May 21, 2010


Courtesy of USCTROJANS.COM

NORCROSS, GA. - The No. 5-seeded USC men's tennis team had a change of venue for its NCAA Round of 16 match, weathering an hour-plus morning drive in order to get the match in on indoor courts at the Racquet Club of the South in Norcross, Ga., due to rain and thunder in Athens. Unshaken by the road trip, USC bounced ahead of No. 12 seed Kentucky and pinned up a 4-0 victory. Now 22-3 overall, the Trojans are bound for a rematch of last year's NCA title match as USC will face No. 4 seed Ohio State in the NCAA Quarterfinals at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday (May 23).

The bottom of the lineup got the job done fairly quickly for the Trojans, led by Peter Lucassen's smooth 6-2, 6-1 win over Alex Lambropoulos at the No. 6 slot. While Robert Farah eked out his first set on court one in a heart-stopping tiebreaker win, USC held first-set advantages on all courts but No. 3, although there Jaak Poldma would answer back and even the score to take a trip into a third set. Poldma didn't need to push for a comeback, however, as his Trojan teammates on courts four and five wrapped things up. Matt Kecki followed up a tight first set with a dominating second, capping his win with one last ace to capture a 7-5, 6-1 win over Kentucky's Alberto Gonzalez that pulled USC ahead 3-0. Serving up the clincher from court four was #83 Daniel Nguyen, who stayed out front the whole way to claim a 6-2, 6-2 win over Anthony Rossi and close down the Round of 16 victory for the defending NCAA champs.

The win suspended singles play on the remaining courts, with #9 Farah leading #12 Eric Quigley 7-6 (10), 3-2 on court one, and #3 Steve Johnson fighting off a second-set push from #49 Alex Musialek to the tune of a 6-1, 4-5 score as the match was clinched. Poldma's match with Brad Cox on court three was closed with a 3-6, 6-3 split.

As doubles opened up, USC got an early advantage on the top two courts. At the No. 2 slot, USC's combo of Daniel Nguyen and JT Sundling held serve throughout and got up and out of reach on late breaks to capture the Trojans' first win of the day with an 8-4 decision over Gonzalez/Lambropoulos. Meanwhile, USC's #2-ranked pair of Robert Farah and Steve Johnson got ahead 3-1 with an early break and a hold by Farah and another break built up a 5-1 advantage over Kentucky's #22 Cox/Quigley on court one. The Wildcats would close to 5-3, but that would be as close as they would get as the Trojans rolled ahead and got one last power serve from Johnson to tack up the 8-3 win and pocket the doubles point for at 1-0 USC edge in the match. That left play suspended on court three for USC's Peter Lucassen/Jaak Poldma, and singles action got underway.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Round of 16
[5] USC 4, [12] Kentucky 0
May 21, 2010 - Norcross, Ga.
DOUBLES
(1) #2 Farah/Johnson (USC) def. #22 Cox/Quigley (UK) - 8-3
(2) Nguyen/Sundling (USC) def. #76 Gonzalez/Lambropoulos (UK) - 8-4
(3) Lucassen/Poldma (USC) vs. Musialek/Rossi (UK) - 4-5 susp.
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2, 1
SINGLES
(1) #9 Robert Farah (USC) vs. #12 Eric Quigley (UK) - 7-6 (10), 3-2 susp.
(2) #3 Steve Johnson (USC) vs. #49 Alex Musialek (UK) - 6-1, 4-5 susp.
(3) #89 Jaak Poldma (USC) vs. Brad Cox (UK) - 3-6, 6-3 susp.
(4) #83 Daniel Nguyen (USC) def. Anthony Rossi (UK) - 6-2, 6-2*
(5) Matt Kecki (USC) def. Alberto Gonzalez (UK) - 7-5, 6-1
(6) #121 Peter Lucassen(USC) def. Alex Lambropoulos (UK) - 6-2, 6-1
Order of finish: 6, 5, 4*