No. 8 USC Men Construct Comeback To Top Tulane 4-3

    Thibault Forget was the hero of the day with his clincher from court six.
    Jan. 23, 2016

    LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 8 USC men's tennis team was pushed to the limit but stood its ground on home turf to emerge as a champ in ITA Kick-Off Weekend action at Marks Stadium. The Trojans had to fend off a tough Tulane team, as the No. 37 Green Wave snagged the doubles point and later had the match locked up to leave the decider raging on court three. There, USC sophomore Thibault Forget staged an impressive comeback effort, fighting back from down a break in the third to provide the three-set clincher for the Trojans in a 4-3 win over visiting Tulane. Now 2-0 on the year, USC has a ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in its pocket thanks to today's victory.


    "As a coach there is no better feeling than to feel the heart and fight from each court, and that is what we had today in singles," USC head coach Peter Smith said of the win. "We fought to give ourselves a chance to win and then we didn't shy away from that moment. Tulane did a great job, but our resilience was impressive today. We will need this attitude every match. We know we have a lot of work to do, but today was a step in the right direction."

    USC dropped the doubles point for the second straight match as Tulane came out firing with quick wins on courts one and three. That set up the teams for singles play, which proved to be a dogfight down the line. Freshman Jake DeVine knotted up the score at 1-1 with a steady roll out of reach of Tulane's Nikolas Tukic on court five, pinning up a 6-3, 6-1 victory to put some wind in the Trojans' sails. Tulane's top gun, top-ranked Dominik Koepfer, was able to nudge his squad back out ahead as he fended off USC's #115 Max de Vroome with a 6-3, 6-3 decision on court one next. 

    USC would turn the tide with help from another freshman victory. On court four, #69 Logan Smith issued a late break in the second set vs. #111 Sebastian Rey to snarl the match back up at 2-2 with his 6-3, 6-4 victory. The comeback tone would be set for the Trojans from court two. There, #62 junior Nick Crystal righted the ship after coming up empty in the first set against Tulane's #63 Constantin Schmitz. Crystal would dig in in the second and pull of the win to force a third set, where he would get in a groove that carried him to an 0-6, 7-4, 6-2 victory that gave USC its first lead of the day, up 3-2 in the match. 

    On court three, freshman Laurens Verboven was looking to follow in Crystal's footsteps and force a third set, but Tulane's Alex Van Cott had other ideas. The Green Wave would pull even again with Van Cott's 6-3, 7-5 win over Verboven to put all eyes on court six for the championship decider. Sophomore Thibault Forget had also fallen in his first set, but found a steady hand in the second set to bring up a crucial third. There, Forget would find himself down a break, trailing 2-4 to Tulane's Chi-San Jao. Forget was unfazed. In position to clinch a match for his team for the first time as a Trojan, Forget rattled off the next three games to finish off the Green Wave, posting a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory that tacked up a 4-3 win for USC over Tulane.

    The Trojans' next competition comes next weekend at the Pac-12/SEC Showdown, hosted by UCLA on Jan. 30-31. USC will face Florida first at 10 a.m. on Saturday (Jan. 30) and then takes on Georgia at a 10 a.m. on Sunday (Jan. 31) in Westwood. 

    ITA Kick-Off Weekend | Marks Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)

    CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
    #8 USC 4, #37 Tulane 3
    Jan. 23, 2016 - Marks Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    DOUBLES
    (1) #17 Jao/Koepfer (TUL) def. Crystal/Verboven (USC) - 6-1
    (2) de Vroome/Jaede (USC) vs. Van Cott/Van Cott (TUL) - 4-3 susp.
    (3) Rey/Schmitz (TUL) def. DeVine/T. Smith (USC) - 6-2
    Tulane wins doubles point.
    Order of finish: 1, 3
    SINGLES
    (1) #1 Dominik Koepfer (TUL) def. #115 Max de Vroome (USC) - 6-3, 6-3
    (2) #41 Nick Crystal (USC) def. #63 Constantin Schmitz (TUL) - 0-6, 7-5, 6-2
    (3) Alex Van Cott (TUL) def. Laurens Verboven (USC) - 6-3, 7-5
    (4) #69 Logan Smith (USC) def. #111 Sebastian Rey (TUL) - 6-3, 6-4
    (5) #83 Jake DeVine (USC) def. Nikolas Tukic (TUL) - 6-3, 6-1
    (6) Thibault Forget (USC) def. Chi-San Jao (TUL) - 3-6, 6-3, 6-3*
    Order of finish: 5, 1, 4, 2, 3, 6*


    CONSOLATION MATCH
    #57 UC Davis 4, #33 Pepperdine 3
    Jan. 23, 2016 - Marks Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    DOUBLES
    (1) #Iamachkine/Pane (PEP) def. Adamson/Levie (UCD) - 6-3
    (2) Bacharach/Whittle (UCD) def. Hill/Menichella (PEP) - 6-2
    (3) Lam/McKelvie (UCD) def. Sidney/Van Slyke (PEP) 7-6 (2)
    UC Davis wins doubles point.
    Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
    SINGLES
    (1) Stefan Menichella (PEP) def. #38 Alec Adamson (UCD) - 7-6 (3), 6-3
    (2) Pedro Iamachkine (PEP) def. James Wade (UCD) - 6-3, 6-2
    (3) Lautaro Pane (PEP) def. Brett Bacharach (UCD) - 6-3, 7-5
    (4) Bryce McKelvie (UCD) def. Gabriel Sidney (PEP) - 6-4, 7-5
    (5) Everett Maltby (UCD) def. Tom Hill (PEP) - 7-5, 6-4
    (6) Tommy Lam (UCD) def. Jack Van Slyke (PEP) - 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2*
    Order of finish: 2, 3, 5, 4, 1, 6*