Men's Tennis Hosts UCLA On Thursday

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March 6, 2002

This Week -- The No. 3-ranked USC men's tennis team (10-2) plays only one match this week when it hosts crosstown rival UCLA on Thursday, March 7, at 1:30 p.m at Marks Tennis Stadium in what may be the final men's tennis battle for the Lexus Gauntlet Challenge. The Trojans are coming off a 6-1 victory over UC Irvine on Feb. 27.

Trojans on TV -- Thursday's match will be tape delayed by Fox Sports West 2 on Tuesday, March 12. Please check local listings for time.

Battle For The Lexus Gauntlet -- After splitting the first two meetings of the season, Thursday's match will decide who will capture all five points awarded in men's tennis for the Lexus Gauntlet Challenge -- a season-long competition between USC and UCLA. This unique program awards points for the winner of each Bruin-Trojan head-to-head contest throughout the year and the Lexus Gauntlet trophy will be awarded to the school with the most points at year's end. USC currently leads 42.5-30.0.

ITA Ranking Updates -- The second update for individual rankings were released on March 6. USC moved up a spot to No. 3 in the team rankings, now only ranked behind Georgia (1) and Stanford (2) . The Trojans' Nick Rainey made the biggest jump in singles rankings, moving from No. 61 to No. 36. Andrew Park moved up eight spots to No. 52, Ryan Moore fell to No. 96 and Prakash Amritraj moved to No. 98. Moore and Rainey rank 19th in doubles.

USC vs. UCLA -- USC and UCLA have met a total of 161 times in their 73-year old history. The Bruins own an 84-77 series advantage and have defeated the Trojans in 18 of the last 22 meetings dating back to 1992. USC's win over UCLA this season was the first Trojan victory since 1998.

Against The Bruins In Westwood -- Facing its first test of the 2002 campaign, 12th-ranked USC fell to third-ranked UCLA, 7-0, on Feb. 1 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. After sweeping all three doubles matches, the Bruins dropped just one set in singles play, cruising to straight-set victories on five of six courts. The matches were close on the back three courts as Nick Rainey pushed UCLA's Marcin Matkowski to three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, at No. 4 singles.

Against The Bruins At The ITA's -- Just a week later, USC and UCLA were forced to meet again in the quarterfinals of the ITA Team Indoor Championships. This time it was the 12th-ranked Trojans who upset defending champ No.3 UCLA, 4-1, on Feb. 8 at the Louisville Tennis Club (the Trojans advanced to the semifinals and fell to Stanford, 4-2). USC pulled out the victory after dropping the doubles point. The Trojans fell behind 1-0 after doubles, but got wins from Ryan Moore, Prakash Amritraj, Nick Rainey and Daniel Langre at Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 singles to secure the win. Moore earned the clinching victory by defeating the Bruins' 18th-ranked Jean-Julien Rojer, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

Last Week's Results -- USC easily defeated UC Irvine, 6-1, on Feb. 27 at Marks Tennis Stadium. Freshman Teige Sullivan was inserted into the doubles lineup at No. 3 for the match. With partner Ruben Torres, the two completed the three-match doubles sweep over UCI with a 9-7 win over Dontia Haynes and Wkwesi Williams. The Trojans entered singles play with a 1-0 lead. Torres, Ryan Moore and Andrew Park assured the USC victory by winning at No. 5, 2 and 1, respectively, while only allowing the Anteaters a combined 13 game points in the three matches. Daniel Langre put the Trojans up 5-0 with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Greg Biorkman at No. 4 and Prakash Amritraj gave USC its sixth point as he beat Sean O'Connor 6-3, 7-6 in the tiebreaker at No. 3.

Get The Latest Info -- Updated team stats can always be found by logging on to www.usctrojans.com. They are located on the men's tennis page under 'Season Statistics.'

Head Coach Dick Leach -- Dick Leach enters his 23rd season at the helm of the USC men's tennis program. In 22 years with the Trojans, he has amassed a 517-129 (.800) overall record and won three national championships (1991, 1993, 1994). His teams have garnered seven Pac-10 championships, for which Leach has been named conference coach of the year four times (1987, 1991, 1992, 1994). Last season, he guided USC to a 15-9 (.625) overall mark, fourth place finish in the Pac-10 (3-4), and his second-consecutive Round of 16 appearance at the NCAAs.

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