USC Leads Virginia 1-0, Rains Interrupt Singles Play

May 16, 2009

The USC men's tennis team grabbed the doubles point in its NCAA Quarterfinal match with Virginia before rains in College Station, Texas, interrupted competition. Leading 1-0 in the match with singles play no more than three games deep, the Trojans will wait until at least 5:30 p.m. CT to resume play against the top-seeded Cavaliers.

The quarterfinal match itself had been pushed up an hour in anticipation of possible storms coming through the area. In a tense doubles point, USC prevailed with a tiebreaker win on court two to secure the early advantage before lightning warnings cleared the stadium in the early stages of singles play. Heavy rain has followed, putting the continuation of competition up in the air for the day.

Still, USC has in its hands a big early boost with the doubles point on the board for the Trojans. At the No. 3 slot, USC's Matt Kecki / Jaak Poldma moved ahead with a break that gave the Trojans a 5-4 lead, and the pair pushed on with some strong service games and one last break of the Cavaliers for an 8-5 win. At the No. 1 and No. 2 position, the Trojans and the Cavaliers were battling. Just moments apart, both USC teams were able to get a break on their respective UVA opponents. For #59 Abdullah Magdas / Daniel Nguyen at No. 2, the break breathed new life into their match, pulling things even at 4-4. On court one, the break had similar effect for Robert Farah / Steve Johnson, tying things at 5-5. Johnson would hold on his next serve, but Virginia answered with a poiwerful run that lifted the Cavaliers past the Trojans, as #12 Inglot/Shabaz managed an 8-6 win over USC's #4 Farah/Johnson to leave the deciding match at No. 2.

The No. 2 doubles match see-sawed, with the Trojans getting a 6-4 lead before the Cavaliers broke USC back twice to eventually pull ahead 8-7 for a chance to serve out the match. But Magdas/Nguyen persevered and snapped UVA's Courtney/Singer's momentum with a break to force a tiebreaker. There, the Trojans marched to a 5-0 lead. And although the Cavaliers closed in from 6-3 to 6-5, Nguyen went to the service line and anchored USC through match point to claim a 9-8 (5) win and a big doubles point for the Trojans.

For updates on the delays and competition at the NCAA Team Championships in College Station, go to the .

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