Seven Trojans Win In NCAA Singles First Round
May 23, 2012
ATHENS, GA. - USC tennis was a force to reckon with in today's NCAA Singles first round at Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. The Women of Troy - semifinalists in the NCAA team action this week - had their complete trio of representative punch up first-round singles wins today to advance to tomorrow's Round of 32. On the men's side, four of the five newly-crowned NCAA Champion Trojans in singles action today punched tickets to the next round.
First on for USC in the women's draw, #14 freshman Zoë Scandalis rebounded from a late break and a rough go in the first-set tiebreaker to hold her ground in the second set against UNLV's Lucia Batta and force a third. Santamaria got down a break in her first game, but broke back later and then once more to put some room between herself and No. 8 seeded Chelsea Gullickson, taking the first 6-3 and getting up an early break in the second. Both Women of Troy fought off break points around the same time to keep momentum on their sides, with Santamaria making her winning run to a 6-3, 6-2 upset of Gerogia's #7-ranked Gullickson on her own home courts. Scandalis would also surge to victory, winning the last three games to pin up a 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-2 comeback over #65 Batta. Danielle Lao took over Santamaria's court for her first-round clash with Clemson's #46 Keri Wong next. She, too, put together a powerful gameplan in her first round as she roughed up Wong for a 6-3 advantage in the first set and kept chugging away for a 6-3, 6-1 win to make it a complete set of three Women of Troy through to tomorrow's Round of 32.
Once Lao wrapped up her first-round match, it was time for the USC men to start their individual campaigns, fresh off their early-morning finish of a fourth straight NCAA Team Championship.
Top-seeded Steve Johnson began his defense of his 2011 NCAA Singles championship with a matchup against Illinois' #31 Roy Kalmanovich. The Trojan senior worked out ahead of Kalmanovich and stayed there to cruise into the next round on a 6-2, 6-3 first-round win. Two courts away, Johnson's fellow senior captain with four national championship to his name, #21 Daniel Nguyen, was serving up a first-set shutout of Vanderbilt's #44 Charlie Jones. Jones picked up the pace in the second to keep things on serve until getting a break to lead Nguyen 5-3 and then take the second. Nguyen buckled in for the third, however, delivering the last stroke with an overhead slam to claim a 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 win for a trip to the Round of 32.
On the upper courts, USC sophomores Ray Sarmiento and Emilio Gomez both secured their respective first sets. #25 Ray Sarmiento jumped all over #120 Nick Sayer of Radford with a 6-1 lead and replicated that in the second to take a 6-1, 6-1 win that puts him back in the NCAA Round of 32. Gomez, meanwhile, rang up a 6-4, 6-4 win over San Diego's #49 Nikola Bubnic. Freshman Yannick Hanfmann - fresh off the match-clinching win for the Trojans in their 2012 NCAA Championship victory in the wee hours of this morning - powered up to close a gap late in the second set against Mississippi State's #50 Louis Cant. But the freshman was unable to fight all the way back in his first NCAA individual appearance, falling 6-3, 6-4 to wrap up the day's action in Athens.
Doubles competition kicks off tomorrow with one set of Women of Troy and one pair of Trojan men ready to go. On the men's side, No. 2 seed Steve Johnson and Roberto Quiroz have a 6:30 p.m. match, while No. 4-seeded women's pair of Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria take the court at 5 p.m. for NCAA doubles Round of 32 action.
Complete USC individual results and schedules are below:
WOMEN'S NCAA SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIPS (Dan Magill Tennis Complex - Athens, Ga.)
Round of 32 - May 24
WOMEN'S NCAA DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIPS
MEN'S NCAA SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIPS (Dan Magill Tennis Complex - Athens, Ga.)
Round of 32 - May 24
MEN'S NCAA DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIPS