SEATTLE -- After a 4-1 quarterfinal win over No. 7 Kentucky today, the No. 2 USC men's tennis team will take aim at the only team to beat the Trojans in almost two years. Second-seeded USC has earned a semifinal tilt with rival No. 3 UCLA at the 2013 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle. The Bruins were the Trojans' only loss during the 2012 regular season, but USC went on to win both the Pac-12 Championship and its fourth straight NCAA Championship soon after. Other than the Bruins, USC's last loss was back at the 2011 ITA National Indoors -- a 4-3 loss to Stanford on Feb. 19, 2011. With today's win over Kentucky, the Trojans are 11-0 overall this season.
To set up for this heated rivalry match with the Bruins, USC had to first get through No. 7 Kentucky in today's quarterfinals. USC brought home the doubles point with a concerted effort at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots by the Trojans. USC's #48 Hanfmann/Sarmiento bounced back from a loss yesterday by focusing in on an 8-5 upset of #34 Jomby/Lai on court one to start the day off right for the Trojans. USC's de Vroome/Quiroz followed suit in tacking up an 8-5 win of their own over Gomez/Hirooka on court two, and the Trojans had the 1-0 lead to bring up singles action.
It would be straight set decisions down the line, although USC did surrender one singles loss as Kentucky made it a 3-1 score with #90 Anthony Rossi's 6-3, 6-4 win over USC's #12 Ray Sarmiento on court one. The Trojans had been comfortably boosted into the driver's seat, however, thanks to #23 Robert Quiroz's smooth 6-2, 6-1 win over Alejandro Gomez at the No. 3 spot and #94 Yannick Hanfmann's decisive 6-3, 6-4 victory over Charles Minc on court four. Sarmiento would fall next, but USC's #109 freshman Max de Vroome was the conquering hero from court five with his methodical 7-5, 6-3 finish of Juan Pablo Murra to bring home the 4-1 win as the remaining singles matches were suspended.
No. 2 USC will clash with No. 3 UCLA tomorrow (Feb. 17) at 11 a.m. at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle. FOLLOW ALONG HERE
2013 ITA NATIONAL TEAM INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS (Seattle, Wash.)
QUARTERFINALS - Feb. 16 #2 USC 4, #7 Kentucky 1
(1) #48 Hanfmann/Sarmiento (USC) def. #34 Jomby/Lai (KENT) - 8-5
(2) De Vroome/Quiroz (USC) def. Gomez/Hirooka (KENT) - 8-5
(3) #49 Gomez/Johnson (USC) vs. Roberts/Rossi (KENT) - 6-6 susp.
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 1, 2
(1) #90 Anthony Rossi (KENT) def. #12 Ray Sarmiento (USC) - 6-3, 6-4
(2) #10 Emilio Gomez (USC) vs. #29 Tom Jomby (KENT) - 7-6, 3-2 susp.
(3) #23 Roberto Quiroz (USC) def. Alejandro Gomez (KENT) - 6-2, 6-1
(4) #94 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) def. Charles Minc (KENT) - 6-3, 6-4
(5) #109 Max de Vroome (USC) def. Juan Pablo Murra (KENT) - 7-5, 6-3*
(6) #46 Eric Johnson (USC) vs. Grant Roberts (KENT) - 3-6, 6-4, 4-3 susp.
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1, 5