STANFORD, CALIF. -- The No. 2 USC men's tennis team earned head coach Peter Smith his 500th career win today with a 6-1 road win over No. 49 Stanford in the Trojans' Pac-12 opener. A two-time ITA National Coach of the Year and four-time NCAA Team Champion, Smith's milestone win comes as the Trojans' 18th victory of the season. As the 2012 Trojans improve to 18-2 overall with a 1-0 start to Pac-12 play, Smith now boasts a 500-199 career record as a head coach.
Almost half those wins have come in his time at Troy, where he is now 230-64 in his 11th season with the Trojans. Smith, who has guided USC to the NCAA Championship the past four seasons, has also served as a head coach at Long Beach State (50-47), Fresno State (102-57) and Pepperdine (118-31) during his 26 seasons as a head coach.
"When things like this happen it is always humbling because you know how many players and coaches have helped you along the way," Smith said of hitting 500. "It is a privilege to have this job and way of life. Yes, I have been very fortunate. But there's no time to stop and think too much - we have more to do. Fight On!"
This 500th win wouldn't come easily, however. The Trojans stumbled in doubles play, surrendering the first point of the match to the host Cardinal. USC's only win on the doubles courts came in a shutout from Gomez/Quiroz, whose 8-0 win on court two looked to set a tone for the Trojans with the first win of the day. Stanford would fight back, however, getting an 8-3 win on court one next and then clinching the first point with an 8-5 decision on court three.
The Trojans seemed to heed the wakeup call of the early deficit. At the No. 1 spot, #6 Emilio Gomez blasted #54 John Morrissey with a 6-4, 6-1 decision that got USC on the board and put some wind in the Trojan sails. #9 Ray Sarmiento mirrored that winning score in taking out #88 Nolan Paige next, and USC was back in business with a 2-1 lead. Vying for the clincher were #65 Eric Johnson and #86 Jonny Wang on courts five and six, respectively. Johnson would notch his win first with yet another 6-4, 6-1 decision in the Trojans' favor, beating Daniel Ho to make it 3-1 USC. Wang would come through with the winner, securing his coach's 500th career win with his 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory on court six over Trey Strobel.
That left two matches still raging on. Court four's #28 Roberto Quiroz dug in for a second-set tiebreaker victory to beat Robert Stineman 6-4, 7-6 (6), leaving #48 Yannick Hanfmann and Maciek Romanowicz playing out a full third set. Hanfmann had tripped up in the second set to bring up the third, but the Trojan sophomore came through with his winning touch in the end. He'd wrap up the day's action with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win over Romanowicz.
No. 2 USC now turns to face No. 15 California in a 1:30 p.m. match on Sunday (March 31). Doubles will begin at 1:30 p.m. and singles will start at 3:05 p.m. Singles courts 1-3 will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
#2 USC 6, #49 Stanford 1
March 29, 2013 - Stanford, Calif.
(1) Lin/Morrissey (STAN) def. #37 Hanfmann/Sarmiento (USC) - 8-3
(2) Gomez/Quiroz (USC) def. Romanowicz/Stineman (STAN) - 8-0
(3) Paige/Strobel (STAN) def. Grant/Johnson (USC) - 8-5
Stanford wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
(1) #6 Emilio Gomez (USC) def. #54 John Morrissey (STAN) - 6-4, 6-1
(2) #9 Ray Sarmiento (USC) def. #88 Nolan Paige (STAN) - 6-4, 6-1
(3) #48 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) def. Maciek Romanowicz (STAN) - 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
(4) #28 Roberto Quiroz (USC) def. Robert Stineman (STAN) - 6-4, 7-6 (6)
(5) #65 Eric Johnson (USC) def. Daniel Ho (STAN) - 6-4, 6-1
(6) #86 Jonny Wang (USC) def. Trey Strobel (STAN) - 7-6 (3), 6-3*
Order of finish: 1, 2, 5, 6*, 4, 3