USC men fight back to beat Tennessee 4-2 in national championship

Trojans Are Back-To-Back NCAA Champs!



Courtesy: USC Athletics

ATHENS, GA. - The No. 5-seeded USC men's tennis team served up one more upset to make it back-to-back NCAA Championships for the Trojans. In tonight's 2010 NCAA title match against No. 2 seed Tennessee -- held in Athens, Ga. -- USC fought back from an early hole to claim four impressive singles matches and secure the rights to the 2010 crown. USC finishes the season with a 25-3 overall record as the Trojans pin up their first back-to-back NCAA titles since 1993-94. Overall, the 2010 crown marks USC's 18th all-time NCAA men's tennis championship, making the Trojans the all-time leader in such team victories. 

For his match-clinching win tonight as well as four other singles wins during NCAA Tournament play this year,Daniel Nguyen was named the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player. More NCAA All-Tournament Team honors went to: Robert Farah / Steve Johnson (No. 1 Doubles), Daniel Nguyen / JT Sundling (No. 2 Doubles), Robet Farah (No. 1 Singles), Steve Johnson (No. 2 Singles), Daniel Nguyen (No. 4 Singles) and Peter Lucassen (No. 6 Singles). USC's 2010 men's tennis NCAA title is the 113th overall national championship won by the university and 90th men's national championship for the Trojans. 

USC got in a 1-0 hole after a rare loss of the doubles point. The Trojans got down a break late in the game on all three courts, with the Tennessee pair on court one getting to the first win of the night. #3 Vols Sandgren/Smith handed USC's #2 Robert Farah /Steve Johnson their first loss in 18 matches, snapping a 17-match win streak with an 8-6 Tennessee win at the No. slot. At the No. 2 position, USC's sophomore-freshman combo of Daniel Nguyen / JT Sundling held off Tennessee's #12 Conkic/Williams, but was down two breaks while competition wrapped up on court three. There, USC's Jason McNaughton / Jaak Poldmawere unable to fight back from a late break and fell 8-6 to Fago/Jones to see the Vols take a 1-0 lead in the match with singles competition on tap.

After losing the doubles point - a deficit that had led to USC losses in previous matches this season - the Trojans regrouped and put forth a ferocious effort in singles. #3 Steve Johnson pulled things even with a 6-3, 6-2 win at the No. 2 slot over #36 Boris Conkic , but Tennessee went back ahead with a win on court three. Undeterred, USC rattled off impressive wins to nail down the championship win. #9 Robert Farah upset the nation's #1 singles player JP Smith 7-6 (3), 6-4 on court one for the senior's 16th straight singles win, which was followed by a 6-3, 6-4 win from #121 Peter Lucassen at the No. 6 slot over Matteo Fago. That wrapped up the straight-set decisions for the night, as Daniel Nguyen came through with the clincher - the sophomore's fifth straight singles win in NCAA action this year - with a 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-0 comeback to notch USC's 4-2 win for the title.

And as an extra launchpad to the coming NCAA Individual Championships, senior Robert Farah was named the Farnsworth/ITA Senior Player of the Year. A finalist for the national award as the Southwest Region Senior Player of the Year, Farah was announced as the national honoree today in Athens, Ga. Farah and sophomoreSteve Johnson now turn to both NCAA Singles and Doubles competition starting tomorrow (May 26) at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Johnson is the No. 2 seed in the singles action, with Farah a 9-16 seed. Johnson will open up with a first-round match against Tennessee's Rhyne Williams in a 6 p.m. ET match, and Farah faces Baylor's Jordan Rux at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday (May 26). On Thursday (May 27), the pair teams up again in doubles as the No. 3 seeded duo, facing TCU's Brighiu/Price in the first round.

Championship Match
[5] USC 4, [2] Tennessee 2
May 25, 2010 - Athens, Ga.
(1) #3 Sandgren/Smith (TENN) def. #2 Farah/Johnson (USC) - 8-6 
(2) Nguyen/Sundling (USC) vs. #12 Conkic/Williams (TENN) - 4-7 susp.
(3) Fago/Jones (TENN) def. McNaughton/Poldma (USC) - 8-6
Tennessee wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 1, 3
(1) #9 
Robert Farah (USC) def. #1 J.P. Smith (TENN) - 7-6 (3), 6-4
(2) #3 
Steve Johnson (USC) def. #36 Boris Conkic (TENN) - 6-3, 6-2
(3) #45 Rhyne Williams (TENN) def. #89 
Jaak Poldma (USC) - 1-6, 6-2, 6-1
(4) #83 
Daniel Nguyen (USC) def. #111 Tennys Sandgren (TENN) - 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-0*
Matt Kecki (USC) vs. #115 Matt Brewer (TENN) - 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-5 susp.
(6) #121 
Peter Lucassen (USC) def. Matteo Fago (TENN) - 6-3, 6-4
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1, 6, 4

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