SAN DIEGO, CALIF. -- The No. 2 USC men's tennis team sped through doubles play and on to five straight singles wins to register a 6-1 victory over its No. 36 host San Diego today. Junior Emilio Gomez celebrated his highest career singles ranking with a solid win that stood as the clincher for the Trojans, as #4 Gomez beat Torero Thibaut Visy 6-3, 6-2 on court two to notch USC's 13th win of the year. The Trojans are now 13-2 overall with today's win over USD in San Diego.
The Trojans started their sunny day in San Diego with a sweep through doubles play to drum up the first point of the match. USC featured new pairings for 2013 in this one, and the new crews were working together well against the Toreros. Freshman-sophomore combo Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson drilled an 8-1 win at the No. 3 spot to kick off the winning push for USC. Meanwhile, at No. 2, cousins Emilio Gomez and Roberto Quiroz teamed up for the first time this season and got right back to their winning groove with an 8-2 win to sew up the first point of the match for USC. At the No. 1 spot, USC had Michael Grant and Ray Sarmiento paired up for the first time, and that duo rounded out doubles play with an 8-5 win to launch the match into singles action.
USC's singles competition got a boost from the No. 6 spot, where #119 sophomore Jonny Wang whipped up a 6-0, 6-1 win over Andrew Carlisle to take the Trojans ahead 2-0 in the match. Wang was the first to the finish line by a long shot, as the other matches were still very much pending. USC had grabbed the first sets in three other matches, trailed in one and was going to a first-set tiebreaker in the last. Ray Sarmiento would come through next, pushing past Romain Kalaydjian 6-3, 6-3 at the No. 1 spot and lifting USC within reach, up 3-0.
That first-set tiebreaker on court three had finished up in USD's favor, but on court four Eric Johnson had made up for his first-set loss with a strong run in the second to force a third set. Two other Trojans meanwhile, were honing in on the clincher. #4 Emilio Gomez would wind up winning the day with his 6-3, 6-2 cleanup of Thibaut Visy on court two, and that put USC in the win column, up 4-0.
#88 freshman Max de Vroome would hold off his Torero opponent on court five next, pinning up a 6-2, 7-5 decision that made it a 5-0 Trojan advantage. Two three-setters were still raging on at that point. USC's #27 Roberto Quiroz, who had slipped up in his first-set tiebreaker with #82 Clarke Spinosa, forced a third set and went into a 10-point tiebreaker to decide things. He'd pull out the win 10-7 in the breaker, and USC was up 6-0 on its hosts. San Diego would get a point on the board in the final match of the day. In a third-set tiebreak with USC's #51 Eric Johnson, Pugliese managed the late push to victory and beat Johnson with a 6-1, 1-6, 7-6 (5) decision that wrapped up the day as a 6-1 USC victory.
The Trojans now turn away form dual-match play for the rest of the weekend as they head into action in the Pacific Coast Doubles competition in La Jolla.
#2 USC 6, #36 San Diego 1
Feb. 28, 2013 - San Diego, Calif.
(1) Grant/Sarmiento (USC) def. Spinosa/Visy (USD) - 8-5
(2) Gomez/Quiroz (USC) def. Kalaydjian/Pugliese (USD) - 8-2
(3) de Vroome/Johnson (USC) def. Carlisle/Fitzgerald (USD) - 8-1
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
(1) #14 Ray Sarmiento (USC) def. Romain Kalydjian (USD) - 6-3, 6-3
(2) #4 Emilio Gomez (USC) def. Thibaut Visy (USD) - 6-3, 6-2*
(3) #27 Roberto Quiroz (USC) def. #82 Clarke Spinosa (USD) - 6-7 (4), 6-3, 1-0 (10-7)
(4) Victor Pugliese (USD) def. #51 Eric Johnson (USC) - 6-1, 1-6, 7-6 (5)
(5) #88 Max de Vroome (USC) def. Ciaran Fitzgerald (USD) - 6-2, 7-5
(6) #119 Jonny Wang (USC) def. Andrew Carlisle (USD) - 6-0, 6-1
Order of finish: 6, 1, 3*, 5, 3, 4