NCAA Tennis Wrapup: Round of 32

May 27, 2010

ATHENS, GA. - USC's tennis stars continued their NCAA pushes on a hot day in Athens, Ga., with Maria Sanchez and Robert Farah both pressing on for Round of 16 slots on the singles side. Farah and teammate Steve Johnson also kicked off their doubles run with an opening win, setting up the Trojan duo for more action tomorrow (May 28) in the Doubles Round of 16 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

No. 3 seed Maria Sanchez flexed some muscle again today on the steamy courts in Athens as she took down Auburn's Fani Chifchieva 7-6 (3), 7-5 thanks to some key composure by the USC junior. Sanchez' next opponent will be UCLA's Noelle Hickey, with the two LA-based athletes squaring off in tomorrow's NCAA Singles Round of 16.

Robert Farah won his 18th straight singles match in gutting out a tight first set in which the Trojan senior fought off an early break by Georgia's Javier Garrapiz. Facing the host team's top player, Farah remained focused and managed a late break back of Garrapiz as well as some impressive points to take the upper hand in the first set. Farah pushed past Garrapiz to take the first 7-5, then rolled to a decisive second set to wrap up a 7-5, 6-1 victory on a hot day at the Dan Magill Tennis Center. Farah's next opponent puts the senior up against Oklahoma State's No. 6 seeded Oleksandr Nedovyesov tomorrow in the NCAA Singles Round of 16.

Wrapping up their first trips to the NCAA Singles Championships were USC freshman Danielle Lao and sophomore Alison Ramos, who followed up good first-round wins yesterday with a Round of 32 loss today. Lao was up against Baylor's Nina Secerbegovic, who had just upset UCLA's No. 8 seed Yasmin Schnack the previous day. Lao fought her Baylor opponent through three sets, but fell 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, finishing up her freshman campaign with a 23-12 overall singles record. Sophomore Ramos also had a tough draw in facing 9-16 seed Venise Chan of Washington. Chan managed a 6-2, 7-6 (9) win over Ramos, closing down the Trojan's sophomore season with a 26-17 overall singles mark.

In late afternoon doubles competition, Farah got back in gear for doubles play with Steve Johnson. The #2 ranked Trojan pair is the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Doubles Championships, and the duo opened their push for a crown with a solid 6-4, 6-2 win over TCU's Brighiu/Price. Farah/Johnosn move on to the Round of 16 where the Trojans will square off against North Carolina's Donato/Hardy tomorrow.

NCAA SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIPS
WOMEN

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

Round of 32 - May 27
lost to Nina Secerbegovic (Baylor) - 6-1, 3-6, 6-3

Alison Ramos
First Round - May 26Round of 32 - May 27
lost to [9-16] Venise Chan (Washington) - 6-2, 7-6 (9)

[3] Maria Sanchez
First Round - May 26Round of 32 - May 27Round of 16 - May 28
vs. Noelle Hickey (UCLA) - TBA

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

Round of 32 - May 27
def. Javier Garrapiz (UGA) - 7-5, 6-1

Round of 16 - May 28
vs. [6] Oleksandr Nedovyesov (Okla. St) - TBA

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

NCAA DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIPS
MEN
[3] Robert Farah / Steve Johnson
First Round - May 27
def. Brighiu/Price (TCU) - 6-4, 6-2

Round of 16 - May 28
vs. Donato/Hardy (UNC) -- TBA

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