No. 6 USC Men Edged Out By No. 2 TCU In ITA Indoor Quarters|
Feb. 13, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. — The No. 6 USC men’s tennis team played out its fourth 4-3 match of the year and wound up on the losing end of that scoreline for the first time. Up against No. 2-ranked TCU in the quarterfinal round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships today, the Trojans took the Horned Frogs down to the wire. USC was up 3-2 in the match, but TCU’s higher ranked players held their ground in three-setters to close out the win and hand the Trojans their first loss of 2016. USC is now 6-1 and heads into a consolation match against Wake Forest tomorrow (Feb. 14) at 3:30 p.m. ET to wrap its time in Charlottesville, Va.
“I’m proud of our effort tonight,” USC head coach Peter Smith said. "It was one of those college tennis matches that you love being a part of. TCU did a great job down the stretch to get the win.”
The Trojans threw the first punch in this battle by snagging the doubles point out of the gates. After TCU grabbed a win on court one, USC countered with victories on courts two and three. USC’s Rob Bellamy and Jake DeVine made a statement from the No. 3 spot in tacking up a 6-3 win there, setting up their teammates Max de Vroome and Jack Jaede to come through with an important win from court two. There, the senior-freshman combo drummed up a 6-4 win over TCU’s Blake/Stalder to put a 1-0 lead on the board for the Trojans on the way into singles play.
TCU was able to level the match when its top-10 singles player, #6 Cameron Norrie, topped USC’s #33 Nick Crystal on court one. At the No. 4 spot, the Horned Frogs took their first lead when Eduardo Nava beat out USC’s #43 freshman Logan Smith in straight sets. The Trojans would get a lift from sophomore Thibault Forget on court five. The clincher of yesterday’s win, Forget rolled through his TCU opponent Jerry Lopez for a 6-3, 6-0 victory that knotted up the match at 2-2.
The remaining matches would snarl up in three-set battles. On court six, USC freshman Jack Jaede shrugged off a first-set loss and rolled on to a comeback win to get the Trojans back on top, up 3-2 in the match with Jaede’s 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Trevor Johnson. That left two tense matches still raging. On court three, USC’s #104 Jake DeVine found himself down a break to TCU’s #38 Guillermo Nuñez in the third, and the Horned Frogs would level the match at 3-3 with the 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 win. That left the decider on court two, where USC’s lone senior Max de Vroome wound up in a third-set tiebreaker against TCU’s #122 Alex Rybakov. The Horned Frog would prevail, fending off de Vroome in the breaker for an epic 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 decision that gave TCU the 4-3 win over the Trojans.
USC now turns to one more matchup out in Charlottesville, as the Trojans take on No. 10 Wake Forest at 3:30 p.m. ET tomorrow (Feb. 14) to wrap up action at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
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2016 ITA NATIONAL TEAM INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS (Boars Head Sports Club • Charlottesville, Va.)
ROUND OF 16
#2 TCU 4, #6 USC 3
Feb. 13, 2016 - Boars Head Sports Club (Charlottesville, Va.)
(1) Norrie/Johnson (TCU) def. Crystal/Verboven (USC) - 6-3
(2) de Vroome/Jaede (USC) def. Blake/Stalder (TCU) - 6-4
(3) Bellamy/DeVine (USC) def. Nuñez/Rybakov (TCU) - 6-3
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
(1) #6 Cameron Norrie (TCU) def. #33 Nick Crystal (USC) - 6-1, 6-2
(2) #122 Alex Rybakov (TCU) def. Max de Vroome (USC) - 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 (3)*
(3) #38 Guillermo Nuñez (TCU) def. #104 Jake DeVine (USC) - 6-7, 6-4, 6-3
(4) Eduardo Nava (TCU) def. #43 Logan Smith (USC) - 6-3, 6-0
(5) Thibault Forget (USC) def. Jerry Lopez (TCU) - 6-4, 6-0
(6) Jack Jaede (USC) def. Trevor Johnson (TCU) - 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Order of finish: 1, 4, 5, 6, 3, 2*