Success story in company of failure


Forget about how poorly the USC baseball team (17-22, 3-12) is playing.

Forget about Pete Carroll not drafting Taylor Mays.

And forget about the men’s volleyball team dropping its quarterfinals match to Cal State Northridge.

There is something that every Trojan can rejoice about after a highly disappointing weekend of sports.

The USC men’s tennis team.

Though the team might not be getting the same attention as baseball, football or volleyball this spring, the men’s tennis players should be earning more praise than any team just mentioned above.

Why?

Well, unlike the baseball team, the tennis team actually wins matches, both in and out of conference.

Unlike football, tennis is actually an in-season spring sport.

And unlike the men’s volleyball team, USC tennis players were actually successful in postseason play.

It may have been hidden under the cloud of negativity encompassing USC sports last weekend, but senior tennis player Robert Farah swept both the Pac-10 singles championship and, along with sophomore Steve Johnson, the Pac-10 doubles championship Sunday in Ojai, Calif.

Freshman J.T. Sundling also captured the freshman Pac-10 Invitational singles title.

Farah got things started Sunday with a sweep against defending singles champion Bradley Klahn of Stanford 6-2, 7-6 (5) to earn his first Pac-10 singles championship.

But the USC veteran wasn’t done.

Fourth-seeded UCLA was waiting for the senior and Johnson in the doubles championship, but the Trojans dismantled their crosstown rival 6-3, 7-6 (4), giving Farah his second crown of the day.

Added to Sundling’s success in the freshman invitational, the tennis team captured the Anson S. Thacher Cup, awarded annually to the top team performance in the Pac-10 tennis championships.

See Trojan nation, there was something to appreciate over the weekend. You probably just didn’t see, hear or read about it.

I’ve seen this argument in so many Daily Trojan sports columns in the last four years, but teams like this should be getting more attention from the USC community.

Often, it seems as though if it’s not football, basketball or baseball, a lot of people just don’t care. This university is lucky to have so many top-notch athletes and dominating programs; it’s a shame that their efforts go under the radar.

I urge everyone out there to give these programs the attention they deserve.

Farah, Johnson, Sundling and the rest of the tennis team: I applaud you. And for all the other teams hidden beneath more dominating headlines, the same goes for you.

With less recognition, you

continue to fill USC with sports programs that the rest of the  Pac-10 fears and respects.

Now, in my last few paragraphs before officially signing off, I want to recognize the other guys that go through the weekly column grind with me.

Pedro, Kenny, Grant, Schwartz and James, I take just as much enjoyment in reading your columns as I do in writing mine. Only you guys know the process we go through on a weekly basis, and I think, as a whole, we made our own great sports team.

I also want to thank all of you readers, of course.

As Grant pointed out last week, it’s not about whether you agree or disagree with what I’m writing, it’s about whether you take the time to read it.

In my first three years at USC, whenever I’d pick up a Daily Trojan, I’d be sure to read the sports column first. It was always the most interesting part of the paper to me.

I couldn’t be happier that I got the chance to be a part of that my senior year, and I hope many of you readers found the columns on the back page just as creative and enticing as I did.

Personally, I can’t thank you

enough for reading my input.

But all good things must come to an end.

So, this marks the last time you’ll see my name in the Daily Trojan, the last time you’ll get to stare at my goofy picture and the last time you’ll get to question my column name.

Fight on and read on everyone.

“Soft Hands” ran on Tuesdays. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or e-mail Jon at jhaber@usc.edu.