The No. 51 University of Tulsa men's tennis shocked the college tennis world on Saturday, upsetting the No. 1 Southern California Trojans, 4-3, at Marks Stadium, in TU's first outdoor match of the season.
USC, the most dominant program in college tennis history, and having won five of the last six national championships, came into the afternoon as the heavy favorites against Tulsa.
The win improved TU's record to 9-6, while the Trojans fall to 10-2 on the year.
“This was by far the biggest win in our program's history,” said Head Tennis Coach Vince Westbrook. “A lot of things fell into place for us. We knew we were going to be a better outdoor team and that showed today. Winning at their place is a big deal and the guys did a great job of holding on for the win in such a hostile environment. It was a great college tennis match.”
Making things even more challenging, Tulsa had to come from behind after the Trojans picked up the doubles point. Tanner Smith and Thibault Forget topped to duo Or Ram-Harel and Juan Matias Gonzalez, 6-0 from the three line. Yannick Hanfmann and Jonny Wang clinched USC's doubles point by beating Dylan McCloskey and Matthew Kirby, 6-1, from the No. 2 double's match.
In singles play, No. 71 Ram-Harel, who just broke in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Singles Poll this past week, handed No. 6 Yannick Hanfmann his first loss of the season and doing it in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. Hanfmann was the Pac-12 Player of the Year last year, and has been named an ITA All-American in his last two seasons.
The Trojans picked up its second point and took a 2-1 lead, after No. 31 Jonny Wang defeated Juan Matias Gonzalez in straight sets, 7-5, 6-0, from the No. 3 position. Tulsa evened the match after Alejandro Espejo upended No. 20 Roberto Quiroz, 6-0, 7-6(0), handing the senior, and a 2014 Pac-12 First Team member, just his second loss of the year.
Mitchell Pritchard gave the Hurricane the go-ahead point, after topping Connor Farren in one of the afternoons more exciting matches, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6).
The match was clinched in the No. 5 singles spot, as Carlos Bautista had to go the distance in a three-set thriller against Rob Bellamy, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5), to give the Golden Hurricane the program's most memorable win.
The two sides played out the final singles match, where No. 72 Max de Vroom managed to squeak out a three-setter against Matthew Kirby, 7-5, 5-7, 6-5 (4), from the No. 4 spot.
The Hurricane will look to carry this momentum into Malibu, Calif., where they will take on Pepperdine on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.