The USC Trojans Tennis program started NCAA play in style, playing strong tennis in front of their home crowd at Mark’s Tennis Stadium. Fans witnessed quite the spectacle as their Trojans marched on to the Sweet 16 in both men’s and women’s tennis, over the weekend.
The No. 4 Trojans took care of business on Friday and Saturday, defeating Sacramento State 4-0 and then disposing of the scrappy San Diego Torrero’s 4-1 in the second round. The fifth-ranked Women of Troy rolled through Sacramento State and UC Irvine without losing a game, on their quest to avenge last year’s semifinal loss to UCLA.
The Trojans wasted little effort in the first round against the Hornets, as all three doubles tandems won in convincing fashion securing the point. Then in singles play, Max de Vroome started the round off right notching a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Sean Kolar. Just a few minutes later, #36 Roberto Quiroz defeated Roy Brandys 7-5, 6-0 to give the Trojans the 4-0 sweep.
Over on the women’s side of things, the Women of Troy started their tournament in similar fashion, taking down Sacramento State 4-0 on Saturday. USC improved to 22-2 with the victory, led by Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria who won their doubles match 8-0 securing the Trojans doubles point. Ellie Yates doubled Troy’s lead to 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-0 win Andrea Gomez Carus of Sacramento State, and then Zoe Scandalis clinched the win with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Sophie Lohscheidt.
The spectacular weekend for Kaitlyn Christian continued as she notched the fourth point in a 4-0 win in the second round for her fifth-ranked Trojans on Sunday. The Women of Troy ran their winning streak to 15 matches as they defeated No. 32 UC Irvine (23-5) advancing to the round of 16 for the second consecutive year.
The Anteaters won the first game in doubles play, but the Trojans quickly responded as the sophomore duo of Guiliana Olmos and Zoe Scandalis topped Ali Facey and Brooke Schweyer 8-0, to tie the doubles. Then the No.1-ranked tandem of Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria continued their winning ways, notching an 8-3 victory to secure doubles.
The victory upped Christian and Santamaria’s season record to 31-0 as a doubles tandem.
Back on the men’s side, the four-time defending national champions disposed of rival University of San Diego 4-1, winning their 26th consecutive NCAA Tournament match. Emilio Gomez and Michael Grant started the match with an 8-2 victory for the Trojans in the doubles, then star tandem Ray Sarmiento and Yannick Hanfmann secured the doubles point 8-4 the tally.
The singles had its fair share of ups and downs, but in the end the Trojans were not going to allow the Torrero’s to pull off another upset, following their 4-3 thrilling victory over Alabama. Roberto Quiroz notched the first victory (6-1, 6-2), improving his record to 12-4 as the No. 3 player in the singles rotation. In a major upset, #16 Ray Sarmiento dropped the final two sets after sweeping Clarke Spinosa 6-0 in the first.
Luckily for the Trojans the team responded, pulling out two more victories with Max de Vroome officially sending the pesky Torrero’s home with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Victor Pugliese.
Both the Men and Women of Troy will now set sails for the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill. The Women of Troy face 12th-seeded Stanford (18-4) on Friday at 10 a.m PT, coming off their 6-1 victory over the Cardinal in the regular season. The Trojans will square with the 13th-seed Baylor Bears on Thursday at 2 p.m PST, with a possible matchup of Ohio State looming in the Elite Eight.