In a quick turn of events, the No. 9 USC men’s tennis team moved their Friday afternoon doubleheader against University of San Francisco and UC Davis to Thursday evening because of inclement weather set to arrive. Still, a quick schedule change was unable to stop the surging Trojans as they claimed swift victories before next week’s ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Trojans were able to etch out 6-1 wins over the visiting universities at Marks Stadium. The men quickly came out ahead against San Francisco by nabbing quick doubles points. No. 35 pairing senior Nick Crystal and sophomore Laurens Verboven defeated the Dons’ duo of Christian Brockstedt and Oliver Poysti by way of 6-1. Shortly after teammates senior Rob Bellamy and sophomore Jack Jaede secured another victory and the Trojans’ first points on a 6-2 decision against Paul Giraud and Woravin Kumthonkittikul.
In singles against the Dons, USC pieced together three straight-set wins to clinch victory. Freshman Riley Smith started things off against Brockstedt with a 6-1, 6-1 win on court four. Meanwhile, No. 119 Jaede matched the same score against Poysti on court three. Verboven secured the clincher over Giraud by way of 6-1, 6-4 victory. Junior Thibault Forget allowed the Dons to score their first and only points of the afternoon before No. 36 sophomore Logan Smith defeated Johan Joehagen 7-5, 2-6, 1-0 (10-6) to put the Trojans back up. Junior Jens Sweaney fought off a match point to win out against Kumthonkittikul 4-6, 7-6, 1-0 (10-7) and secure a Trojans victory.
UC Davis saw action shortly after a decisive Trojans victory. Once again USC’s double play allowed for an early advantage with freshman duo Brandon Holt and Smith quickly winning 6-1 over David Goulak and Tommy Lam. Senior Nick Crystal and redshirt junior David Laser won 6-2 to put the Trojans on the board first. Five straight singles victories followed doubles play and ultimately allow USC to win 6-1.
Bellamy and Crystal registered 6-1, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-2 victories respectively against Goulak and Alec Adamson. Holt set up for the clincher with a 6-2, 6-2 win against Bryce McKelvie. Smith’s 6-3, 6-2 victory over Everett Maltby allowed Forget to avenge his earlier loss by way of comeback against James Wade 1-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-4). Junior Henry Ji was the Trojans’ only loss of the late evening affair as he dropped 6-3, 6-4 sets against Max Pham.
“We played with great energy under the lights,” head coach Peter Smith said. “It was great to see the guys play hard and get some good matches in. Big thanks to USF and UC Davis for playing a day early.”
The Trojans will now head out to Virginia this weekend as they will compete at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. In the past the Trojans have competed against crosstown rival UCLA as well as cross country opponents such as Ohio State, UNC and Wake Forest.