On Tuesday night, USC added national title No. 117 to its vast arsenal of hardware when the men’s tennis team beat Virginia 4-3 in the NCAA finals.
The win also marked the men’s tennis teams fourth straight national title, making them the second athletic program at USC to four-peat this athletic cycle. The men’s water polo team accomplished the same feat in the fall.
The finals match was supposed to kick off at 2 p.m. PT at the University of Georgia, but pouring rain delayed the games on the outdoor courts. Once the action started though, it was not all sunshine and glory for the Trojans. They lost the pivotal doubles points on the outdoor courts, which put them in a position where they would have to rally to win it all.
Naturally, the Trojans did what Trojans do best, though Virginia did give them a run for their money.
Robert Quiroz, Raymond Sarmiento, and Steve Johnson all won singles points for the Trojans, but it was freshman Yannick Hanfmann who would be the hero of the day. He battled back from being down a break in the third set to winning with an ace in the very exciting, very dramatic tiebreaker.
Because of Hanfmann coming through in the clutch, the seniors on USC’s squad–Daniel Nguyen and reigning singles champion Steve Johnson–will leave Troyland with four national championship rings.
No big deal.
After the match, senior Daniel Nguyen tweeted to USC’s supporters:
Thanks everyone for all the support. It’s been an incredible four years. I love my team and so proud of them. Fight On Forever!!
— Daniel Nguyen (@DanielNguyen_) May 23, 2012
USC is the first NCAA tennis team since Stanford’s 1995-1998 squad to win four national titles in a row. They will end the 2012 season with a record of 33-1 overall.
Here’s a video from usctrojans.com of the final point, and the celebration that followed: