No. 2 USC Men Fight Through No. 15 Illinois
URBANA, ILL. -- The No. 2 USC men's tennis team kicked off its Spring Break road trip with a decisive 6-1 win over No. 15 Illinois. The hosts of the 2013 NCAA Championships in May, the Fighting Illini were overmatched by the Trojans today in Urbana, Ill. After capturing the doubles point, USC reeled off the next five singles wins, with the clincher coming from #23 Roberto Quiroz on court four. USC improves to 15-2 overall with today's road win.
The Trojans wrapped up the doubles point with a solid stand from Gomez/Quiroz on court two and a crucial win from Grant/Johnson at the No. 3 spot. USC's #26 Hanfmann/Sarmiento had stumbled 8-6 on court one after Gomez/Quiroz swept up 8-3 at the No. position. That put the pressure on Grant/Johnson on court three, and the Trojan duo got it done with an 8-6 win that pocketed the first point of the match for visiting USC.
The singles scene was set by a quick sprint to victory from USC's #93 sophomore Jonny Wang on court six. Wang drilled out a 6-1, 6-2 win over Brian Page to get the ball rolling for the Trojans. Over on court one, USC's #2 junior Emilio Gomez kept up his dominating play with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Stephen Hoh, and USC was a win away from clinching. At the No. 4 spot, #23 sophomore Roberto Quiroz was up to the challenge. He served up a smooth 6-4, 6-2 win over Bruno Abdelnour, and USC was in the books with the road win. #9 junior Ray Sarmiento followed suit with another straight-set Trojan win, beating Tim Kopinski 6-4, 6-4 on court two, and USC was up 5-0 on its hosts. The remaining matches would extend to 10-point tiebreakers, with USC winding up with a split. At No. 3, #65 sophomore Yannick Hanfmann held off Illinois' #108 Ross Guignon for a 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8) comeback win that got USC to a 6-0 advantage in the match. USC's #61 sophomore Eric Johnson wouldn't be so fortunate in his tiebreaker, unfortunately. Instead, Farris Gosea pulled off a 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8) comeback of his own to tally the only point of the day for Illinois and wrap up the match as a 6-1, USC victory.
The USC men now head to South Bend, Ind., for a clash with Notre Dame at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday (March 20) to wrap up the Trojans' Midwest Spring Break journeys.
#2 USC 6, #15 Illinois 1
March 18, 2013 - Urbana, Ill.
(1) Gosea/Kopinski (ILL) def. #26 Hanfmann/Sarmiento (USC) - 8-6
(2) Gomez/Quiroz (USC) def. Guignon/Hoh (ILL) - 8-3
(3) Grant/Johnson (USC) def. Abdelnour/Page (ILL) - 8-6
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
(1) #2 Emilio Gomez (USC) def. Stephen Hoh (ILL) - 6-3, 6-0
(2) #9 Ray Sarmiento (USC) def. Tim Kopinski (ILL) - 6-4, 6-4
(3) #65 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) def. #108 Ross Guignon (ILL) - 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8)
(4) #23 Roberto Quiroz (USC) def. Bruno Abdelnour (ILL) - 6-4, 6-2
(5) Farris Gosea (ILL) def. #61 Eric Johnson (USC) - 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8)
(6) #90 Jonny Wang (USC) def. Brian Page (ILL) - 6-1, 6-2
Order of finish: 6, 1, 4*, 2, 3, 5