No. 8 USC Men Fall To Cal In Pac-12 Tournament Semifinals|
April 22, 2016
OJAI, CALIF. — The No. 8 USC men’s tennis team will miss a chance at claiming the Pac-12 title for the first time after taking a 4-1 loss to No. 16 California in today’s Pac-12 Tournament semifinals. The Trojans had reached the conference title match the previous four seasons, winning the tourney twice before. With today’s semifinal loss to the Golden Bears in Ojai, USC goes to 15-6 overall and still is in good position for an NCAA tournament bid.
Out at Libbey Park in Ojai, Calif., today, the No. 8 Trojans had to contend with a tough No. 16 California squad. USC recorded the first win of the day when Max de Vroome and Thibault Forget combined forces on court two to ring up a 6-1 win over Cal’s Goransson/Wikber in doubles. The Bears would respond with a 6-3 win at the No. 3 spot on Nishimura/Engsted’s decision over USC’s Rob Bellamy and Jake DeVine. That put all the pressure on court one, where Cal’s #11 Bergen/Lakat wound up in a tiebreaker against USC’s #46 Nick Crystal and Laurens Verboven. The Bears would edge again in the breaker and finished off the first point of the match with a 7-6 (6) win to set the plate for singles action.
Cal stayed hot in singles and worked ahead to a 3-0 lead. USC freshmen Jake DeVine and Laurens Verboven both found themselves on the losing end of their matches. #106 DeVine was brought down by Cal’s Filip Bergevi with a 6-3, 6-3 loss on court four as Cal went up 2-0 in the match. Then Cal’s J.T. Nishimura tallied a 6-2, 6-4 win over USC’s Verboven to take the Bears to a 3-0 advantage. USC was working to turn the tide back in its favor as #43 Nick Crystal whipped up a 6-4, 7-5 upset win over Cal’s #28 Andre Goransson on court two to get a point on the board for the Trojans. Battles were still raging on courts one and five when Cal was able to find an early finishing touch. On court three, #82 Billy Griffith upended USC freshman #59 Logan Smith with a 6-4, 6-2 decision to clinch the match for the Golden Bears on a 4-1 final score.
USC now awaits the NCAA team bracket announcement to learn its next step. The NCAA tennis selection show will be held on May 3. For more information, visit ncaa.com.
PAC-12 TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS
#16 California 4, #8 USC 1
April 22, 2016 - Libbey Park (Ojai, Calif.)
(1) #11 Bergevi/Lakat (CAL) def. #46 Crystal/Verboven (USC) - 7-6 (6)
(2) de Vroome/Forget (USC) def. Goransson/Wikber (CAL) - 6-1
(3) Nishimura/Engsted (CAL) def. Bellamy/DeVine (USC) - 6-3
Cal wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1
(1) #27 Florian Lakat (CAL) vs. #23 Max de Vroome (USC) - 4-6, 6-4 susp.
(2) #43 Nick Crystal (USC) def. #28 Andre Goransson (CAL) - 6-4, 7-5
(3) #82 Billy Griffith (CAL) def. #59 Logan Smith (USC) - 6-4, 6-2*
(4) Filip Bergevi (CAL) def. #106 Jake DeVine (USC) - 6-3, 6-3
(5) #122 Oskar Wikberg (CAL) Thibault Forget (USC) - 7-6(4), 1-3 susp.
(6) J.T. Nishimura (CAL) def. Laurens Verboven (USC) - 6-2, 6-4
Order of finish: 4, 6, 2, 3