Sweeps Week Again For Trojan Tennis: Xepoleas and Johnson are Pac-12 Players of the Week|
March 23, 2015
USC tennis comes up with another sweep of the Pac-12 Player of the Week awards after a powerful weekend for the Trojan tennis contingent. Freshman Meredith Xepoleas has secured her first career award after standing tall for the Women of Troy in huge Pac-12 wins over Cal and Stanford over the weekend. Meanwhile, senior Eric Johnson has his second Pac-12 Player of the Week award in-hand after grabbing three more singles wins during the USC men's run to a third-place finish at the BNP Paribas Collegiate Challenge.
Freshman Meredith Xepoleas came up big for the Women of Troy in two top-10 wins over the weekend to stay perfect in Pac-12 play. When USC's match against No. 3 California went down to the wire, all the pressure heaped on the freshman's shoulders. #83 Xepoleas was up to the challenge, taking down her Cal opponent Lynn Chi - who was ranked almost 50 places higher than her - with a 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-3 victory that clinched a huge upset win for No. 7 USC. The next day, Xepoleas came through again, this time in a smoother victory as she served up a 6-0, 6-1 win over Stanford's Lindsey Kostas to put USC up 3-0 against No. 10 Stanford en route to the Trojans' 6-1 victory over the Cardinal. Xepoleas has now won five straight singles matches to stand at 17-8 overall on the year. The USC women are now 14-2 overall and 3-0 in Pac-12 play after the two big wins this weekend.
On the men's side, Eric Johnson kept his win streak alive, improving his run to 11 straight singles victories with a winning weekend in Indian Wells. Johnson won all three of this matches at the BNP Paribas Collegiate Tennis Challenge, where the Trojans finished third in the competitive tournament. Unranked Johnson's winning efforts included a win over the #36 player in the nation, Max Tchoutakian, during USC's eventual loss to No. 3 Baylor. Johnson had opened the tournament with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Tulsa's Juan Matias Gonzalez to help the Trojans avenge an earlier loss to the Hurricane and move into the semifinals against Baylor. In the third-place win over Columbia, the senior delivered a powerful 6-0, 6-1 win over Max Schnur to get USC a lift in that eventual 4-0 sweep. Johnson now holds a 17-7 overall singles record and is 13-1 in dual-match play. The USC men are now 14-3 overall.