Lyndsay Radnedge/
Men's Tennis

Top-12 Battle Goes to USC

STANFORD, Calif. – No. 12 USC captured a 4-1 victory over No. 10 Stanford in a marathon match between the two men's tennis powers Saturday at Taube Family Tennis Stadium in the Dick Gould Stanford/SoCal Challenge.
The Cardinal (12-4, 2-2 Pac-12) could not complete the regular-season sweep of the Trojans (13-6, 3-0 Pac-12), after earning a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over USC in Los Angeles in February. Stanford dropped consecutive matches for the first time since April of 2017.
Despite the 4-1 score, Saturday's match was tightly contested throughout, lasting nearly three-and-half hours and featuring five tiebreakers. The doubles point was ultimately decided in a tiebreaker and three of the six opening sets in singles went to tiebreakers. Unfortunately, the Trojans prevailed in each of the four tiebreakers that were completed, which proved to be the difference.
The marathon doubles point lasted just under an hour, as two of the matches went to tiebreakers. The No. 16 doubles team of USC's Brandon Holt and Riley Smith came from behind to pull out a 7-5 win over the No. 43 duo of Axel Geller and Alexandre Rotsaert at No. 1. Matches at No. 2 and No. 3 both went to a tiebreaker. Daniel Cukierman and Tanner Smith prevailed, 7-3, over Sameer Kumar and Timothy Sah in the breaker to seal the doubles point.
Sah picked up his fourth consecutive win, and more importantly evened the match with a 6-4, 6-3 victory at No. 6 in the first singles result of the afternoon.
That would be Stanford's lone point of the match, however, as the Trojans picked up their second and third points with straight-set wins at No. 2 and No. 4. Kumar's defeat at No. 4, snapped a seven-match winning streak for the senior.  
Up 3-1, USC looked to court one and the top-20 battle between Geller and Holt. The Trojan's top player captured a win in a first-set tiebreaker and was leading in the second. However, the Cardinal sophomore refused to be denied. Geller stormed back to win the second set, 6-4, and held the lead in the third set.
USC looked to court three, where another first-set tiebreaker went to the Trojans. Genesen was battling with Laurens Verboven, where he fought off match point once and evened the second set at 5-5. Verboven outlasted the Cardinal junior in the end, however, with a 7-5 second-set triumph to win the match for USC.  
Stanford will close its regular-season home slate this coming Thursday against Cal Poly at 3 p.m. at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
No. 12 USC 4, No. 10 Stanford 1
1. No. 16 Brandon Holt/Riley Smith (USC) d. No. 43 Axel Geller/Alexandre Rotsaert (STAN) 7-5
2. Jack Barber/William Genesen (STAN) led Jack Jaede/Laurens Verboven (USC) 6-6 (1-0), UNF
3. Daniel Cukierman/Tanner Smith (USC) d. Sameer Kumar/Timothy Sah (STAN) 7-6 (3)
Order of Finish: 1,3
1. No. 8 Axel Geller (STAN) led No. 17 Brandon Holt (USC) 6-7 (4), 6-4, 4-3 UNF
2. No. 10 Daniel Cukierman (USC) d. No. 33 Alexandre Rotsaert (STAN) 6-3, 6-3
3. No. 28 Laurens Verboven (USC) d. No. 60 William Genesen (STAN) 7-6 (3), 7-5
4. Riley Smith (USC) d. No. 61 Sameer Kumar (STAN) 6-3, 6-3
5. No. 71 Logan Smith (USC) led Michael Genender (STAN) 7-6 (3), 5-5
6. Timothy Sah (STAN) d. Mor Bulis (USC) 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish: 6,2,4,3