No. 2 Bruins Suffer 4-3 Loss to No. 3 USC at National Team Indoors
HOUSTON - The No. 2 UCLA men's tennis team suffered its first loss of the 2014 season on Sunday afternoon in the semifinals of the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors, falling to No. 3 USC, 4-3 in a tightly contested battle at the Downtown Club at the Met in Houston, Texas.
UCLA (7-1) actually fell behind 0-3 in Sunday's cross-town showdown, as the Trojans claimed the doubles point and then the first two matches in singles play. The Bruins, however, were determined to not go down without a fight.
Freshman Joseph Di Giulio would put UCLA on the board at court No. 6, where he was a 6-2, 6-3 winner over Michael Grant. Another freshman, Gage Brymer, posted another straight-set win to cut the lead to 3-2, as he downed Trojan freshman Connor Farren, 6-4, 6-4 at court No. 4.
Bruin senior Clay Thompson, the No. 1 player in America, then tied the match at 3-3 when he outlasted seventh-ranked Ray Sarmiento, 6-2, 6-5(7) at court No. 1.
Sunday's match was ultimately decided at the No. 2 spot, where 16th-ranked Yannick Hanfmann upset fifth-ranked Bruin junior Marcos Giron, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to give USC the 4-3 victory and send the Trojans (7-0) into Monday's final against fifth-seeded Ohio State.
UCLA and USC are scheduled to meet again in less than two weeks when the Trojans visit the Los Angeles Tennis Center on Feb. 25 (12:00 p.m.). That match will be carried by the Pac-12 Networks.
USTA/ITA National Team Indoors
#3 USC 4, #2 UCLA 3
Feb. 16, 2014 at Houston, TX (Downtown Club at the Met)
1. #35 Hanfmann/Sarmiento (USC) def. #9 Giron/McDonald (UCLA) 6-4
2. Di Giulio/Thompson (UCLA) vs. Farren/Quiroz (USC) 5-4, unfinished
3. De Vroome/Eric Johnson (USC) def. Brymer/Karue Sell (UCLA) 6-4
USC Wins Doubles Point
1. #1 Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. #7 Ray Sarmiento (USC) 6-2, 6-5 (7-5)
2. #16 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) def. #5 Marcos Giron (UCLA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
3. Roberto Quiroz (USC) def. #51 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) 6-2, 6-4
4. #26 Gage Brymer (UCLA) def. Connor Farren (USC) 6-4, 6-4
5. Max De Vroome (USC) def. Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) 6-3, 6-0
6. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) def. Michael Grant (USC) 6-2, 6-3
USC 7-0; National ranking #3
UCLA 7-1; National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (5,3,6,4,1,2)
ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship - Semifinals