In the first edition of the Pac-12 SEC Showdown, the No. 4 USC men's tennis team made a statement in serving up a 4-0 takedown of No. 3 Georgia. After pulling off a tight doubles point, the Trojans rattled off three straight-set singles wins to wrap a quick victory over the visiting Bulldogs. USC improves to 3-0 with the win, and the Trojans now turn to face No. 11 Florida tomorrow in the finale of the event at Marks Stadium.
Also competing in the Showdown at Marks Stadium are USC's Pac-12 rival UCLA and Georgia's SEC rival Florida. In today's kickoff match, No. 2 UCLA topped No. 11 Florida with a 4-1 decision. The Bruins and the Bulldogs will clash tomorrow at 10 a.m. before USC faces the Gators. Both matches will be televised by Pac-12 Networks.
Setting the winning tone for the Trojans was USC's top guns on the doubles courts, Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento. They more than held their ground against Georgia's #12 Pieters/Wagland and hustled to a 6-2 win on court one. The Bulldogs made it interesting by snagging the win on court three in a tiebreaker, as UGA's Diaz/Smith edged out USC's Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson. That set up the heroics on court two, where USC's new combo pack of freshman Connor Farren and junior Roberto Quiroz continued their winning ways. Up 5-4 on Georgia's Brasseaux/Pasha with Quiroz on the service line, the Trojans finished off the Bulldogs with one last blast at the net by Farren, and USC had the 6-4 win and the doubles point in hand.
The feature presentation of the singles scene was set for court one, where USC's #10 senior Ray Sarmiento was up against Georgia's #12 Austin Smith. While that battle ensued, it was USC junior Jonny Wang who ripped his way to the first singles victory of the day. #67 Wang wrapped up USC's second point with a smooth 6-3, 6-1 win over Georgia's Hernus Pieters on court five. Meanwhile, at the No. 2 spot, USC's #34 junior Yannick Hanfmann was all business in his first set tiebreaker against UGA's #21 Nathan Pasha. The momentum Hanfmann gleaned from that tiebreak sweep carried him through to a strong second set, as he would tally a 3-0 lead for the Trojans with his 6-5 (0), 6-1 win. With the Trojans poised for the upset victory, Sarmiento buckled down in his clash with #12 Smith. The senior would lock in the W for USC on a 6-4, 6-4 win at the No. 1 spot to suspend action on the remaining courts.
USC had claimed the first set on courts three and six, with Trojan junior Eric Johnson in the driver's seat in his No. 6 matchup against Nick Wood. At No. 3, #113 Roberto Quiroz was up as set but down a break to #48 Ben Wagland when the match wrapped, while freshman Farren was trailing UGA's Garrett Brasseaux on court four.
All four teams return to action at Marks Stadium tomorrow (Feb. 2) for the continuation of the Pac-12/SEC Showdown. No. 2 UCLA faces No. 3 Georgia at 10 a.m., followed by No. 2 USC and No. 11 Florida.
PAC-12/SEC SHOWDOWN (Marks Stadium • Los Angeles, Calif.)
Match #2 - Feb. 1, 2014
#4 USC 4, #3 Georgia 0
(1) Hanfmann/Sarmiento (USC) def. #12 Pieters/Wagland (UGA) - 6-2
(2) Farren/Quiroz (USC) def. Brasseaux/Pasha (UGA) - 6-4
(3) Diaz/Smith (UGA) def. de Vroome/Johnson (USC) - 6-5 (0)
USC wins doubles point
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
(1) #10 Ray Sarmiento (USC) def. #12 Austin Smith (UGA) - 6-4, 6-4*
(2) #32 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) def. #21 Nathan Pasha (UGA) - 6-5 (0), 6-1
(3) #113 Roberto Quiroz (USC) vs. #48 Ben Wagland (UGA) - 6-4, 1-3 susp.
(4) Connor Farren (USC) vs. Garrett Brasseaux (UGA) - 4-6, 2-5 susp.
(5) #67 Jonny Wang (USC) def. Hernus Pieters (UGA) - 6-3, 6-1
(6) Eric Johnson (USC) vs. #102 Nick Wood (UGA) - 6-5 (3), 5-2 susp.
Order of finish: 2, 5, 1*
Match #1 - Feb. 1, 2014
#2 UCLA 4, #11 Florida 1
(1) Alford/Piro (FLA) def. #10 Giron/McDonald (UCLA) - 6-5 (10-8)
(2) DiGiulio/Thompson (UCLA) def. Lipman/Watson (FLA) - 6-3
(3) Hidalgo/Newman (FLA) def. Mkrtchian/Sell (UCLA) - 6-3
Florida wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1
(1) #1 Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. Spencer Newman (FLA) - 4-3 ret. (inj)
(2) #11 Marcos Giron (UCLA) vs. Diego Hidalgo (FLA) - 5-6, 3-2 susp.
(3) #62 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) def. #111 Gordon Watson (FLA) - 6-4, 6-1
(4) #120 Gage Brymer (UCLA) def. #53 Elliott Orkin (FLA) - 6-1, 6-1
(5) #63 Karue Sell (UCLA) vs. #109 Maxx Lipman (FLA) - 4-6, 4-5 susp.
(6) Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) def. Florent Diep (FLA) - 6-3, 6-5 (2)
Order of finish: 1, 4, 3, 6*