USC: Daniel Nguyen

USC men's tennis wins fourth straight title

May, 23, 2012
5/23/12
12:06
AM PT
The USC men's tennis team won its record-tying fourth consecutive NCAA national title on Tuesday with a late-night 4-3 victory over Virginia in Athens, Ga.

The championship matchup had to be moved indoors after afternoon rain first delayed the action on the outdoor courts at the University of Georgia.

USC freshman Yannick Hanfmann, playing the final of six singles matches, battled back from down a break in the third set to win it all for his team in a dramatic tiebreaker. Steve Johnson, Raymond Sarmiento and Roberto Quiroz also won singles matches for the Trojans after they lost the crucial doubles point on the outdoor courts to start off the action.

USC, the first college tennis team since Stanford's 1995-98 teams to win four consecutive national championships, finishes 2012 with a 33-1 overall record. Interestingly, the Trojans' men's water polo team is also on a run of four straight titles.

Johnson, the reigning NCAA singles champion, and fellow senior Daniel Nguyen both won the national title all four years they were in college.

Men's tennis repeats as national champs

May, 26, 2010
5/26/10
12:05
AM PT
It wasn't an auspicious start for the Trojans — but, this time, it didn't matter.

The USC men's tennis team lost the doubles point in Tuesday's NCAA title game against Tennessee, only the fourth such time the Trojans did so this season.

The previous three matches? All losses, USC's only three of the season. But the Trojans rallied in singles Tuesday, getting key victories from Robert Farah, Steve Johnson and Peter Lucassen and the title-clinching victory from Daniel Nguyen to win their second straight national title, 4-2 over the Volunteers.

"In between singles and doubles, we decided we had to do it the hard way," Johnson said by phone Tuesday night from Athens, Ga. "And we all just pulled together. There was never an easy road for us tonight."

When the doubles pairings of Farah/Johnson and Jason McNaughton/Jaak Poldma fell to the Volunteers, Tennessee took an early 1-0 lead. Johnson took home the first singles win for USC at the No. 2 spot, toppling Tennessee's Boris Conkic in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. Then, Poldma lost on the No. 3 singles court to give back the lead to Tennessee.

From there, Farah used a crucial tiebreaker win in his first set and ferocious returns to upset national No. 1 player J.P. Smith and Lucassen earned a win as the Trojans took a 3-2 lead. But the sophomore Nguyen became the real hero when he rallied back from a first-set loss to beat Tennessee's Tennys Sandgren and clinch the match for the Trojans, 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-0.

After the match, Nguyen was named the NCAA tournament's Most Outstanding Player, completing a meteoric rise for the Santa Barbara native as he climbed away from in and out of the lineup in his freshman season to a key part of the Trojans' national championship run.

"It’s just unbelievable the strides he has made since last year," Johnson said of Nguyen. "We all knew he would come through for us."

Now, both Johnson and Farah will attempt to take the momentum from Tuesday's victory and keep it going for the NCAA individual championships that begin Wednesday. Both players are scheduled for singles matches on Wednesday evening.

"We’re both pretty emotionally spent," Johnson said. "It’s a quick turnaround, but we’re prepared."

Recapping Monday

May, 24, 2010
5/24/10
11:19
PM PT
Links, notes and quotes to recap everything USC-related on this Monday:
  • The fifth-ranked USC men's tennis team upset top-seeded Virginia in Monday's semifinal to punch its ticket to the NCAA title game Tuesday against Tennessee. Sophomore Daniel Nguyen, who USC coach Peter Smith said was his most improved player this season, clinched the victory with a dramatic 7-6 (9), 6-4 win at the No. 4 singles spot after the Trojans won the doubles point and got key singles victories from Robert Farah and Peter Lucassen. USC lost three matches this season — including the final fixture of the regular season to rival UCLA — but appears to be back to the top form it exhibited in winning the NCAA title a season ago.
  • Former USC safety Kevin Ellison was arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance in his native Redondo Beach. After he was pulled over for speeding in a residential area, Ellison had his car searched and police discovered 100 Vicodin pills — which he did not have a prescription for, according to Sgt. Peter Grimm. Ellison, a sixth-round selection of the San Diego Chargers in 2009, was a team leader in his time with the Trojans.
  • In recruiting news, linebacker Tre Madden (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo) committed to USC over the weekend, becoming the sixth member of the Class of 2011 — but the first linebacker — to commit to the Trojans. Madden, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound middle linebacker for Mission Viejo, projects as an outside linebacker at the college level. According to various reports, the high school junior first received an offer from USC last Thursday and took only a few days to mull it over, committing Sunday.
  • According to the L.A. Daily News, USC senior associate athletic director Brandon Martin has resigned to take a similar position at Oklahoma. Martin, who played basketball for the Trojans in the 1990's, reportedly made many basketball-related decisions during his tenure at USC and had notably been in the running for athletic director spots at smaller schools over the last year. Martin received undergraduate and graduate degrees from USC and also held a joint appointment as the Assistant Professor of Clinical Education in USC's Rossier School of Education. He is known for a dissertation entitled, "A Phenomenological Study of African American Male Student-Athletes at Highly Selective Division I Universities," published at USC.

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