For the first time since 1991, the No. 5 USC men’s tennis team (12-1, 0-0) beat No. 6 UCLA (6-3, 0-0) 6-1 on the Bruins home court.
Playing their biggest rival, and winning for the first time in 19 years, makes this one of the biggest wins in program history for the Trojans.
Coach Peter Smith explained that the win had an almost championship feel.
Smith altered the doubles lineup a bit, wanting to include players who have played at UCLA in the past.
“I wanted to play guys who have been there before,” Smith said. “It’s a tough place to win a doubles with a 1,000 people chanting for UCLA.”
The No. 13 duo of senior Robert Farah and sophomore Steve Johnson overcame the tough crowd conditions and some blustery winds to win 8-6.
No. 40 sophomore Daniel Nguyen and senior Jason McNaughton came up just short falling 8-6.
In clinching the initial match point, juniors Jaak Poldma and Peter Lucassen also came through with an 8-6 victory.
No.3 Johnson started the singles portion off well for the Trojans with a relatively quick 6-2, 6-4 victory.
UCLA’s No. 118 junior Nick Meister won the only match of the day for the Bruins, tightening up the match score at 2-1.
The final four matches all went to three sets and USC won all of them.
“It’s a great testament to win all of the three-setters, and to finish strong,” Smith said.
Poldma won at the No. 3 position, and sophomore Matt Kecki clinched the match with his 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 triumph.
Farah and Nguyen finished off the day with 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 and 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 victories, respectively.
With such a historic win under their belts, the Trojans felt the desire to eat a celebratory dinner.
As any In-N-Out deprived USC student would do, the Trojans decided to this occasion was as good as any to chow down on some tasty double-doubles.