No. 14 USC Men Stand Tall In 4-1 Win Over No. 13 Rival UCLA

    March 9, 2017

    LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 14 USC men's tennis team jumped out ahead of crosstown rival No. 13 UCLA and closed out a 4-1 win over the visiting Bruins with a gutsy clincher coming from sophomore Logan Smith on court three. Smith had trailed in his second set against Evan Zhu but hit the gas at the right time to claim a 6-4, 7-5 win that wrapped up the victory for the Trojans, snapping a three-match skid against the Bruins. In avenging a February loss to UCLA, the Trojans improve to 13-2 overall on the year.

    Similar to their last meeting, the Trojans had the upper hand in doubles. This time, however, USC would speed to the finish line, netting a 6-1 win on court two by Nick Crystal and Laurens Verboven over UCLA's Brymer/Rapp. Up on the scoreboard next was USC's Rob Bellamy and Jack Jaede, who whipped up a 6-3 decision over Cressy/Goldberg on court three to tally a 1-0 lead for the Trojans. That suspended action on court one, where USC's #19 Brandon Holt and Riley Smith were trailing UCLA's #26 Redlicki/Zhu 4-5. 

    In singles, USC looked to have a handle on things early. Jack Jaede, Thibault Forget, Brandon Holt and Logan Smith all strung up wins in their opening sets. UCLA would come through with first-set victories on courts two and six, but USC appeared to be in control the rest of the way. Thibault Forget hit the finish line first for the Trojans from court five, where he delivered a swift 6-2, 6-1 win over Austin Rapp to make it a 2-0 USC advantage. While the tilt between USC's Jaede and UCLA's Logan Staggs stretched into a third set, USC's #16 freshman Brandon Holt proved a stubborn opponent on court one. Up a break, Holt didn't surrender a point in the final game, drumming up an ace to cap off a 6-4, 6-3 win over UCLA's #42 Martin Redlicki to get USC ahead 3-0.



    Matches would tighten up down the line, putting the outcome in question, and UCLA would register its first point of the match with a 7-5, 6-2 win by #11 Gage Brymer over USC's Nick Crystal on court two. But USC's #45 Logan Smith decided to avert a dramatic finish by buckling in and turning the tide on a 4-5 deficit in the second set. Instead of letting his match slip into a third set, Smith held serve, got the break and then held his ground again to finish out a 6-4, 7-5 clincher for his Trojans over UCLA's Evan Zhu.

    With USC's 4-1 lead in the books, the remaining matches were suspended. Freshman Riley Smith was about to start his third set against Max Cressy on court six, while Jaede was deep into a third against Staggs.

    The Trojans will now set up for a busy stretch next week. USC hosts a doubleheader on March 14 with an 11 a.m. matchup against Lehigh followed by a 3 p.m. clash against Texas Tech at Marks Stadium. Then, USC heads to a stretch of three matches out in Indian Wells at the BNP Paribas Challenge March 17-19.

    #14 USC 4, #13 UCLA 1
    March 9, 2017 | Marks Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    (1) #19 Holt/R. Smith (USC) vs. #26 Redlicki/Zhu (UCLA) - 4-5 susp.
    (2) Crystal/Verboven (USC) def. Brymer/Rapp (UCLA) - 6-1
    (3) Bellamy/Jaede (USC) def. Cressy/Goldberg (UCLA) - 6-3
    Order of finish: 2, 3
    USC wins doubles point.
    (1) #16 Brandon Holt (USC) def. #42 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) - 6-4, 6-3
    (2) #11 Gage Brymer (UCLA) def. Nick Crystal (USC) - 7-5, 6-2
    (3) #45 Logan Smith (USC) def. Evan Zhu (UCLA) - 6-4, 7-5*
    (4) Jack Jaede (USC) vs. Logan Staggs (UCLA) - 6-1, 5-7, 3-5 susp.
    (5) Thibault Forget (USC) def. Austin Rapp (UCLA) - 6-2, 6-1
    (6) Riley Smith (USC) vs. Max Cressy (UCLA) - 6-7 (3), 6-2, susp.
    Order of finish: 5, 1, 2, 3*