April 9, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Struggles continue for the No. 55-ranked University of Arizona men's tennis team as they dropped a 6-1 decision today to No. 2-ranked Southern California at Marks Stadium. Arizona's lone point of the day came in singles action from freshman Kieren Thompson in the No. 5 spot.
"It was a challenging weekend but we look to finish strong with our final two matches," head coach Tad Berkowitz said.
The Trojans (19-2, 5-0 Pac-10) sealed their 12th straight victory after sweeping in doubles action and posting wins in five of the six singles matches. In doubles action, the Wildcats (8-13, 0-6 Pac-10) had a freshman-senior combo lineup in all three spots.
USC captured the first doubles match in the No. 2 spot after the Wildcat pair of Andres Carrasco and Andre Vidaller retired at 5-0 due to injury against Daniel Nguyen and Ray Sarmiento. Then the Trojan tandem of JT Sundling and Michael Grant notched the doubles point in the No. 3 spot, topping the Wildcat duo of Mario Urquidi and Borja Malo 8-5. In the other doubles match of the day, freshman Giacomo Miccini and senior Geoff Embry fell short to Steve Johnson and Emilio Gomez 8-5 in the No. 1 slot.
The Trojans carried over their momentum into singles play, rolling through the first three matches to seal the victory. All three sets resulted in a 6-2, 6-2 outcome. Arizona started four freshmen in its singles lineup for the third time this season. In the No. 2 spot, USC's No. 49-ranked Sarmiento cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Vidaller to pad the 2-0 lead.
In the next two matches, Arizona saw two players move up in positions in the singles lineup. Urquidi faced Gomez in the No. 4 spot for the first time as a Wildcat but dropped straight sets 6-2, 6-2. Then USC's No. 1-ranked Johnson cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Miccini to clinch the match and USC's fourth point of the day. Miccini competed in the No. 1 slot for the first time this season.
USC notched two more points, in the No. 6 and No. 3 slots. Peter Lucassen dispatched Borja Malo 6-4, 6-3 in the No. 6 spot in his first singles match back since the Feb. 13 match vs. San Diego. Then No. 34-ranked Nguyen answered with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Embry to tack up the Trojans' sixth and final point of the day.
In the final singles match of the day, in the No. 5 slot freshman Kieren Thompson edged USC's Grant in a close three setter to seal his first Pac-10 singles match of the season. In the first set Thompson grabbed the tight 7-5 win and then dropped a 7-6 (5) tiebreaker, before marking a 10-8 super tiebreaker victory.
The Wildcats will now take a week off before heading out to Las Cruces, N.M. to take on two nonconference matches between Idaho and Boise State April 22 and April 24 to close out the regular season.
No. 2 USC 6, No. 55 Arizona 1
Marks Stadium - Los Angeles, Calif.
1. Johnson/Gomez (USC) def. Miccini/Embry (UA) 8-5
2. Nguyen/Sarmiento (USC) def. Carrasco/Vidaller (UA) 5-0 ret. (inj.)
3. Sundling/Gant (USC) def. Urquidi/Malo (UA) 8-5
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2,3,1
1. No. 1 Steve Johnson (USC) def. Giacomo Miccini (UA) 6-2, 6-2*
2. No. 49 Ray Sarmiento (USC) def. Andre Vidaller (UA) 6-2, 6-2
3. No. 34 Daniel Nguyen (USC) def. Geoff Embry (UA) 7-5, 6-3
4. Emilio Gomez (USC) def. Mario Urquidi (UA) 6-2, 6-2
5. Kieren Thompson (UA) def. Michael Grant (USC) 7-5, 6-7 (5), 1-0 (10-8)
6. Peter Lucassen (USC) def. Borja Malo (UA) 6-4, 6-3
Order of finish: 2,4,1*,6,3,5