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College Feature
Q&A with USC senior Ray Sarmiento

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.

USC's Ray Sarmiento
© ZooTennis
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.


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College Tennis Players Spending the Summer with BB&T Atlanta Open
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Talking with Division III Men's Singles Champion Skyler Butts
Skyler Butts of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps ended his career on a high note last month in Kalamazoo, claiming the Division III men's singles title after reaching the final in 2015, the same year the Stags claimed their first team championship since 1981. Colette Lewis of ZooTennis.com talked with the 22-year-old Californian about his tennis background, postgraduate plans, one-handed backhand, hobbies and why Division III was the right choice for him.

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About Harry Cicma

When it comes to college tennis, Harry Cicma is your man. Cicma covers tennis and other athletic stories for NBC Sports, 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 College Corner.

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.

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Page updated on Wednesday, August 10, 2016
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