The No. 75 ranked University of Utah men’s tennis team (11-9, 1-3 Pac-12) battled 4-time defending NCAA Champion and No. 3 ranked USC Trojans (20-2, 3-0 Pac-12) hard on Saturday, but fell just short 5-2.
The Trojans took the doubles point with decisive victories and No. 1 and No. 2 doubles and jumped out to a 3-0 lead when No. 65 Eric Johnson handily beat Alejandro Medinilla and No. 9 Ray Sarmiento took care of Dmytro Mamedov in a re-match from last year.
Down 5-0, the Utes finally got on the scoreboard when Cedric Willems beat No. 87 Michael Grant at No. 5 singles. Willems has now lost only once in his last 10 appearances. Junior Ben Tasevac put the final point on the board for the Utes, beating 2012 Junior French Open quarterfinalist and No. 104 ITA ranked Max de Vroome in straight sets. With the win, Tasevac continues his impressive season and improves to 15-5 in dual matches.
The Utes will travel to the Bay Area next week to play Cal Berkeley (Friday at 1.30pm) and Stanford (Saturday at 1pm).
#75 Utah 2, #3 USC 5
1. #37 Sarmiento/Hanfmann (USC) def. Lane/Hamza (UU) 8-2
2. Grant/Johnson (USC) def. Mamedov/Medinilla (UU) 8-1
3. Wang/De Vroome (USC) vs. Tasevac/Willems (UU) 6-4 DNF
Order of finish: 2,1
1. #9 Ray Sarmiento (USC) def. Dmytro Mamedov (UU) 6-1, 6-1
2. #48 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) def. Slim Hamza (UU) 7-5, 6-2
3. #65 Eric Johnson (USC) def. Alejandro Medinilla (UU) 6-0, 6-0
4. #86 Johnny Wang (USC) def. Devin Lane (UU) 6-4, 6-3
5. Cedric Willems (UU) def. #87 Michael Grant (USC) 6-3, 7-5
6. Ben Tasevac (UU) def. #104 Max de Vroome (USC) 6-2, 7-6(4)