No. 3 USC Men Breeze By Wake Forest 5-2

March 10, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The No. 3 USC men's tennis team recorded their sixth straight win in their first-ever face-off with No. 17 Wake Forest in another blustery day at Marks Stadium. The Trojans captured the doubles point and then won three of the first four singles matches on the way to a 5-2 final victory. The last three matches went to three sets, but Peter Lucassen closed things down first with a win at the No. 4 slot to improve the Trojans' overall record on the year to 13-1.

USC kicked off the day with its #13 doubles duo of Robert Farah / Steve Johnson taking down #14 Atkinson/Forman 8-4 on court one. Paired up at No. 2, Daniel Nguyen / JT Sundling secured the doubles point for the Trojans with an 8-5 win over Carleton/Wolff. Rolling into a tiebreak on court three, the Demon Deacons got a win with Kreyman/Leslie's 8-7 (2) edge-out of USC's Lucassen/Poldma.

That brought up singles action as the Trojans jumped out ahead 3-0 with straight-set wins from #3 Steve Johnson and #116 Daniel Nguyen. Johnson passed up Wake Forest's #30 Tripper Carleton 6-3, 6-3 at the No. 1 singles slot, and Nguyen followed suit with an identical score over Zach Leslie on court five. USC's #9 Robert Farah came up against a tough #67 Steve Forman at No. 2, however, with the Demon Deacons grabbing their first point on a 6-4, 6-4 win by Forman over Farah.

The remaining Trojans had all taken first-set losses, but each rallied back to win the second and force a decisive third set. On court four, #76 Peter Lucassen shrugged off his first-set loss and powered back against #80 Iain Atkinson, leaping ahead with a late break of Atkinson to claim a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 comeback that clinched the match for the Trojans 4-1. Before Lucassen's clincher, however, the match took on some drama as the Demon Deacons moved ahead 5-3 in the third on court three and 5-4 on court six. The Trojans held off Wake Forest in both matches, however, although Jason Morganstern did end up working out of a 5-5 tie with USC #96 freshman JT Sundling to get a second point for the Demon Deacons with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 win that made it 4-2. At the No. 3 singles match, meanwhile, #93 Jaak Poldma was battling with #108 Jonathan Wolff. Poldma had pounded out a 6-1 win in the second set to get to a third, and answered a 3-5 deficit with two holds and a break to get ahead 6-5. The set would go to a tiebreak, where Wolff took a 5-3 lead but was overruled for a third time and received his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of the day, resulting in a game penalty and ultimately the match going in Poldma's favor. That left the Trojans with a 5-2 victory over visiting Wake Forest.

USC's next competition comes next week on the road with visits to Duke and Georgia on March 17 and 19, respectively.

#3 USC 5, #17 Wake Forest 2
March 10, 2010 - Marks Stadium
(1) #13 Farah/Johnson (USC) def. #14 Atkinson/Forman (WF) - 8-4
(2) Nguyen/Sundling (USC) def. Carleton/Wolff (WF) - 8-5
(3) Kreyman/Leslie (WF) def. Lucassen/Poldma (USC) - 8-7 (2)
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3
(1) #3 Steve Johnson (USC) def. #20 Tripper Carleton (WF) - 6-3, 6-3
(2) #67 Steven Forman (WF) def. #9 Robert Farah (USC) - 6-4, 6-4
(3) #93 Jaak Poldma (USC) def. #108 Jonathan Wolff (WF) - 6-7 (3), 6-1, 7-6 (3-5) [game penalty]
(4) #76 Peter Lucassen (USC) def. #80 Iain Atkinson (WF) - 2-6, 6-4, 6-3*
(5) #116 Daniel Nguyen (USC) def. Zach Leslie (WF) - 6-3, 6-3
(6) Jason Morgenstern (WF) def. #96 JT Sundling (USC) - 6-4, 3-6, 7-5
Order of finish: 1, 5, 2, 4*, 6, 3

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