No. 3 USC Men Beat Out No. 6 Baylor In ITA National Indoor Quarterfinals
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- The No. 3 USC men's tennis team held its ground once again in action at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, taking down No. 6 Baylor with a 4-2 victory in today's quarterfinal round. Sidelined for almost a month by injury, USC senior Michael Grant has returned with authority this in Houston. Grant tacked up his second singles win in two days, netting the clincher for the Trojans to beat the Bears today from court six. Now 6-0 on the year, the Trojans advance to tomorrow's semifinals against No. 2 UCLA for a crosstown rivalry showdown all the way in Texas. USC and UCLA will tangle at 3 p.m. CT at the Downtown Club at the Met tomorrow (Feb. 16).
It will be a rematch of last year's ITA Indoor semifinal, in fact. At the 2013 tourney, the Trojans registered a 4-3 win over the Bruins in the semis to move into the title match.
In today's quarterfinal, the Trojans once again wrapped up the doubles point on strong play from the No. 2 and 3 positions. Connor Farren and Roberto Quiroz punched up the first win of the day in this one, serving up a 6-3 win over Galeano/Lupieri on court two. At the No. 3 spot, USC's Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson got the job done on a 6-4 clincher over Lenz/Verzaal, while USC's top guns Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento were locked up 5-5 on court one against Pradella/Zsiga.
#16 Yannick Hanfmann would sprint to victory on the singles courts, though, taking the Trojans to a 2-0 lead with his smooth 6-2, 6-1 win over Baylor's #18 Diego Galeano on court two. At the No. 5 spot, however, Baylor got on the board. Tony Lupieri pinned up a 6-3 6-1 win over USC's Eric Johnson, but the Trojans found some padding next. On court three, Roberto Quiroz knocked out Mate Zsiga with a 6-2, 6-3 decision that had USC up 3-1 on the Bears.
The match tightened up again when the Bears refused to give up, closing to 3-2 when Michael Dornbusch avoided a third set and got the win over Connor Farren with a 6-5 (5), 6-5 (5) decision at the No. 4 slot. That left three-setters raging on courts one and six, leaving the match up to USC's seniors Ray Sarmiento and Michael Grant. Grant would come up with the heroic finish, bouncing back from a tiebreak loss in the first set to come through in the clutch with a 5-6 (5), 6-2, 6-3 comeback over Vince Schneider at the No. 6 spot.
ITA NATIONAL TEAM INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS (Houston, Texas)
#3 USC 4, #6 Baylor 2
Feb. 15, 2014 - Houston, Texas (Galleria Tennis and Athletic Center)
(1) #35 Hanfmann/Sarmiento (USC) vs. Pradella/Zsiga (BAY) - 5-5 susp.
(2) Farren/Quiroz (USC) def. Galeano/Lupieri (BAY) - 6-3
(3) de Vroome/Johnson (USC) def. Lenz/Verzaal (BAY) - 6-4
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2, 3
(1) #7 Ray Sarmiento (USC) vs. #9 Patrick Pradella (BAY) - 6-3, 5-6 (0), 2-3 susp.
(2) #16 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) def. #18 Diego Galeano (BAY) - 6-2, 6-1
(3) Roberto Quiroz (USC) def. Mate Zsiga (BAY) - 6-2, 6-3
(4) Michael Dornbusch (BAY) def. Connor Farren (USC) - 6-5 (5), 6-5 (5)
(5) Tony Lupieri (BAY) def. Eric Johnson (USC) - 6-3, 6-1
(6) Michael Grant (USC) def. Vince Schneider (BAY) - 5-6 (5), 6-2, 6-3*
Order of finish: 2, 5, 3, 4, 6*