No. 3 Southern California uses strong singles play to defeat No. 14 Texas A&M
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- No. 3 USC turned on the jets after a tight doubles point to power out ahead of No. 14 Texas A&M at Marks Stadium. Emilio Gomez delivered a near-perfect performance with a 6-0, 6-1 win in singles on court one. With that boost, the Trojans rolled on, receiving the clincher from Jonny Wang en route to the 6-1 victory, which improved USC's overall record to 17-2.
"It was great to have us play this well outdoors," USC head coach Peter Smith said. "I felt like we were an indoor team last week on our trips to Illinois and Notre Dame. The conditions were different for us [on Monday]. We felt it early, and then we came on strong.
"Emilio was an absolute beast out there. He was a rock and we hope he can play with that energy the rest of the way."
The doubles point hung in the balance with tight matches on all three courts. The anchors in the doubles scene were Emilio Gomez and Roberto Quiroz, who were the only Trojan team never to trail in their match. Gomez/Quiroz fought to an 8-5 win at the No. 2 spot to give USC a much-needed lift.
On court one, USC's No. 26 pair of Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento had clawed out of a 3-6 hole in the second set, winning four games in a row to tie it up. They went into a tiebreaker and took a 3-1 lead there before their teammates at the No. 3 spot came through with the clincher. On court three, Michael Grant and Eric Johnson made a final winning push to an 8-6 win that put the doubles point in USC's column to bring up singles play.
USC's No. 2 Emilio Gomez gave up no ground in his No. 2 singles match with No. 52 Jeremy Efferding. Gomez drilled out a 6-0, 6-1 win to take his Trojans to a 2-0 lead on the Aggies. No. 9 Ray Sarmiento buckled down next, winning six consecutive games to tally a 6-3, 6-1 win against Junior Ore from court two, and USC was in position with a 3-0 advantage.
The Aggies proved stronger on court four, though. No. 77 Shane Vinsant was able to solve No. 23 Quiroz and tack up a 6-3, 6-3 win that put a point up in favor of Texas A&M. From the No. 6 spot, however, No. 90 Wang rendered that loss meaningless when he came through with the clincher. Wang powered out of a 3-0 hole in the second set against Jordan Szabo, and Wang punched up a 6-2, 7-5 win that got USC to a 4-1 lead.
At the No. 5 spot, No. 61 Eric Johnson was chugging ahead of No. 117 Jackson Withrow. Johnson leveled a 6-4, 6-4 win on Withrow, while Trojan teammate Yannick Hanfmann was under the gun in a 10-point tiebreaker on court three. No. 65 Hanfmann went on a four-point run to erase a two-point deficit and set himself up with match point. His opponent, No. 118 Harrison Adams, was able to fend off one match point, but not the second chance. Hanfmann's 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-8) comeback win closed out the match, and gave him his 13th consecutive singles win.