Q&A with USC senior Ray Sarmiento
by Harry Cicma
, 8 June 2014
Follow Harry on Twitter
|Share: || || |
Last month, the University of Southern California won its 21st NCAA title in men's tennis - and its fifth in Athens, Ga. The title was also a special one for the school - USC has now won 100 NCAA titles across all sports.
One of the leaders of the Trojan tennis squad was senior Ray Sarmiento. Sarmiento, now a four-time ITA All-American and now a key player on three NCAA Championship teams, went 4-0 in Athens, knocking off two Top-10 opponents in the final two rounds. For his efforts, Sarmiento was named the NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Harry Cicma of NBC Sports was in Athens as commentator for the live webcast of the finals, and he talked with Sarmiento after the event.
Questions and Answers
Harry Cicma (HC): What does it mean to win this championship - for you and for USC?
Ray Sarmiento (RS): There are no words to explain it. It's the greatest feeling ever - ending my career on a high note. Winning the championship - it feels unreal. I'm especially happy for my coaches, and Coach Kwinta who came here and worked so hard. Just to win the title with my team and coaches... just to be here... it's amazing.
HC: How were you able to pull out this victory against such a tough Oklahoma team?
RS: We just believed in each other. We stayed in the moment. It wasn't looking too good early on, but we kept fighting on every point, and things went our way.
HC: What makes playing in Athens so special? Two years ago you won against Virginia in the finals, and now you've done it again against the Sooners.
RS: It feels comfortable. It's nice - you walk on these courts, and there are just so many memories. Coming back after two years ago, playing indoors, and the first couple of rounds outdoors, it's just comfortable. We have been here before, and it's just a great place to play.
Leave a Comment
More College Coverage
Musings on Proposed ITA/NCAA Division I Format Changes
The ITA recently announced a number of changes to NCAA Division I
competition starting this fall. The most notable changes are a move to
"no-ad" rather than traditional scoring and shortening doubles from an
eight-game pro set to one standard six-game set. These changes have
been met with strong feelings on both sides, and there are many
coaches and players on both sides of this debate. This article offers
our thoughts - in the context of many other articles on the issue.
ITA Announces New Division I Dual Match Format
The ITA will be inaugurating a new, shorter dual meet format for
Division I college tennis beginning at the start of the 2014-15
season. Highlighting the format changes are switches to no-ad scoring
from regular scoring, one set of doubles rather than an 8-game pro set
and no warm-up with opponents.
American Collegiate Invitational to Debut at US Open
When sixteen American collegians take the courts late in the second
week of this year's American Collegiate Invitational at the US Open,
they will enjoy the same perks and surroundings as professionals
Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal. The college players will not share
in the millions of dollars of prize money, but they can collect
something the pros cannot - a guarantee of entry for the following year.
About Harry Cicma
When it comes to college tennis, Harry Cicma is your man. Cicma
covers tennis and other athletic stories for
writing articles and producing video segments.
He is co-founder and host of World Tennis
a weekly tennis show on NESN, and host of of Tennis Live Radio's
Cicma competed as a junior in USTA/New England and went on to play
college tennis at Rutgers University. As a professional, Cicma
competed at the ATP Newport tournament and the San Jose Siebel Open.
He reached a career-high #75 in the ATP doubles team rankings and
#1262 in the ATP Entry System.
In media, Cicma has run the gamut. He has worked for NBC, CBS, ABC,
ESPN, FOX Sports Net, the Tennis Channel, and World Team Tennis.
Cicma has announced NCAA sports as well as the US Open Tennis
Championships on both TV and radio.