USC Tennis Sweeps Pac-10 Tennis Players of the Week
March 2, 2010
USC tennis has picked up a Pac-10 sweep as Daniel Nguyen and Maria Sanchez have been selected Pac-10 Men's and Women's Tennis Players of the Week, respectively. Both Trojans snagged big wins last week, resulting in the second career Pac-10 Player of the Week honor for junior Maria Sanchez and the first Pac-10 Player of the Week award for sophomore Daniel Nguyen. Sanchez is the first USC woman to win the award this season, and Nguyen is the second male Trojan to win it.
Ranked #3 in the nation in singles, junior Maria Sanchez got two more wins this week, including an impressive upset of California's #2 Jana Juricova. After a smooth 6-2, 6-2 win over San Diego State's #58 Julia Trunk earlier in the week, Sanchez and the No. 10 Trojans went up against No. 3 California. Battling it out at the No. 1 singles position, Sanchez and Juricova played out three tough sets. When Juricova answered Sanchez' first-set win by taking the second set, Sanchez pulled ahead 2-0 in the third. Juricova responded to tie it 2-2, but Sanchez blasted out the next three games with a pair of breaks to go up 5-2. Juricova broke her back, but Sanchez had the last word with one more break to claim a strong 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 victory. With the upset win, Sanchez improved to 16-5 overall in singles, including an 8-1 mark in dual-match singles play.
After winning out in doubles and singles during USC's 7-0 sweep of San Diego State earlier this week, Daniel Nguyen came up huge for the Trojans in an incredibly tight match at No. 14 Stanford in a rematch of last year's NCAA Round of 16 clash. Due to the threat of rain, USC and Stanford opted to play out singles first, with doubles only played in the event of a singles tie and clear skies later in the day. Nguyen had the most decisive singles win of the day as he opened the day with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Matt Kandath to help USC to an early lead. Singles play would end up even 3-3, bringing up the deciding doubles matches. The winning point came down to Nguyen and partner Steve Johnson at the No. 2 position, as the unranked Trojan pair faced Stanford's #26 Clayton/Wire. Nguyen and Johnson pushed the match to a tiebreaker and pulled ahead and clinched the match by claiming the tiebreak 7-3 to win the match for USC. Nguyen is now 20-5 overall in singles and is 4-0 with Johnson in doubles.
The USC men and women both have rivalry clashes with UCLA set for tomorrow (March 3). The men will travel to UCLA for a 1:30 p.m. match in Westwood, while the Women of Troy host the Bruins here at Marks Stadium at 1:30 p.m.