Trojans Blank Stanford To Advance To Semis

May 23, 2004

TULSA, Okla. - Highlighted by Ruben Torres' come-from-behind victory and Johan Berg's near-perfect match, the second seeded USC men's tennis team swept conference foe and 10th seeded Stanford, 4-0, in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Sunday afternoon at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa. The Trojans improve to 23-3 overall and advance to the semifinals to face third-seeded Baylor on Monday, May 24, at 2 p.m. CST.

Stanford completes its season at 19-8, capping off head coach Dick Gould's final match of his 38-year career.

'I wanted to win this match more than anything,' said USC head coach Peter Smith, who advances to the semifinal round for the first time in his career after making five quarterfinal appearances. 'But it was also an honor to coach against Coach Gould. It's pretty incredible what he has meant to our sport.

'Our team played outstanding, especially Berg, who had the match of his life, and Ruben, who just never let up.'

The winds were a bit calmer, but the sun shone brightly as the teams played the three-hour, four-minute match. USC seemed to take control from the start as Adriano Biasella and Berg took a 7-4 lead at center court doubles, but the Cardinal's Carter Morris and Sam Warburg pushed the pair and knotted the score 7-7. Meanwhile, Parker Collins and Torres, who trailed at the start, clinched a 9-7 win at court three, and Drew Hoskins and Daniel Langre claimed the doubles point with an 8-6 win at the No. 2 spot.

Singles play began with Berg's dominating performance over James Wan at court three. Wan, who had only lost one match at No. 3 this season, fell 6-0, 6-1, to give USC a 2-0 lead. Next off the courts was Hoskins, who defeated Chris Rasmussen, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 6, and put the Trojans ahead 3-0.

With only one more point necessary, it was left up to either Langre, who was entering a third set after winning the second, or Torres, who was close to dropping the second set and entering a third. But Torres never lost the second set. Down 5-1, 40-15, Torres put forth an unbelievable comeback effort against Stanford's James Pade. He broke serve three times and held Pade at match-point en route to a 6-2, 7-5 match-clinching victory.

USC and Baylor will meet on Monday for the second time this season. The Trojans defeated the Bears, 4-3, at Marks Tennis Stadium in a regular season match on Feb. 28.

NCAA Men's Tennis Quarterfinals - Tulsa, Okla.
#4 USC 4, #9 Stanford 0

(1) #44 Biasella/Berg (USC) vs. Morris/Warburg (Stan) - 8-7 suspended
(2) #18 Hoskins/Langre (USC) def. Corkery/Sheng (Stan) - 8-6
(3) Collins/Torres (USC) def. Pade/Wan (Stan) - 9-7
USC wins doubles point.

(1) #19 Adriano Biasella (USC) vs. #8 Sam Warburg (Stan) - suspended
(2) #86 Jamil Al-Agba (USC) vs. #65 K.C. Corkery (Stan) - suspended
(3) #82 Johan Berg (USC) def. #102 James Wan (Stan) - 6-0, 6-1
(4) Daniel Langre (USC) vs. Phil Sheng (Stan) - suspended
(5) #105 Ruben Torres (USC) def. James Pade (Stan) - 6-2, 7-5
(6) Drew Hoskins (USC) def. Chris Rasmussen (Stan) - 6-3, 6-2

Order of Finish: D3, D2*, S3, S6, S5*
* Match-clinching victories.

- GO SC -

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