No. 2 Trojans defeat No. 27 Florida State in first matchup between schools
USCâs No. 1 singles player, junior Steve Johnson made his return to the courts after suffering an arm injury and battling the flu.
He did not particpate in the singles matches, but instead played alongside freshman Ray Sarmiento as the No. 1 seeded doubles pair.
âWe played a lot of balls today. It was a tough day for us, but weâll bounce back [this weekend],â Johnson said. âI pretty much knew I was only playing doubles, so I wanted to give it my all. I didnât serve very well and couldnât keep it going.â
Despite the loss, the rest of the team picked up the slack, as the Trojans defeated the Seminoles, 6-1.
Singles play went more smoothly as Florida State made it clear that they were indeed a team to be taken seriously.
Though with Johnson out of the singles lineup, Nguyen took the No. 1 singles spot as Poldma and Sarmiento followed at No. 2 and No. 3. Gomez played at No. 4 followed by freshman Michael Grant and sophomore J.T. Sundling at No. 5 and No. 6.
Sarmiento rebounded from his doubles loss with Johnson to take his singles match against Florida Stateâs Connor Smith 6-1, 6-2.
âI like how I returned and I attacked him early on,â Sarmiento said. âI saw my opportunity and took it.â
Meanwhile, the Trojans continued their success in singles play with Poldma, Gomez, Grant and Sundling all winning their singles matches as well.
And as the season continues, the younger players will be crucial to the success of the team.
With that in mind, Sarmiento is willing to go the extra mile to play a vital role in the teamâs success.
âUSC is a great program,â Sarmiento said. âIâm honored to be on the team and will do whatever it takes to win.â