No. 3 Baylor Edges Out No. 4 USC Men 4-3 In Indian Wells|
March 21, 2015
INDIAN WELLS, CALIF. -- The No. 4 USC men's tennis team had a seesaw battle against No. 3 Baylor in today's semifinals of the BNP Paribas Collegiate Challenge in Indian Wells. After trailing out of the gates, USC stormed back to take a slim lead before the Bears managed the last two wins of the day to edge out the Trojans with a 4-3 decision. The loss puts the Trojans at 13-3 overall as they take their second loss of the year to a top-three opponent. USC moves into the third-place match at the Challenge, facing No. 29 Columbia tomorrow (March 22) at 11 a.m.
In today's semifinal, Baylor rang up the first win of the day with a victory on court three in doubles play, topping USC's Crystal/Forget to put some pressure on the Trojans. USC's senior tandem of #4 Hanfmann/Quiroz would fire back with a 6-4 win at the No. 1 spot, leaving the doubles point to be decided on court two. There, USC's #50 de Vroome/Johnson and Baylor's #77 Galeano/Lenz went down to the wire, needing a tiebreaker to decide things. The Bears were strong in the breaker, pulling off a 7-6 (1) decision that put the first point in Baylor's column.
The Bears pulled ahead farther with a singles win on court six, where Baylor's Felipe Rios snapped a 10-match winning streak held by USC's #51 sophomore Nick Crystal with a 6-2, 6-3 decision. The rare loss for Crystal saw the Bears move ahead 2-0 in the match, but the Trojans had a response. A trio of USC seniors delivered a string of wins for the Trojans to erase the deficit and take their first lead of the match. On court two, USC's #20 Roberto Quiroz lit the fuse with his 6-4, 6-3 win over #39 Tony Lupieri to finally get a point on the board for USC. Senior Eric Johnson followed suit, snarling the match at 2-2 with his 6-3, 7-5 win over #36 Max Tchoutakian on court three.
Nudging USC into the lead was #35 senior Jonny Wang, who tipped the scales for the Trojans with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Vince Schneider to take USC to a 3-2 advantage. USC would need to force a third set on the remaining two courts in order to get back in the match. On court five, USC's #50 junior Max de Vroome came up short of his bid for a third set, taking a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Mate Zsiga as the match locked up again at 3-3. That left the decider on court one, where a top-10 battle was raging between USC's #8 Yannick Hanfmann and Baylor's #4 Julian Lenz. Hanfmann was pushing to force a third set, but it turned out that Lenz had other plans. The Bear worked ahead and held on for a 6-2, 7-5 victory that clinched the 4-3 win for Baylor.
USC wraps up action in Indian Wells tomorrow (March 22) in a third-place match against Columbia at 11 a.m.
BNP Paribas Collegiate Tennis Challenge
#3 Baylor 4, #4 USC 3