No. 8 USC Men Sneak Past No. 20 Florida 4-3|
Jan. 30, 2016
WESTWOOD, CALIF. — The No. 8 USC men’s tennis team sewed up the doubles point and had three young Trojans come through in the clutch in singles play to post a 4-3 comeback win over No. 20 Florida in the Pac-12/SEC Showdown at the Los Angeles Tennis Center in Westwood today. Tomorrow (Jan. 31), USC will square off against No. 6 Georgia in a 10 a.m. matchup to round out the Trojans’ action at the annual event.
The Trojans would snag the doubles point with wins at the No. 2 and 3 slots. The early winning momentum was sparked by Rob Bellamy and Jake DeVine’s quick 6-2 win over Perez-Blanco/Wardell on court three. At the No. 2 spot, USC’s senior-freshman combo pack of Max de Vroome and Jack Jaede whipped up a 7-5 upset of Florida’s #40 Lipman/Orkin to score the first point of the day in the Trojans’ column, suspending action on court one and bringing up singles play.
USC kept chugging along in early singles action. At the No. 6 spot, sophomore Thibault Forget delivered a smooth 6-3, 6-0 win over Florida’s Jordan Belga to make it a 2-0 Trojan advantage. Freshman Logan Smith bumped his team farther ahead as USC took a 3-0 lead on #69 Smith’s 6-3, 6-1 win over #63 Chase Perez-Blanco. That’s when the Gators made the next move. On court one, #31 Diego Hidalgo managed a 6-4, 6-3 win over USC’s #115 de Vroome to notch a point on the board for Florida. Next, #49 Elliott Orkin topped USC’s #41 Nick Crystal on court two to carve USC’s advantage down to 3-2. The equalizer would come from court five. There, Florida’s Gordon Watson pulled off two tight sets against USC’s Jaede, posting a 7-6, 7-5 decision that leveled the match at 3-3. A similarly tense battle was raging on court three for the decider. USC freshman Jake DeVine proved up to the challenge. After standing his ground in a first-set tiebreaker, #83 DeVine got the break he needed in the second to fend off Florida’s #91 Alfredo Perez for a 7-6 (6), 7-5 victory that clinched the win for the Trojans.
USC returns to Los Angeles Tennis Center tomorrow (Jan. 31) to take on No. 6 Georgia in the Trojans’ final match of the Pac-12/SEC Challenge at 10 a.m.
2016 Pac-12/SEC Showdown (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
#8 USC 4, #20 Florida 3
Jan. 30, 2016 - Westwood, Calif.
(1) Crystal/Verboven (USC) vs. #3 Hidalgo/Watson (FLA) - 5-6 susp.
(2) de Vroome/Jaede (USC) def. #40 Lipman/Orkin (FLA) - 7-5
(3) Bellamy/DeVine (USC) def. Perez-Blanco/Wardell (FLA) - 6-2
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 3, 2
(1) #31 Diego Hidalgo (FLA) def. #115 Max de Vroome (USC) - 6-4, 6-3
(2) #49 Elliott Orkin (FLA) def. #41 Nick Crystal (USC) - 6-3, 6-4
(3) #83 Jake DeVine (USC) def. #91 Alfredo Perez (FLA) - 7-6 (6), 7-5*
(4) #69 Logan Smith (USC) def. #63 Chase Perez-Blanco (FLA) - 6-3, 6-1
(5) Gordon Watson (FLA) def. Jack Jaede (USC) - 7-6, 7-5
(6) Thibault Forget (USC) def. Jordan Belga (FLA) - 6-3, 6-0
Order of finish: 6, 4, 1, 2, 5, 3*