8-3 win that lifted USC ahead 1-0 in the match. With things hanging in the balance at 2-2 during singles play, Sarmiento fought back from losing the first set and trailing 2-4 in the second to pull out a comeback victory over Adrien Puget at the No. 4 position, winning 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 to get USC ahead 3-2 in the match and provide key momentum for the eventual 4-3 win.
The victory closed out an undefeated Pac-10 singles record for the #85 freshman, improving him to 28-7 overall while helping push the No. 3 Trojans to 21-2 overall.
One of five Trojans to be named Pac-10 Player of the Week this year, Sarmiento's second selection of the season is the ninth weekly honor picked up by the Trojans. Sarmiento and the Trojans now turn to take part in individual action at the Pac-10 Championships, held April 29-May 1 in Ojai, Calif.