May 24, 2011
Taube Family Tennis Center - Stanford, Calif.
Tuesday, May 24 - 12 p.m. - Taube Stadium
NO. 2 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 4
NO. 1 VIRGINIA 3
Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 2)
1) No. 2 Courtney/Shabaz (UVA) vs. No. 22 Poldma/Sundling (USC) aban.
2) Gomez/Johnson (USC) d. Jenkins/Uriguen (UVA) 8-2
3) Nguyen/Sarmiento (USC) d. Domijan/Singh (UVA) 8-4
Singles (Order of Finish: 5, 1, 2, 6, 4, 3)
1) No. 1 Steve Johnson (USC) d. No. 5 Michael Shabaz (UVA) 7-6 (2), 6-3
2) No. 2 Alex Domijan (UVA) d. No. 38 Jaak Poldma (USC) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
3) No. 44 Daniel Nguyen (USC) d. No. 34 Sanam Singh (UVA) 7-5, 0-6, 6-4
4) No. 56 Jarmere Jenkins (UVA) d. No. 47 Ray Sarmiento (USC) 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
5) Emilio Gomez (USC) d. Justin Shane (UVA) 6-0, 6-3
6) Julen Uriguen (UVA) d. Peter Lucassen (USC) 6-2, 1-6, 6-3
USC Head Coach Peter Smith
On the match...
"It was an incredible match. Our most exciting match in the finals in the last three years. They were more than a worthy opponent. One and two going at it. It comes down to the last match. It came down to this kid, Daniel, and he is so funny. Last year he won it and didn't know it was for the national championship. We questioned if he could do it this year, knowing it was for the national championships and he did it. It was great. I felt good about a couple of spots and then it was just a matter of who was going to come up big. Stevie came through and Emilio played great."
On if he has a dynasty on his hands...
"I don't know. Dynasty, I wouldn't use that word. For some reason, in LA, winning three is pretty tough. The Lakers couldn't do it this year and we couldn't do it in football against Texas. We followed men's water polo, they did it. I always tell Jovan [Vavic], the USC water polo coach, if he can do it, I can do it. These two have won three national championships. They came in as freshman and have won three championships. They have been invaluable. The dynasty may end when they graduate. I have loved every second of it.
On telling Nguyen that he would rather he return with the wind...
"I would rather have you returning with the wind than serving into the wind. With both those guys, they have very similar games and I knew we still had a really good shot at 5-4. I just really enjoyed the atmosphere today. I told them just to enjoy it. It is so great to have a crowd like that and the band. Last year we had like 10 people there against like 1,000 Tennessee people. So it was pretty cool to share it with our friends."
On the team's doubles play...
"We played so well in doubles. Yesterday our doubles were the best they were all day. Sometimes you look at other people and you haven't played them, like Virginia, maybe they are as good as everyone says they are. But my players really came up big."
On the three national championships...
"The first one was like watching your first child being born. You see it happen, but you don't really understand the magnitude of it. Then the second one we just got on a run and this year it was literally an explosion. Having the band there, having Stevie take me down to the ground, maybe that was the explosion, but this year it was just like wow. It was incredible to walk up there and share it with the band and hear our fight song. Yesterday it was special when that happened and today it was even better."
USC junior Daniel Nguyen
On playing in front of such a great crowd...
"The atmosphere out there was unbelievably loud and it was tough to focus. I took the moment and took advantage of the situation and took it point by point. I believed in myself and the team.
On feeling more comfortable returning serves...
"My serve was really bad. I just didn't feel comfortable serving today. I was better at receiving today.
Virginia Head Coach Brian Boland
"That was a great college tennis match. I am proud of the guys. Certainly all of the credit goes to USC. They played a great match. They took it to us in double and I give them all the credit in the world. They are the best we have, with three-straight NCAA titles with what they have accomplished. I am proud of our guys, but somebody had to lose a tough match. It is a part of sports and there is a larger lesson we have to learn from this. I told Sanam [Singh] that. He had a great career at the University of Virginia and it is certainly not marked by one win or one loss. This is the best young man that has played for me in 15 years. He is a regional sportsmanship award winner and should be a national sportsmanship award winner for a reason. I believe I am right about that. He is an exceptional human being, great competitor and it is a team event. That is why you cannot put it on the shoulders of one guy. Great event, proud of my guys getting to play for a national championship and I know we will learn a lot from it. May take some time to figure out what that is. Just really proud and we will get ready for the singles tournament. We have five players in it and two doubles teams, a great accomplishment. We will keep competing."
On if the loss will define Sanam Singh's career...
"This certainly will not represent Sanam Singh's career at the University of Virginia. His legacy will go beyond the hundreds of wins he has as a player. He is a leader both on and off the court. He is one of the greatest human beings I have ever had the pleasure to coach. He is a fine young man, and no matter what he does after tennis, he will have a big impact. I have been incredibly blessed to be able to be around this young man the last four years. I love him to death and this doesn't define him at all."
On deciding not to play Drew Courtney...
"Tough. I could have played him. He hasn't played a match in three weeks. If SC wants to go back out there and have a redo on court five, I would be ok with that. But that is part of sports. Justin [Shane] has played some good tennis for us as a freshman. Drew was ready and willing to go for us, but we decided to go with what got us here. I was a little bit concerned. He was improving daily. I made the decision to go with Justin and I am so proud of him. What an experience for a kid from Falls Church, Va. As a freshman to play in the NCAA Championship as a freshman. I think he not only has the ability to play at a high level here, but at the next level. He has already proven that he is a selfless player that can compete with anyone. I think he beat three or four top-10 players this year. This tournament was tough. It is all about perspective. It is sports. Win or lose, we are ok. If you aren't willing to go through the pain, you shouldn't be playing.
Virginia Senior Sanam Singh
On the loss...
"Really disappointed. I had a ton of chances in that third set. I had all the momentum in the third set. I congratulate Daniel Nguyen on a great match. Made a couple of bad errors in that last set. I was in the same situation with Stanford and Ohio State and I just kept telling myself to hang in there."
On what he was thinking at the beginning of the third set...
"I think its just all momentum. I had a couple of great looks, I just missed them in the net. He hit a couple of big serves and you cannot let those go on such a big stage."
On playing on such a big stage with a huge crowd...
"I actually love it. We talk about it throughout the year. It is comes down to any of us, we trust each other and embrace the moment. We played the 4-3 match against Stanford and it came down to me, it could have come down to anyone. I came out on top that day, didn't come out on top that day."
On if this loss will define his career...
" Definitely can't answer that right now. I don't want it to, though. Right now I am just really disappointed. I don't want to let it and hopefully it wont."