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USC Edges Ohio State to Claim First ITA Men's Team Indoor Championship in 24 Years

Despite their position as three-time defending NCAA champions, the USC Trojans were not overwhelming favorites for the ITA Men's Team Indoor Championships, held last week at the Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va. But thanks to freshman Yannick Hanfmann, top seed USC battled to a 4-3 win over No. 3 Ohio State in the final, delivering the storied program its first Team Indoor title since 1988.

2012 ITA Indoor Champions - USC Trojans
© ZooTennis.com
As USC's first-round exit at last year's Team Indoor in Seattle demonstrated, a huge upset was not unthinkable during the 16-team competition, but the top four seeds arrived as predicted in the semifinals.

Ohio State had eked out a 4-3 win over Kentucky in the quarterfinals when Ille Van Engelen beat Tom Jomby 7-5 in the third on an overrule penalty assessed by the chair umpire.

After surviving that close call, the Buckeyes made sure this year's tournament also had a major surprise, dethroning four-time defending champion and No. 2 seed Virginia 4-1 in the semifinals, a loss that sent a thousand stunned Cavalier fans out into a winter snowstorm contemplating the unexpected end of the team's 94-match home winning streak.

USC had survived No. 4 Georgia 4-1 in the semifinals, but the Bulldogs put the Trojans on notice they might not be accommodating hosts at the NCAAs this May in Athens. Georgia dropped the doubles point, but won four first sets in singles before Trojan Emilio Gomez, son of 1990 French Open champion Andres, turned his match around at No. 4 singles, paving the way for teammate Steve Johnson's clinching win at No. 1.

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