LOS ANGELES - The undefeated USC Trojans (19-0) showed why they have earned their No. 1 ranking during a 6-1 win over the No. 42 Boise State men's tennis team (16-6). The Broncos followed the likes of No. 5 UCLA, No. 11 Florida and No. 13 Texas, who also fell to USC by the same score.
Scott Sears earned the team's lone point with a win in three sets over Jordi Vives. The junior won his first set handily, 6-1 but dropped the second set, 3-6. With the pressure on in a shortened final frame, Sears was able to pull through for a 10-7 victory. The win was his third-consecutive and ninth overall this spring.
The match started with a neck-and-neck doubles point. The team of Damian Hume and Sears nearly pulled off an upset of the No. 21-ranked doubles team of Nguyen/Sarmiento in a match that finished 9-8 in tiebreak fashion. Andy Bettles and Filipp Pogostkin were edged out by an 8-6 tally on court three while James Meredith and Nathan Sereke fell 8-4 to a team with the defending singles national champion, 8-4.
"We came out of this a better team," said head coach Greg Patton. "We were toe-to-toe with them in doubles. It was a slugfest and just a point here and there away from getting the doubles point, which could have changed things."
The Broncos will look to rebound when they open Mountain West play against San Diego State, Thursday at 1:30 p.m., followed by a Saturday match against rival Fresno State at 11 a.m.. Both teams carry national rankings into the weekend.
"In some ways it's not a loss," Patton said. "It's a win to play the No. 1 team at their place because it is such a great learning experience. Our eyes now are on San Diego State and there is no better way to prepare for San Diego State than by playing USC. We may have lost the battle today, but we feel like we are going to win the war."
No.1 USC 6, No.42 Boise State 1
March 26, 2012 -- Marks Stadium
(1) S. Johnson/Quiroz (USC) def. Meredith/Sereke (BSU) -- 8-4
(2) No. 21 Nguyen/Sarmiento (USC) def. Hume/Sears (BSU) -- 9-8 (4)
(3) Gomez/Hanfmann (USC) def. Bettles/Pogostkin (BSU) -- 8-6
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
(1) No. 16 Daniel Nguyen (USC) def. No. 48 James Meredith (BSU) -- 6-2, 6-1
(2) No. 24 Ray Sarmiento (USC) def. No. 55 Damian Hume (BSU) -- 6-1, 6-2
(3) No. 30 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) def. Andy Bettles (BSU) -- 4-6, 7-6 (4), 1-0 (11-9)
(4) No. 121 Roberto Quiroz (USC) def. Nathan Sereke (BSU) -- 6-1, 6-4
(5) Eric Johnson (USC) def. Filipp Pogostkin (BSU) -- 7-5, 6-4
(6) Scott Sears (BSU) def. Jordi Vives (USC) -- 6-1, 3-6, 1-0 (10-7)
Order of finish: 4, 1, 2, 6, 5, 3