The USC men’s tennis team welcomed a familiar face in former coach Brett Masi on Friday, and it wasted no time in showing how far they’ve come without him.The No. 2 Trojans (6-0) notched their sixth consecutive win to begin the season with a 6-1 victory over No. 47 San Diego.Youth served · Freshman Ray Sarmiento helped keep the Trojans’ undefeated streak alive by winning his sixth-straight singles match. – Mannat Saini | Daily Trojan Doubles play didn’t start off well, though, as freshman Ray Sarmiento and junior Steve Johnson, playing at the No. 1 spot for USC, was the only doubles pair to fall, losing to the Toreros’ Dean Jackson and Patrick Pohlmann, 8-3.But sophomore J.T. Sundling and senior Jaak Poldma were dominant in doubles at the No. 3 spot, grabbing a win against San Diego’s Clarke Spinosa and Thibaut Visy, 8-3 to even the score.“We started really quickly, which was nice,” Sundling said. “We were up 5-0, which really helped us, and it’s always good to start strong.”Although Sundling and Poldma easily won their doubles match, junior Daniel Nguyen and freshman Emilio Gomez eked out an 8-6 victory over San Diego’s Nikola Bubnic and Nils Schive.With a 7-6 advantage, Nguyen stepped up to the service line for the Trojans.Nguyen and Gomez fought off a push by the Toreros pair to deuce, as Nguyen held serve and grabbed the doubles point for USC with one last ace to give USC a 1-0 advantage.“We got up early in the break, but played really badly down the stretch,” Sarmiento said. “We need to work on better first serves and closing out the point.”The Trojans had a much tougher time in the doubles department, but their singles matches went smoother.“Steve [Johnson] and Jaak [Poldma] played so well and were in control,” said USC coach Peter Smith. “They really led the team, which was great to see, especially at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots.”Johnson defeated San Diego’s Jackson 6-3, 6-2 and Poldma beat Bubnic 7-5, 6-1.In an abbreviated third set, Nguyen, who lost the first set 2-6, came back with a 6-3 second set victory and pulled out a thrilling tiebreak deficit victory.Sarmiento came away with his sixth consecutive singles victory with a 6-2, 7-5 decision over San Diego’s Clarke Spinosa.Though the win might have seemed easy just looking at the stats, San Diego’s play told a whole different story. USC was challenged early in doubles play, before rattling off three-straight singles victories to close out the win at home.Sarmiento said he was not surprised by the level of competition San Diego brought, and that USC welcomes the challenge.“We have to expect that every match is going to be a battle,” he said. “We have to work hard and always have to prove ourselves.”USC welcomes Pepperdine to Marks Stadium on Friday at 1:30 p.m. for its next match.
The two-time All-Star guard — who has played just 13 games this season after taking the floor only 36 times in 2018-19 — cited his lengthy injury history when explaining why he has opted out of the rest of the season.MORE: List of players opting out of NBA restart”I feel like I’m at a great place in my rehab and getting closer and closer to 100 percent,” Oladipo said. “With all the variables, from how I have to build my 5-on-5 workload back up, to the increased risk of a soft tissue injury which could delay my rehab, and the unknown exact set up of the bubble, I just can’t get my mind to being fully comfortable in playing.” The Pacers are fifth in the Eastern Conference at 39-26 this season as they prepare for the NBA’s 22-team plan to finish the 2019-20 season in Orlando starting on July 30. The first of Indiana’s eight seeding games is on Aug. 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers. The team is also without guard Jeremy Lamb, who tore the ACL in his left knee in February. #IndianaStyle x @VicOladipo pic.twitter.com/9QuYi0W3Mv— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) July 2, 2020″I really want to play, and as a competitor and teammate this is tearing me apart,” Oladipo said. “I have to be smart and this decision hasn’t been easy, but I truly believe continuing the course I’m on and getting fully healthy for the 2020-21 season is the right decision for me.” MORE: Key dates, schedule for restart of NBA season The second overall pick in the 2013 draft, Oladipo’s best season was his first with the Pacers, averaging 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals over 75 games in 2017-18. It looked as if Oladipo had finally blossomed into a player worthy of his draft slot, but rupturing tendons in his quadriceps twice has prevented the 28-year-old from making consistent contributions over the last two seasons. Oladipo joins a growing list of players who have opted out of the restart, including Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans, Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley and Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza. Victor Oladipo has chosen not to join the Indiana Pacers for the restart of the 2019-20 NBA season in Orlando, Fla., saying that he would not be comfortable playing. Oladipo announced his decision on Friday in an article with The Athletic.