NCAA Tennis Wrapup: First Round Singles

May 26, 2010

ATHENS, GA. - USC pushed four athletes through to the NCAA Singles Round of 32 with a winning first day of action at the NCAA Championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Center in Athens, Ga. Three Women of Troy touched down in Athens and picked up first-round wins on the day, with Danielle Lao, Alison Ramos and Maria Sanchez all advancing on strong first-round victories. On the men's side, NCAA Team Champions Robert Farah and Steve Johnson made the move into individual competition, with Johnson falling and Farah grabbing a win in singles play. The duo will team back up tomorrow (May 27) for the opening round of NCA Doubles competition.

Freshman Danielle Lao opened the day's competition for the USC athletes and set a winning tone for her fellow Trojans. Up against Akron's Zaruhi Harutyunyan, Lao showed no case of nerves in her first appearance on the NCAA stage. She drilled out a 6-0 lead over her opponent, and topped that off with a strong second set to tack of a 6-0, 6-3 win to pocket her ticket to the NCAA Round of 32. Lao will face Baylor's Nina Secerbegovic at 1:30 p.m. ET tomorrow (May 27).

In her second career trip to the NCAA Singles competition, junior Maria Sanchez held all the power of her No. 3 seed in the tourney and matched Lao's opening effort with a cruise through opponent McCall Jones of BYU. Sanchez faltered in just one game as Jones managed to hold serve just once as Sanchez pounded out a 6-0, 6-1 win. Sanchez advances to face Auburn's Fani Chifchieva at 1:30 p.m. ET tomorrow in the NCAA Round of 32.

The next Trojans to take to the courts of Athens was sophomore Alison Ramos, making her first trip to the NCAA Singles show. Ramos was able to shrug off a troublesome first set and regroup to work past Texas A&M's Elze Potgieter and stage a comeback win with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 decision that carries Ramos into tomorrow's Round of 32. She will face Washington's Venise Chan at 1 p.m. ET.

Representing the USC men - now proud owners of back-to-back NCAA Team Championships after a long and exciting championship match the previous night - in today's singles play were senior Robert Farah and sophomore Steve Johnson. The pair are also set for NCAA Doubles competition tomorrow (May 27) at 6 p.m., but first there was singles play to get to today. The No. 2-seeded Johnson faltered against Tennessee's Rhyne Williams - the Vols' lone singles winner from the previous night's team title match with the Trojans - and took a 6-4, 6-3 loss that wraps up Johnson's second NCAA singles appearance. Meanwhile, teammate Farah was grinding out a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Baylor's Jordan Rux. Farah will open another day of double duty tomorrow with his NCAA Singles Round of 32 match at 11:30 a.m. ET against Georgia's Javier Garrapiz before getting to doubles play with Johnson later tomorrow night.



Danielle Lao
First Round - May 26
def. Zaruhi Harutyunyan (Akron) - 6-0, 6-3

Round of 32 - May 27
vs. Nina Secerbegovic (Baylor) - 1:30 p.m. ET

Alison Ramos
First Round - May 26
def. Elze Potgieter (Texas A&M) - 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

Round of 32 - May 27
vs. Venise Chan (Washington) - 1 p.m. ET

[3] Maria Sanchez
First Round - May 26
def. McCall Jones (BYU) - 6-0, 6-1

Round of 32 - May 27
vs. Fani Chifchieva (Auburn) - 1:30 p.m.


[9-16] Robert Farah
First Round - May 26
def. Jordan Rux (Baylor) - 6-3, 6-2

Round of 32 - May 27
vs. Javier Garrapiz (UGA) - 11:30 a.m.

[2] Steve Johnson
First Round - May 26
lost to Rhyne Williams (Tennessee) - 6-4, 6-3



[2] Robert Farah / Steve Johnson
First Round - May 27
vs. Brighiu/Price (TCU) - 6 p.m. ET

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