SEATTLE – After a 4-1 quarterfinal win against No. 7 Kentucky, No. 2 USC will take aim at the only team to beat the Trojans in almost two years. Second-seeded USC has earned a semifinal tilt with rival No. 3 UCLA at the 2013 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle.
The Bruins were the Trojans’ only loss during the 2012 regular season, but USC went on to win both the Pac-12 Championship and its fourth consecutive NCAA Championship soon after. Other than the Bruins, USC’s last loss was back at the 2011 ITA National Indoors — a 4-3 loss to Stanford on Feb. 19, 2011. With Saturday’s win against Kentucky, the Trojans are 11-0 overall this season.
To set up this rivalry match with the Bruins, USC had to first get through No. 7 Kentucky in Saturday’s quarterfinals. USC brought home the doubles point with a concerted effort at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots by the Trojans. USC’s No. 48 Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento bounced back from a loss on Friday by focusing in on an 8-5 upset of No. 34 Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai on court one to start the day off right for the Trojans. USC’s Max de Vroome and Robert Quiroz followed suit in tacking up an 8-5 win of their own against Alejandro Gomez and Ryuji Hirooka on court two, and the Trojans had the 1-0 lead to bring up singles action.
It was consecutive set decisions down the line, although USC did surrender one singles loss as Kentucky made it a 3-1 score with No. 90 Anthony Rossi’s 6-3, 6-4 win against USC’s No. 12 Sarmiento on court one.
The Trojans had been comfortably boosted into the driver’s seat, however, thanks to No. 23 Quiroz’s smooth 6-2, 6-1 win against Gomez at the No. 3 spot and No. 94 Hanfmann’s decisive 6-3, 6-4 victory against Charles Minc on court four. Sarmiento fell next, but USC’s No. 109 freshman de Vroome was the conquering hero from court five with his methodical 7-5, 6-3 finish of Juan Pablo Murra to bring home the 4-1 win as the remaining singles matches were suspended.