May 20, 2012
#1 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (31-1) def. #8 DUKE (25-6), 4-1 - Henry Feild Stadium
Head Coaches: Peter Smith (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) and Ramsey Smith (DUKE)
1. #2 Steve Johnson/Roberto Quiroz (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. #16 Henrique Cunha/Chris Mengel (DUKE), 8-4
2. #35 Daniel Nguyen/Ray Sarmiento (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. David Holland/Fred Saba (DUKE), 8-2
3. Raphael Hemmeler/Torsten Wietoska (DUKE) def. Emilio Gomez/Yannick Hanfmann (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 8-3
1. #1 Steve Johnson (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. #5 Henrique Cunha (DUKE), 6-4, 6-0
2. #25 Ray Sarmiento (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) vs. #38 Chris Mengel (DUKE), 5-7, 3-0, unfinished
3. #21 Daniel Nguyen (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. #113 Torsten Wietoska (DUKE), 6-3, 6-1
4. #57 Emilio Gomez (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. Fred Saba (DUKE), 6-4, 6-1
5. Raphael Hemmeler (DUKE) def. #51 Yannick Hanfmann (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 6-3, 6-4
6. Roberto Quiroz (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) vs. Jason Tahir (DUKE), 6-2, 4-2, unfinished
Order of Finish
USC Head Coach Peter Smith
“I’m just extremely happy with how well we played. Duke is a good team, they’ve beaten us in the last two years and they have great coaching. I thought our guys really rose to the occasion.”
On focusing more against Duke because of the history...
“It’s the quarterfinals of the NCAA, if you can’t focus on this one, you should be doing something else. You have to respect everyone and know everyone’s going to play well. We approach every match the same and have that same mentality. I think it’s a real mistake to think another team is going to be easy to beat. We know Duke is good, we know they’re well-coached and we were ready.”
On doing things differently after having won three straight national championships…
“No, we don’t do things differently. I think it’s a certain mindset that you have to have. I was telling the team to not get caught up thinking ‘this is something’ or ‘this is nothing.’ I think if you get caught up thinking about other things, it’s a mistake. You just have to go out there and play tennis, and that’s what these guys are going to do the rest of their lives.”
USC’s Steve Johnson
On the changes made over the last four years...
“In my first year, we hadn’t won the national championship the year before, so as a coach, Peter has changed a lot in the last four years. He’s become a little more relaxed, which has changed his whole landscape. We go out there every match and it’s not the end of the world. We win, we lose, we’re still a team, and we’re still going to be together. I think that’s a mentality that you have to have and Peter’s given that to us in the last four years.”
On watching the other matches...
“I have no interest in watching other matches. Once we’re done, I don’t want to see a tennis score until tomorrow morning. Whatever happens, happens. Some guys on our team will watch or follow the live scores, but whatever happens, happens and we can’t control that.”
USC’s Daniel Nquyen
On being close to the end of the season...
“We’re taking it one match at a time. It feels close, but we’re not really worrying about the outcome of getting to the finals. We’re just approaching each match the same way we have the whole season and taking it one point at a time, one task at a time.”
On Coach Peter Smith...
“Peter brings energy each day, and it’s great having him as a coach. As a team, we believe in each other and we all bring energy each day. I think all of us have worked hard to get here.”
Duke Head Coach Ramsey Smith
On the match...
“Full credit to Southern Cal. They are an awfully good team. I was very impressed with them today. I thought we played a pretty good match. These guys (Wietoska and Hemmeler) played amazing at three doubles and got off the court quickly. I know we lost 8-4 at No. 1, but we had some chances in that match and I think it was a little bit closer than the score. In singles, they got off to a good start on a couple courts and really took it to us. Like I said, they are a great team, and they will be pretty tough to beat this year.”
On season as a launching pad for the future...
“It’s just been exciting that we have improved every year. This is my fourth season as head coach here and this senior class is my first group of guys coming through and they’ve taken the program to the next level each year. It’s nice to see the improvement. Its always tough after you lose the last match of the season and have it all end so quickly, but we’ve put ourselves in good position to move forward these next couple of years.”
On having faced USC in the past...
“I certainly think that they respect us. We have beat them, granted it has been in circumstances in both those matches and maybe to our advantage, but they certainly take us seriously. They’ve played tough against us twice this year, both at the national events. They are a deep team and there aren’t really any holes in their lineup, so it will be interesting to see how things finish up in this tournament.
Duke’s Torsten Wietoska
On his time as a Blue Devil...
“It was an awesome four years obviously. To finish with our best season, that was definitely our goal and was great. As a foreigner coming to the U.S. to play tennis, its not easy to adapt, but I always had Coach Ramsey by my side to help me through a lot of ups and downs. I have a lot of pride to be a Blue Devil over the last four years. We came really close as a team and I think as a senior class we leave a pretty good legacy for the other classes.”
#4 UCLA (26-3) def. #5 OHIO STATE (34-4), 4-2 - McWhorter Courts
Head Coaches: Billy Martin (UCLA) and Ty Tucker (OHIO STATE)
1. #44 Alex Brigham/Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. #1 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (OHIO STATE), 8-6
2. #85 Nick Meister/Dennis Novikov (UCLA) def. #32 Devin McCarthy/Ille Van Engelen (OHIO STATE), 8-1
3. Peter Kobelt/Connor Smith (OHIO STATE) def. Marcos Giron/Warren Hardie (UCLA), 8-4
1. #10 Chase Buchanan (OHIO STATE) def. #62 Clay Thompson (UCLA), 6-3, 6-3
2. #16 Nick Meister (UCLA) vs. #9 Blaz Rola (OHIO STATE), 3-6, 6-3, 3-2, unfinished
3. Dennis Novikov (UCLA) def. #67 Peter Kobelt (OHIO STATE), 6-4, 6-0
4. #84 Marcos Giron (UCLA) def. #85 Devin McCarthy (OHIO STATE), 6-4, 6-4
5. #46 Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. #107 Hunter Callahan (OHIO STATE), 6-3, 7-6(0)
6. Connor Smith (OHIO STATE) def. Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA), 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish
UCLA Head Coach Billy Martin
“Another incredibly great college tennis match. That was a huge win for us at doubles, especially to win number one doubles over the top-ranked team in the country. Alex Brigham and Adrien Puget were our number one team last year and came up with some big wins last year. I didn’t have them together the first two-thirds of the season, but we added a new player, I put them back together and they’ve had some great wins. It wasn’t a huge surprise that they won their doubles match, but I can’t say that I was counting on it. It certainly gave us a chance. I thought we had a chance to win some of the matched at the back of the lineup, and luckily it happened. Winning four singles matches is difficult, but we were able to sneak in three. It was a great win for us. Ohio State is always very physical, they compete well and they always come prepared to play.”
On Adrien Puget’s play in the singles match...
“He looked very tired to me, and that’s not normal for him. He’s usually the leader of our team as far as energy and closing out matches goes. By the time I got up there, it was 4-3 and he looked spent. I thought after the doubles match, that he might be low on energy if his singles match went long. He played someone who didn’t compete in the doubles match, and to me it can sometimes be a plus to not compete in the doubles match, with the heat, the intensity and the competitiveness of the NCAA tournament. I was a little worried about that, but Adrien was able keep his composure and shorten the points a little bit.”
UCLA’s Alex Brigham
On helping to win the doubles point and then watching the singles matches...
“I feel winning the doubles point was a huge motivator for our team, and it gave everyone a lot of confidence. I feel it made everyone believe that we can achieve anything and overcome any hurdle that the occasion called for. It really motivated me emotionally, and I really felt that if I cheered on the sidelines for my team that we would come through.”
Ohio State Head Coach Ty Tucker
On the match...
“Obviously hats go off to Billy Martin for doing such a great job. He is obviously one of the best in the business. UCLA, I think, has been in the tournament thirty six times I read. They obviously have a really powerful program every year due to him, but today got bailed out a bit by his players. We had many opportunities in doubles, 13 or 14 break points in 5 or 6 different games at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles and we didn’t get a break all day at No. 1 and 2 doubles which isn’t like the Buckeyes when they get some chances. When we had triple break point at No. 1 early in the match they came up with the goods. Our guys do what they do, and they compete very hard and there is nothing to hang our heads about. We thought if we could get the doubles point that we could be the favorites to win that match.”
On taking out Ille Van Engelen...
“Down the doubles point, I thought we needed to have ourselves more opportunities. Devin McCarthy has been nursing a pulled groin for about two weeks and he’s starting to get more and more healthy. And I thought that gave us five chances to get four points. Was it the right move? I don’t know, but we were in it till the end. We had our opportunities. We talked about this being UCLA and you’re going to get one or two break points here or there and you’re going to have to capitalize on them.”
On Hunter Callahan...
“I think Hunter did a good job. Hunter has been going back and forth in the six spot this season. He’s got a lot of pop on his first serve and I think he handled it well. Hunter is athletic as anybody and has a good first serve. All of these guys believed in him.
Ohio State’s Chase Buchanan
On his career at Ohio State...
“It’s been great and an awesome experience for my life. I’m sad I won’t play with them anymore.”
#3 VIRGINIA (28-1) def. #11 STANFORD (20-9), 4-0 - McWhorter Courts
Head Coaches: Brian Boland (VIRGINIA) and John Whitlinger (STANFORD)
Doubles (Order of finish: 3,2,1)
1. #5 Drew Courtney/Jarmere Jenkins (VIRGINIA) def. Denis Lin/Ryan Thacher (STANFORD), 9-8(2)
2. Bradley Klahn/John Morrissey (STANFORD) def. Alex Domijan/Mitchell Frank (VIRGINIA), 8-5
3. Justin Shane/Julen Uriguen (VIRGINIA) def. Jamin Ball/Matt Kandath (STANFORD), 8-4
Singles (Order of finish: 3,4,5*)
1. #4 Jarmere Jenkins (VIRGINIA) vs. #36 Bradley Klahn (STANFORD), 7-6(1), 2-3, unfinished
2. #39 Alex Domijan (VIRGINIA) vs. #29 Ryan Thacher (STANFORD), 6-3, 5-3, unfinished
3. #2 Mitchell Frank (VIRGINIA) def. Matt Kandath (STANFORD), 6-2, 6-0
4. Drew Courtney (VIRGINIA) def. John Morrissey (STANFORD), 6-2, 6-4
5. #82 Justin Shane (VIRGINIA) def. Daniel Ho (STANFORD), 6-4, 6-1
6. Julen Uriguen (VIRGINIA) vs. Robert Stineman (STANFORD), 4-6, 2-2, unfinished
Virginia Head Coach Brian Boland
On the match...
“I was pleased with the way the team played. We came out with a lot of energy and it was something that stayed with us throughout the entire match. I thought we had a little lull in our match against Cal Berkley, today our guys energy was there throughout the match. I thought we played an excellent match from start to finish and the focus and they played with great purpose, so I was very pleased. “
On winning doubles point...
“I was pleased to win the doubles point, but I’m confident in this team either way. It’s something that we’ve spent a lot of time on lately. The guys continue to get better, but certainly I didn’t feel that it was any bigger than the other six points we still had to play. Stanford did a good job of competing in the doubles, and certainly it gave us some momentum, but I was confident in the team.
On quick turnaround Monday...
“I do think it is an advantage to get off the court (while the opponent is still playing). We will get our guys recovering right away. From the looks of it, they still have a lot of work to do out there between Pepperdine and Georgia, what a great match. We certainly respect either team and we look forward to the matchup with whoever we play.”
On a potential matchup with Georgia...
“You know we look forward to it. It’s a great environment, I know our guys embrace that, but right now we will see who we play.”
Virginia’s Justin Shane
On thoughts of last year’s NCAA last match...
“It actually hasn’t been on my mind at all because this whole year I've just been doing all I can do, preparing the best I can. I don’t feel at all as nervous in this year’s tournament as I did last year.”
Virginia’s Drew Courtney
On today’s match...
“I served really well and anytime I serve well I can kinda take some chances in the return game. I had some shots fall early and got a couple of early breaks and was able to serve out the first set. In the second set I had a little bit of a lull, but I was able to fight my way back into it and I was able to serve well during the last game as well.
On the doubles match...
“ Yeah it was a good match, Ryan (Thacher) and Dennis (Lin) played very well. Give them credit. I think that they are both very good doubles players. Jarmere (Jenkins) and I were just having fun. We just took it point by point and had a blast out there. It was a fun match, with a tiebreak and the point came down to us. It was a big momentum swing for us going into singles and I think our team used that very well today.”
Stanford Head Coach John Whitlinger
“Virginia’s a great team. We almost took the doubles point, as we did in Charlottesville, and I was really proud of the effort the guys gave in doubles. It was close, but would that have made a difference? I don’t know. Virginia’s very good, and they deserved to win. I’m really proud of my team and they way they competed. We gave it everything we had, but Virginia was just too good tonight.”
On saying goodbye to his seniors...
“Last year it was Alex Clayton. I was sitting up here at the same time and saying how special Alex was to our program, and this year went awfully quick. It’s hard to believe its been 365 days since I was sitting here with my graduating senior. I can’t say enough about what Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher both have mean tot Stanford tennis, Stanford University and the community. They are class acts, great players and great people. They have definitely changed and put us in the direction we need to be going in. I can’t thank either of them enough for what they’ve done. Like I said, we know they’re great tennis players, but when you get to be with them everyday in practice and on road trips, you get to know they type of people that Ryan and Brad are, it makes my job very special. I’ve done this 26 years, and every year is a little different. We’ve had a lot of success and some down times, but it’s people like Ryan and Brad that make me want to come to work everyday trying to get them better and trying to get the program better.”
Stanford’s Bradley Klahn
On ending his collegiate career...
“It’s difficult. It’s hard to put in to words the feelings I have about it being over. It goes so quickly. You come in as a freshman, you see all the seniors on the team and you think you have a long ways to go, and the next thing you know, you’re playing in your last NCAA tournament, you run into a tough team like Virginia and it’s over. Fortunately for me, I have the individual finals, but the team format is what makes college so great and so difficult to leave. Playing my last team match, it’s emotional. It’s hard to leave the team, they’re my family. I couldn’t have asked for a greater opportunity than the one Coach Whitlinger and Coach Coupe gave me four years ago to come play for them, and here I am after my last match and I couldn’t be more proud of our team. The direction that the team has moved in since my freshman year is pretty special. There’s a lot of good memories, and certainly Friday night was special to see the way our team came out fired up after losing the doubles point and win six first sets. That’s the kind of effort our team has given all year and it’s going to be tough to leave guys like that.”
#7 PEPPERDINE (27-6) def. #2 GEORGIA (26-3), 4-3 - Henry Feild Stadium
Head Coaches: Manuel Diaz (GEORGIA) and Adam Steinberg (PEPPERDINE)
Doubles (Order of finish: 1,2,3)
1. #15 Alex Llompart/Finn Tearney (PEPPERDINE) def. Sadio Doumbia/Hernus Pieters (GEORGIA), 8-1
2. #41 Nathan Pasha/Ignacio Taboada (GEORGIA) def. Sebastian Fanselow/Jenson Turner (PEPPERDINE), 8-5
3. Hugh Clarke/David Sofaer (PEPPERDINE) def. KU Singh/Wil Spencer (GEORGIA), 9-7
Singles (Order of finish: 4,2,5,6,1,3*)
1. #8 Sebastian Fanselow (PEPPERDINE) def. #11 Wil Spencer (GEORGIA), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
2. #19 KU Singh (GEORGIA) def. #30 Finn Tearney (PEPPERDINE), 7-6(3), 6-2
3. Alex Llompart (PEPPERDINE) def. #32 Sadio Doumbia (GEORGIA), 7-6(2), 6-7(2), 6-4
4. #52 Ignacio Taboada (GEORGIA) def. #109 Mousheg Hovhannisyan (PEPPERDINE), 6-1, 6-3
5. Nathan Pasha (GEORGIA) def. Hugh Clarke (PEPPERDINE), 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
6. Jenson Turner (PEPPERDINE) def. #60 Hernus Pieters (GEORGIA), 6-4, 7-6(4)
Pepperdine Head Coach Adam Steinberg
“Incredible. What a great college match. If you know me, I’m not usually at a loss for words, but I’m a little bit. Incredible match against such a great team. I’m so proud of the guys. We’ve never really been in this situation with this team in front of a crowd like that and how they handled that. Coming out and winning the doubles point, I was so proud of them for that. We’ve never played in front of a crowd like that before, especially here. Manny’s (Diaz) teams are so well coached and coming out and winning the doubles point, I thought was so big because I kinda thought, wow we can really do this. It made a believer out of everybody. I’m so proud of Alex (Llompart) for pulling that out after giving up that second set, and coming back against, to me, one of the best college players in the country. Great job by the Waves.”
“It feels as good. It really does. I said after the match, ‘Are we only in the semis?” It’s such an honor to play here. Obviously winning the national championship against that team was incredible and winning your last match is probably no feeling like that, but this comes mighty close. I’m just so happy. I have such a great group of guys and I wanted this moment for them. Its definitely up there. I’m very happy for my players.
On quick turnaround to face UVA tomorrow...
“We just talked about that. With four seniors and the goals we set for ourselves, what it basically comes down to is that we don’t want the year to end. We want to keep playing as long as they will allow us. I told the guys, ‘ This feels amazing but the ultimate goal when you get here for all sixteen teams is to get that ring at the end.’ We have to find a way to come back again tomorrow against an amazing team. The goal now is to keep going as far as we can. Alex (Llompart) gave a great talk to the team and so did Sebastian (Fanselow). We have great leaders and players and when it comes from them in the locker room now and it’s not just me saying ‘Hey we’ve got to get back tomorrow’, I think you’ll see us still play together tomorrow with the same kind of intensity and energy and we are going to do the best we can to beat a great Virginia team.
Pepperdine’s Alex Llompart
On the third set of his singles match...
“At the beginning of the third set he was playing very well. I wasn’t moving as well as I was moving at the beginning of the match. But me and my coach, we just kept talking about the game plan and I kept holding serve until 2-2 when I got a good game. It was a good returning game and I played a couple good points and broke there. Then held all the way through. He had a couple chances to break after that but couldn’t convert and just held serve all the way through.”
On coming in to net in third set...
“ It was a strategy. Whenever the points got longer and he got to the net he was winning the point. My coach wanted me to mix up serving and volley and staying back and coming in as soon as I could. It worked out well. I was winning a lot of points at the net throughout the match, so we decided to keep doing what was doing best and get to the net.”
On what propelled him forward...
“Well in the second set, I tried to stay back and it didn’t work out very well. I had a couple match points and served for it and it didn’t work out very well, so I had to do something different. We talked about it and I stuck to the game plan and I’m happy I got the win for the Waves.”
Georgia Head Coach Manuel Diaz
“Pepperdine just played a great match. They really owned the big moments. They were composed. They brought their best tennis at the most important times. IU have tog I’ve them all the credit. Today was a day where they competed well and gave all we had. WE just came up a little bit short. We all agree that we maybe could’ve played better. I think that a lot of that was the fact that Pepperdine played loose and aggressive. They played very composed in the most important moments. We can’t hang out heads. I know our guys are disappointed. I’m really proud of the way we hung in there. I mean, this match could’ve been over an hour earlier, if not for the terrific effort from (Sadio and Wil). Ultimately, we just came up a little bit short in both of those matches. I’m happy of the way our guys represented our program.”
On the close loss...
“I’ve had a lot of losses. They’re all tough. We’ve had some matches over here through the years where we wound up coming up short. It always hurts. Not so much because these guys didn’t win today, but because it’s their last match together, They’ve given up a lot, they’ve sacrificed a lot. They train very hard. They’ve committed to each other more than you can ever imagine. Its something whether you lose or not, you cant take it away. It’s painful because you don’t get another opportunity as a group to engage in that journey together. That’s the most painful thing when it comes down to your last NCAA team game.”
Georgia’s Wil Spencer
“We came in with a game plan of trying to pull him to his forehand and wear him down. I didn’t do a very good job of the game plan in the first set. But I started to vary it up in the second set. I was just trying to wear him down. I played a good second set. He gave me a couple breaks. The third set, the first game was huge. It’s the momentum. It sets the tone for the match. I was up 30-0, I played a couple of loose points. He played well. He stayed calm. He as composed. I had a lot of chances in the third set to get a break. He came up big. I think I should’ve played bigger. He’s a great competitor. I was fighting, as we always do. Everybody is going to fight no matter what. It’s nothing new.”
On being sick...
“No, I wasn’t. I took some salt tablets and it just messed with my stomach a little bit. I started to get some stomach cramps. I think it was just gas, honestly. It just started messing with my stomach. I wasn’t sick.”
On playing last dual college match...
“It’s hard to sum it up right now. It’s been amazing. As coach put it, you go through so much together. You go through practices, you go through matches, you go through amazing moments, tough moments, painful moments, it just makes you close and want to win for each other. It makes it so special to play at our home courts. It’s a great experience. I don’t know if there are words to describe it. We want to win for so many different reasons. It’s just painful right now.”
On what he said after the match to Sadio Doumbia...
“It shows you how much we care for each other. It goes beyond tennis. WE love each other. We’ve been through so much. We’re friends. We care about each other. We were just consoling each other. We all share the pain.”
Georgia’s Sadio Doumbia
On the third set of his singles match...
“I fought back. I was returning it as hard as I could. I just kept trying and trying. I had opportunities, but I didn’t find a way to pull through. I’m very disappointed. Life will go on. It’s okay.”
On Alex Llompart approaching the net so much...
“I was guess he was tired and he was trying to shorten the points. I was tired too. I was cramping since the second set. I wasn’t surprised. I knew what he was going to try.”