NCAA Tennis Wrapup: Round of 16

May 28, 2010

ATHENS, GA. - Trojan tennis is all set up for individual quarterfinal action tomorrow in Athens, Ga., after Round of 16 wins by both Maria Sanchez and Robert Farah in today's NCAA Singles Championship action at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. For USC's doubles pair of Farah and Steve Johnson, the duo's run of nonstop tennis came to a close with a three-set loss in the Round of 16 this afternoon. Sanchez and Farah will both have 12 p.m. ET singles matches tomorrow (May 29) for their quarterfinal clashes.

On the women's side of things, No. 3 seed Maria Sanchez was up against a member of crosstown rival UCLA for her NCAA Round of 16 match, but the Trojan junior proved her power by taking early advantage of UCLA's Noelle Hickey. Sanchez took the first set 6-4 and managed to shake off broken serves in the second set to stay even with Hickey and bring up a deciding second-set tiebreaker. Sanchez was all business in the tiebreak, leaping ahead 3-0 and cruising through to a 7-1 decision that tacked up a 6-4, 7-6 (1) victory for the Trojan to get her through to tomorrow's NCAA Singles Quarterfinals. There, Sanchez will face Miami's No. 8 seed Laura Vallverdu for the right to push on to the singles semis.

In men's action, senior Robert Farah dominated the tournament's No. 6 seed Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State. Farah showed the strength that recently netted him this year's ITA Senior Player of the Year award as he shut out Nedovyesov in the first set and stayed at least a step ahead the rest of the way en route to a 6-0, 6-3 win that propels Farah into tomorrow's NCAA Singles Quarterfinals. Farah's quarterfinal foe will be top-seeded Henrique Cunha of Duke. Farah carries a 19-match singles winning streak into tomorrow's quarterfinal bout with Cunha, who has now won 23 straight himself.

In doubles play, USC's No. 3-seeded pair of Robert Farah and Steve Johnson stumbled in rare fashion during today's NCAA Round of 16 doubles match. The owners of 31 wins on the season, Farah and Johnson have not had a day off of competition since beginning their trip to Athens, and a late break today in the second set of their Round of 16 match tripped up the Trojan pair. Farah/Johnson had taken the first set against UNC's Donato/Hardy, but the Tar Heels took a step ahead by breaking the Trojans to go up 5-4 in the second and work the match into a third set. There, UNC got out ahead early and finished off a 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 comeback win that rounded out the USC pair's 2010 season together with Farah/Johnson holding a 31-5 overall record. In their two-year career playing together on the doubles scene, the two-time Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year have posted a 66-9 overall record together.


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 26
def. Elze Potgieter (Texas A&M) - 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

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

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

Round of 32 - May 27
def. Fani Chifchieva (Auburn) - 7-6 (3), 7-5

Round of 16 - May 28
def. Noelle Hickey (UCLA) - 6-4, 7-6 (1)

Quarterfinals - May 29
vs. [8] Laura Vallverdu (Miami) - 12 p.m. ET

[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
def. [6] Oleksandr Nedovyesov (Okla. St) - 6-0, 6-3

Quarterfinals - May 29
vs. [1] Henrique Cunha (Duke) - 12 p.m. ET

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

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

Round of 16 - May 28
lost to Donato/Hardy (UNC) - 2-6, 6-4, 6-1

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