No. 3 USC Men Clinch Pac-10 Title Win Sweep At Arizona
April 9, 2010
TUCSON, ARIZ. - The No. 3 USC men's tennis team secured at least a share of the Pac-10 team title with today's 7-0 sweep of No. 35 host Arizona. Undefeated in conference play with just one match left - a crosstown rivalry battle against UCLA, which already has one Pac-10 loss - the Trojans got the job done on the road today in Tucson. USC won across the board, sweeping the Wildcats in doubles and singles, to improve to 19-2 overall and hold the lead in the Pac-10 standings at 5-0.
USC rolled to the early advantage with a doubles sweep sparked by #8 Farah/Johnson's 8-2 win over Arizona's Hazi/Malo on court one. At the No. 2 slot, Nguyen/Sundling pulled ahead and tacked up an 8-6 win over Embry/Zafiros before USC's Lucassen/Poldma mirrored that score with an 8-6 victory on court three over Carrasco/Goldman to lift USC ahead 1-0 on the way into singles play.
Singles competition opened up with #74 Jaak Poldma's powerful 6-2, 6-3 win over Jason Zafiros at the No. 4 slot. Senior Jason McNaughton followed suit with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Geoff Embry on court five, and the Trojans were off to the races. From court one, #15 Robert Farah snagged a 6-2, 7-5 win over #90 Andres Arango to lock down the USC victory, but there was plenty of action still going on the remaining courts. Skipping to another straight-set victory was top-ranked Steve Johnson, who pushed past Jay Goldman 6-2, 6-2 to make it a 5-0 Trojan advantage.
Playing at No. 3 for USC was #83 Daniel Nguyen, who slipped up in the first set but regrouped to pull out a 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (10-4) victory just before #104 Peter Lucassen served up a similar finish with his 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-3) win over Ravid Hazi. That put a 7-0 sweep solidly in the Trojans' pockets, sending USC back to Los Angeles with an undefeated mark in Pac-10 action with one regular-season match to go.
'We played great today, but we are not satisfied,' USC head coach Peter Smith said. 'The goals for this team are very high. We want more.'
The defending NCAA champions wrap up Pac-10 play with a clash against crosstown rival UCLA at 3 p.m. next Friday (April 16) at Marks Stadium, with the Trojans looking for their third win of the year over the Bruins. Up for grabs in that match will likely be the exclusive rights to the Pac-10 team championship as the Bruins and Stanford both carry just one conference loss into this week's competition. The Bruins were USC's barrier to a perfect Pac-10 finish for the past three seasons, although USC wound up as the 2008 conference champions after an ineligible UCLA player turned two Bruin wins to forfeits in that year. Besides the 2008 title, USC last won the Pac-10 crown in 2004 with a 6-1 finish to share the title. USC last won the Pac-10 title outright in 1994 with a 9-1 mark.
#3 USC 7, #35 Arizona 0
April 9, 2010 - Tucson, Ariz.
(1) #8 Farah/Johnson (USC) def. Hazi/Malo (ARIZ) - 8-2
(2) Nguyen/Sundling (USC) def.Embry/Zafiros (ARIZ) - 8-6
(3) Lucassen/Poldma (USC) def. Carrasco/Goldman (ARIZ) - 8-6
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3
(1) #15 Robert Farah (USC) def. #90 Andres Arango (ARIZ) - 6-2, 7-5*
(2) #1 Steve Johnson (USC) def. Jay Goldman (ARIZ) - 6-2, 6-2
(3) #83 Daniel Nguyen (USC) def. #115 Andres Carrasco (ARIZ) - 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (10-4)
(4) #73 Jaak Poldma (USC) def. Jason Zafiros (ARIZ) - 6-2, 6-3
(5) Jason McNaughton (USC) def. Geoff Embry (ARIZ) - 6-3, 6-2
(6) #104 Peter Lucassen (USC) def. Ravid Hazi (ARIZ) - 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-3)
Order of finish: 4, 5, 1*, 2, 3, 6