May 14, 2016
USC will travel to Tulsa, Okla. after today’s 4-2 victory over the Yellow Jackets.
LOS ANGELES – The No. 10 seeded Trojans advance to the Round of 16 by defeating No. 32 ranked Georgia Tech 4-2 in the second round of the tournament on Saturday (May 14) in Marks Stadium. USC improves to 17-6 overall.
To open up the afternoon’s competition, USC’s No. 46 duo of Nick Crystal/Laurens Verboven powered through their match on court one with relentless intensity. The two were in sync as they continued to claim games until they defeated Georgia Tech’s No. 38 Kay/Kay 6-1.
On court three, USC’s Rob Bellamy/Tanner Smith fought hard, but ultimately fell to the Yellow Jacket pair of Rakitt/Li 6-3.
All the attention then moved over to court two where USC’s Thibault Forget/Max de Vroome were grinding it out with Georgia Tech’s #37 Eubanks/Benito. With a 4-4 score, the crowd at Marks Stadium was locked in and erupting in cheers after each point. The tension was palpable as Georgia Tech moved ahead 5-4. In the next game, de Vroome’s strong serves and Forget’s presence at the net was enough to tie up the score at 5-5. As Georgia Tech moved ahead 6-5, USC was not giving up. In true Trojan form, the USC duo fought back to once again tie the score at 6-6 and force a tiebreak. Unfortunately, Georgia Tech reached seven points first and snatched the doubles point after the hard fought battle.
The intensity from doubles carried over into the singles portion of the competition. USC entered at an 0-1 deficit, however that did not deter them from fighting on.
On court four, USC’s No. 121 Thibault Forget blasted through his match defeating Georgia Tech’s Daniel Yun 6-2, 6-3 to tie up the overall score at 1-1.
Trojan No. 23 Max de Vroome put up a solid fight against Georgia Tech opponent No. 7 Christopher Eubanks, but the Yellow Jacket came out on top on the centre court with a 6-3, 7-6 (2) score.
On court two, USC’s No. 41 Nick Crystal found his momentum as he triumphed over Georgia Tech’s No. 113 Carlos Benito 6-4, 6-4.
The match was now tied at 2-2, with courts three and five entering their third set. On court six, USC’s Rob Bellamy won an important second set versus Georgia Tech’s Michael Kay with a 7-5 score to take his match to a decisive third set. By winning this set, it eased the tension for courts three and five to make their final push.
USC’s Jack Jaede captured the first set of his match quickly with a 6-1 score, but his opponent, Nathan Rakitt, pushed back to take the second set 7-6 (4). Jaede’s determination was unwaivering as he powered through the final set to win 6-1 and take the match.
All eyes were now on court four as USC’s No. 69 Logan Smith had the opportunity to close out the match for the Trojans. After going 3-6, 6-3 in the first two sets, Smith took his momentum gained in the second set and applied it to the third. He came out victorious over Georgia Tech’s Cole Fiegel and won the third set 6-4 to clinch the match for the Trojans.
“Today was a very exciting college tennis match,” said head coach Peter Smith. “Georgia Tech gave us all we could handle. Our fight from top to bottom is what our program is all about, and today that took us over the top.”
The Trojans will travel to Tulsa, Okla. where they will take on the winner of the second round matchup of Baylor versus Georgia.
#11 USC 4, Georgia Tech 2
NCAA Championships – Second Round
May 14, 2016 – Marks Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
(1) #46 Crystal/Verboven (USC) def. #38 Kay/Kay (GT) – 6-1
(2) #37 Eubanks/Benito (GT) def. Forget/de Vroome (USC) – 7-6 (5)
(3) Rakitt/Li (GT) def. Bellamy/T. Smith (USC) – 6-3
Georgia Tech wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
(1) #7 Christopher Eubanks (GT) def. #23 Max de Vroome (USC) – 6-3, 7-6 (2)
(3) #69 Logan Smtih (USC) def. Cole Fiegel (GT) – 3-6, 6-3, 6-4*
(4) #121 Thibault Forget (USC) def. Daniel Yun (GT)- 6-2, 6-3
(5) Jack Jaede (USC) def. Nathan Rakitt (GT) – 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-1
(6) Rob Bellamy (USC) vs. Michael Kay (GT) – 4-6, 7-5, 3-2 susp.
Order of finish: 4, 1, 2, 5, 3*