Trojans defeat Boise State and get ready for Pac-12
With yet another victory yesterday, USC men’s tennis wrapped up nonconference play unscathed and is looking ready for Pac-12 action.
The No. 1 Trojans (19-0) took down No. 42 Boise State (16-6) yesterday in a 6-1 victory at Marks Stadium to extend their win streak to 39 matches dating to February 2011.
No. 24 sophomore Ray Sarmiento clinched the win for the Trojans with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over No. 55 Damian Hume for a 4-0 USC advantage.
The Trojans’ first singles win came from freshman Roberto Quiroz, who defeated Nathan Sereke 6-1, 6-4 for his seventh straight singles win.
No. 16 senior Daniel Nguyen then ousted No. 48 James Meredith 6-2, 6-1 on court one for a 2-0 USC lead.
Nguyen, who was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week and has won 10 straight singles matches, cited the home crowd as a significant factor in his success.
“It’s great having the support from the home crowd,” Nguyen said. “All my friends and family came out, and it really boosts you up during the match.”
With the victory in hand, freshman Jordi Vives fell in a third set tiebreak to Boise State’s Scott Sears for the Broncos’ only point and Vives’ first dual match loss in singles this season.
Afterward, No. 30 freshman Yannick Hanfmann and freshman Eric Johnson both took their respective singles matches.
Hanfmann overcame Andrew Bettles 4-6, 7-6 (4), 1-0 (11-9), while Johnson defeated Filipp Pogostkin 7-5, 6-4.
Senior Steve Johnson and sophomore Emilio Gomez, ranked No. 2 and No. 41 in the nation, respectively, sat out from singles play. Johnson, who has won 51 consecutive singles matches, took a rest to nurse a sore shoulder.
Johnson took the court in doubles action with Quiroz, where they earned USC’s first win with an 8-4 finish over Meredith and Sereke. That left the other two USC pairs battling for the clinching point.
Both Trojan duos broke for 7-6 leads over their opponents, and Gomez and Hanfmann were able to pull away for an 8-6 win over Andrew Bettles and Filipp Pogostkin to clinch USC’s double point.
On court 2, Boise State’s Hume and Sears managed to battle back for a 7-7 tie against Nguyen and Sarmiento, who are ranked No. 21 in doubles. The two sides battled it out into a tiebreak, with the USC pair prevailing 9-8 (4).
“We really prepared ourselves for these matches,” Nguyen said. “We did a lot of running this last week, like 10 miles. We prepare ourselves to play long battles.”
Nguyen’s doubles partner shared similar sentiments.
“As a team, I think we’re physically fit,” Sarmiento said. “We’re top in the country and ready for the match to go the long distance.”
USC is now 5-0 all-time against the Broncos.
The Trojans will begin Pac-12 play with a four-game road trip, starting in Seattle, Wash., to face No. 17 Washington on Friday at 1:30 p.m.