No. 4 USC Men Have Streak Snapped By No. 1 Georgia
March 14, 2007
ATHENS, GA. - The No. 4 USC men's tennis team was dealt its first loss of the season with a 6-1 road loss to top-ranked Georgia on Wednesday in Athens, Ga. The defeat to the nation's top squad put a halt to an 11-match winning streak by the Trojans - a mark which stands as the best start to the season for USC since the 1987 team went 32-0 to open the year. The Bulldogs - boasting a ranked player at every singles position as well as the #1 singles player and #1 doubles team - first grabbed the doubles point before continuing on to win five singles matches. USC freshman Gary Sacks was the lone Trojan to tack up a victory, securing a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 upset of Georgia's #51 Jamie Hunt at the No. 6 slot. USC moves to 11-1 on the year, while Georgia improves to 15-0.
Facing two top-10 doubles duos, USC's doubles team put up a fight but were unable to pull off a win to open the dual match. In their second match playing together, USC's Gary Sacks / Garrett Snyder fought Bulldogs Hunt/Schnugg at the No. 3 position before falling 8-6. USC's winningest doubles pair, Robert Farah / Kaes Van't Hof came up against #8 Helgeson/Omerzel, suffering just their second dual match loss of the year with an 8-6 defeat that left the Bulldogs with the doubles point. Playing at No. 1, USC's Jamil Al-Agba / Dejan Cvetkovic squared off against top-ranked Isner / Flores and fell 8-5 to close out the doubles play.
Georgia extended its lead in the match with three straight singles wins, starting with #46 Nate Schnugg's 6-2, 6-3 win over USC's #113 Jason McNaughton, snapping a 14-match winning streak by the freshman, who had been undefeated in dual match play to that point. Top-ranked Bulldog John Isner then topped USC's #77 Dejan Cvetkovic 6-2, 6-4 at the No. 1 singles position to get Georgia up 3-0, and then #34 Matic Omerzel defeated USC freshman Robert Farah 6-4, 6-4 at the No. 4 slot to clinch the win.
USC answered with Gary Sacks' 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 victory over #51 Jamie Hunt from the No. 6 spot to tally a point for the Trojans. With the match already decided, the remaining singles battles were finalized by tiebreakers. USC's Kaes Van't Hof had his match headed for a third set, but fell in the final tiebreaker to endure the junior's first loss in 11 matches, ending a 10-match winning streak with a 4-6, 7-6 (11-9), 1-0 (10-7) loss to #10 Luis Flores. The last match to finish was the No. 2 singles match, where Georgia's #9 Travis Helgeson edged USC's #45 Jamil Al-Agba 6-2, 7-6 (10-8) in a ferocious final tiebreaker.
USC now turns to its first Pac-10-counting matches of the year with a trip to Arizona. The Trojans face #51 Arizona State at 1:30 p.m. on Friday (March 16) in Tempe, and then play #62 Arizona at 1 p.m. on Saturday (March 17).
#1 Georgia 6, #4 USC 1
(1) #1 Isner/Flores (UGA) def. #36 Al-Agba/Cvetkovic (USC) - 8-5
(2) #8 Helgeson/Omerzel (UGA) def. Farah/Van't Hof (USC) - 8-6
(3) Hunt/Schnugg (UGA) def. Sacks/Snyder (USC) - 8-6
Georgia wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
(1) #1 John Isner (UGA) def. #77 Dejan Cvetkovic (USC) - 6-2, 6-4
(2) #9 Travis Helgeson (UGA) def. #45 Jamil Al-Agba (USC) - 6-2, 7-6 (10-8)
(3) #10 Luis Flores (UGA) def. Kaes Van't Hof (USC) - 4-6, 7-6 (11-9), 1-0 (10-7)
(4) #34 Matic Omerzel (UGA) def. Robert Farah (USC) - 6-4, 6-4
(5) #46 Nate Schnugg (UGA) def. #113 Jason McNaughton (USC) - 6-2, 6-3
(6) Gary Sacks (USC) def. #51 Jamie Hunt (UGA) - 6-1, 2-6, 6-4
Order of finish 5, 1, 4*, 6, 3, 2