No. 2 USC cruises to victory in ITA Kick-off Weekend
The No. 2 Trojans beat Â San Diego State 7-0 and Indiana 6-1 to keep their unblemished record intact.
The Trojans looked strong in both singles and doubles, and the two-day tournament was an overall success for the team.
âI am really happy with the performance,â said USC coach Peter Smith. â[Itâs] just good to have the whole team out there playing. We have had our issues in the last week and we are lucky we have so much depth to help us.â
Junior Steve Johnson and freshman Ray Sarmiento managed to come away with an 8-2 victory over Indianaâs Josh MacTaggart and Stephen Vogl, and junior Daniel Nguyen and freshman Emilio Gomez came away with a thrilling 8-6 victory over Isade Juneau and Will Kendall.
The weekendâs matches also saw the return of senior Peter Lucassen.
âPeter didnât [look] very comfortable in his return on Friday, but really got it going against Indiana,â Smith said. âHe played with some great aggression âŠ he just has to have the right mindset and he will be great.â
Lucassen fell to Aztecsâ Tim Schulz van Endert 6-1, 6-2 on Friday, but came up with a win against Indianaâs Isade Juneau with a decisive 6-1, 6-0 finish.
Even more important to the teamâs success thus far, Smith has praised the play of several promising new freshmen.
âOur freshman Michael [Grant], [Sarmiento] and [Gomez] all played so well,â Smith said. â[Itâs] just great to see them adjusting to college tennis and helping the team. As tough as it is to lose seniors, the great thing about coaching is to reinvent the team with new players.â
No. 4 Sarmiento defeated Indianaâs Claes Goransson 6-2, 6-0 while No. 6 Gomez took a 6-0, 6-1 victory against the Indianaâs Stephen Vogl.
With the wins, the Trojans earned a place in the ITA National Indoors Championship in Seattle next month.
Another home match awaits the Trojans against San Diego Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Marks Stadium, as they hope to continue their strong start to the season.
âWe have some work to do in doubles,â Smith said. âGuys need to get comfortable with their partners, have a little more understanding with their shot selection and get more comfortable in their positioning. Â We will work on it and get it down. Thatâs what the early part of the season is for.â