Men's Tennis Starts Pac-10 Championship, Thursday

April 24, 2002

This Week -- Following a 5-1 loss at Cal and 4-3 win at Stanford, No. 11-ranked USC men's tennis finished the regular season with a 19-5 overall record and 5-2 conference mark, for a second-place finish in the Pac-10 - their highest finish since 1998. This week, USC will compete at the Pac-10 Individual Championships on April 26-29 in Ojai, Calif.

Draws and results for the 102nd Annual Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament (Pac-10s) will be posted by Thursday, April 25, at http://www.ojaitourney.org/ovttcol.htm#Heading1 and each day's tournament results can be found at www.usctrojans.com.

Coach Leach Announces Retirement -- Head coach Dick Leach, a former Trojan All-American who has led USC to three NCAA titles in his 23-year coaching career, announced Tuesday (April 23) that he will step down from his coaching duties June 1, following the completion of the 2002 season. Leach, 62, will remain on staff at USC as emeritus director of men's tennis. In the new role, he will advise athletic director Mike Garrett and the new men's coach on the development of the Trojan tennis program, as well as help raise funds for USC tennis. Garrett said a national search for Leach's replacement will begin soon. Leach's teams have won a total of seven conference titles and captured three NCAA championships (1991-93-94) in 22 postseason appearances. His Trojans also advanced to the NCAA semifinals eight times and to the NCAA quarterfinals three times. Including a 19-5 overall mark and second-place Pac-10 finish (5-2) this season (the NCAA Regionals begin May 10), Leach boasts an overall record of 529-133 for a superb .799 winning percentage.

ITA Ranking Updates (Next Ranking 5/1/02)-- Another upset victory over then-No. 4 Stanford helped the Trojans who improved to No. 11 in the latest rankings released on April 24. USC's Andrew Park improved to No. 27, while Nick Rainey fell to No. 67. Prakash Amritraj also moved to No. 82 and Ryan Moore fell to No. 118. Moore and Rainey improved to No. 4 in doubles.

Final Pac-10 Standings -- UCLA captured the 2002 Pac-10 Championship in a race decided on the final day of competition as the Trojans' managed to give Stanford its second loss of the season, leaving the Bruins as the only team with a single defeat. UCLA posted a 6-1 record, while USC, Stanford and Cal tied for second place with a 5-2 mark.

USC's second-place (tie) finish is the first since 1998 and its ninth-ever in the Pac-10. Since the 90s, USC has finished first in the Pac-10 four times, of which the team won three national titles (1991, 93, 94).

School		Conf.	Overall	Rank
UCLA 6-1 19-4 No. 2
USC 5-2 19-5 No. 11

Stanford 5-2 19-5 No. 8
California 5-2 18-6 No. 10
Washington 3-4 17-6 No. 34
Arizona State 3-4 12-9 No. 33
Arizona 1-6 9-12 No. 62
Oregon 0-7 12-10 ---

One of the Nation's Toughest Conferences -- Once again, the Pacific-10 conference proved to be one of the toughest tennis conferences in the country. Eight of the nine Pac-10 universities which sponsor men's tennis were ranked among the top-100 - four of which have consistently remained in the top-20. In doubles, three of the top-5 competitors are from the Pac-10, with seven total pairs in the top 50. There are 18 total players who represent the Pac-10 among the top 100 singles players.

NCAA Championships -- Following the conference championship, the Trojans will await the 2002 NCAA tournament selections. The announcement will be made on Thursday, May 2, at 3:30 p.m. PT. The selection showed can be watched live on the internet at http://www.visualwebcaster.com/event.asp?id=3814. Regional action will take place on May 11-12 on campus sites. The championships will be held at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, May 18-27.

At The 2001 Pac-10 Championships -- The 2001 Pac-10 Tournament was highlighted by the play of junior Ryan Moore who captured his first-ever collegiate singles title. Then 77th-ranked Moore upset 21st-ranked K.J. Hippensteel of Stanford in two sets, 6-3, 6-2, for the 2001 Tournament men's singles title. En route to his first conference title and USC's first since 1996, Moore also stunned Stanford's No. 1-ranked Alex Kim in the quarterfinals and swept No. 22 Jean-Noel Grinda of UCLA in the semis. Following are the complete results:

The Trojans' Last Outing -- USC suffered a 5-1 defeat at the hands of No. 19 California Friday (April 19) at the Hellman Tennis Center. By winning two of the three doubles matches, the Golden Bears took an early 1-0 lead. Cal then took the first set in five of the six singles matches to start singles play. First off the court was Wayne Wong who defeated the Trojans' Daniel Langre on court five, 6-2, 6-1, then came a win by John Paul Fruttero, who beat Andrew Park, 6-3, 6-3, at center court. To clinch the win, it was Conor Niland who came back after dropping the first set to defeat Prakash Amritraj, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, at No. 3.

On Saturday (April 20), the Trojans upset No. 4 Stanford, 4-3, to earn its first win over the Cardinal in the Bay Area since the 1994 season. The match left both teams in a three-way tie with Cal for second place in the Pac-10. USC opened the match by winning two of three doubles contests to capture the first point. Highlighting doubles play was the center court contest between USC's No. 7-ranked Nick Rainey and Ryan Moore and Stanford's No. 2-ranked Scott Lipsky and David Martin. Facing each other for the third time this season, Moore and Rainey avenged last month's home loss by defeating the pair, 8-6. USC also won on court two as Teige Sullivan and Ruben Torres defeated the Cardinal's Ryan Haviland and Sam Warburg, 8-5. Torres began singles play with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Joe Kao at No. 6 and Andrew Park defeated David Martin 6-3, 6-4 at center court to put the Trojans' ahead 3-0. After allowing Stanford to tie the score with wins at courts 3, 4 and 5, the dual came down to the No. 2 singles match between Moore and Lipsky. Moore outlasted the 59th-ranked Lipsky 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 to capture the USC victory.

News N' Notes -- Andrew Park currently has recorded the most singles victories (25) this season, but teammate Ruben Torres owns the team's best win percentage (22-8, .733) *** In doubles, Nick Rainey and Ryan Moore lead with an 15-7 record and .682 win percentage *** Rainey and Moore have won their last 10 of 12 and finished 6-1 in Pac-10 play, including an upset victory over current No.2-ranked Scott Lipsky and David Martin of Stanford on Saturday, April 20.

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 529-133 (.799) 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.

Player Profiles

Prakash Amritraj
17-13 overall / 14-9 Dual Matches / 2-3 Pac-10 Matches
Prakash Amritraj had a strong first season at USC, playing the majority of his matches at the No. 3 position, in addition to two matches each at spots 1, 2 and 4. He competed in three fall tournaments - Napa Challenge, ITA Regional Championships and SCTA Championships -- but advanced no further than the second round. Amritraj posted a 14-9 mark in dual matches and won as many as five-consecutive matches in March. He earned notable wins over UCLA's Marcin Matkowski and Stanford's Scott Lipsky, but his greatest victory was a 6-1, 7-6 win over Minnesota's Harsh Mankad who was ranked No. 1 at the time. In doubles, he and partner Daniel Langre went 10-2 during the dual match season playing at the No. 2 and 3 positions. He also competed with Andrew Park (9-5) at No. 3 and Damien Spizzo (1-0).

Daniel Langre
17-13 overall / 14-8 Dual Matches / 3-3 Pac-10 Matches

Redshirt sophomore Daniel Langre enjoyed an up-and-down season, one year after recovering from knee surgery. In the fall, he competed at the Napa Challenge, ITA Regional Championship and SCTA Championships, where he advanced to the quarterfinals. With a 14-8 dual match record, Langre played five matches at No. 4, 14 matches at No. 5 and three matches at No. 6. Langre won no more than four-straight throughout the season and he posted notable wins over Stanford's Sam Warburg and UCLA's Erfan Djahangiri. In doubles, he and partner Prakash Amritraj went 10-2 during the dual match season playing at the No. 2 and 3 positions. He also competed with Damien Spizzo (5-6) mainly at No. 2 and Ruben Torres (1-0) at No. 3.

Ryan Moore
14-11 overall / 13-10 Dual Matches / 5-2 Pac-10 Matches

In his final season at USC, Ryan Moore is looking for his third All-American title. After skipping fall competitions, Moore advanced to the quarterfinals of Sherwood Collegiate Classic in January. During the dual match season, he played mainly at No. 2 singles, in addition to two matches at No. 1 and one at No. 3. He upset UCLA's Jean-Julien Rojer on Feb. 8, UCLA's Rodrigo Grilli on March 7, Cal's Balazs Veress on April 6 and April 19 and the Cardinal's Scott Lipsky on April 20 to clinch USC's final win of the season. He and doubles partner Nick Rainey have again enjoyed great success in doubles. The duo entered the season unranked after not competing in the fall, but it did not take long for the pair to climb the charts. Playing solely at the No. 1 spot, Rainey and Moore twice upset No. 2/3-ranked David Martin/Scott Lipsky of Stanford (Feb. 9 and April 30) and defeated UCLA's Jean-Julien Rojer/Marcin Matkowski on March 7.

Andrew Park
25-14 overall / 14-9 Dual Matches / 2-5 Pac-10 Matches

In his final season at USC, Andrew Park hopes to earn his second singles All-American title. In the fall, Park advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA Regional Championship (he won the event in 2000 & 2001) and the quarterfinals of the Sherwood Collegiate Classic. He had his best performance at the SCTA Championships where he reached the finals but lost the title to UCLA's Tobias Clemens. Park played primarily at No. 1 singles, but spent three matches at No. 2 and one at No. 3. He posted a seven match win streak from Feb. 23 through March 29, in which he avenged the earlier loss to Clemens with a 6-3, 6-1 upset victory. Park also earned notable wins over Matt Klinger of Arizona State, John Paul Fruttero of Cal, David Martin of Stanford and the Cardinal's K.J. Hippensteel - a win which secured USC's win on April 5. In doubles, Park has competed with Prakash Amritraj (9-5) at the No. 3 spot and Damien Spizzo (3-1) at Nos. 2 and 3.

Nick Rainey
16-7 overall / 15-6 Dual Matches / 2-4 Pac-10 Matches

In his final season at USC, Nick Rainey is looking for his third All-American doubles title but has enjoyed his best singles season at USC. After not playing in the fall, Rainey returned to USC with a powerful singles game. He won 13 of his first 15 matches, wins which included notable victories over then-ranked No. 43 Ryan Haviland of Stanford and No. 24 Marcin Matkowski of UCLA. Playing mainly at the No. 4 spot, he posted the team's longest win streak with nine consecutive from Feb. 5 through March 19. Rainey also competed four times at the No. 3 position. He and doubles partner Ryan Moore have again enjoyed great success in doubles. The duo entered the season unranked after not competing in the fall, but it did not take long for the pair to climb the charts. Playing solely at the No. 1 spot, Rainey and Moore twice upset No. 2/3-ranked David Martin/Scott Lipsky of Stanford (Feb. 9 and April 30) and defeated UCLA's Jean-Julien Rojer/Marcin Matkowski on March 7.

Damien Spizzo
7-9 overall / 4-5 Dual Matches / 2-0 Pac-10 Matches

With the team's depth this season, Spizzo has played limited singles matches. During the fall, he advanced to the third round of the ITA Regional Championships and the second round of the SCTA Championships. He played nine dual matches - one at No. 3, one at No. 4, two at No. 5 and five at No. 6. He won his last two matches to end the season against Arizona State's Mitchell Brown and Oregon's Jason Menke. In doubles, he was partnered with Daniel Langre (5-6) for eight matches at No. 2, Andrew Park (3-1), Teige Sullivan (2-2) and Prakash Amritraj (1-0).

Teige Sullivan
1-7 overall / 1-1 Dual Matches / 1-0 Pac-10 Matches

After sitting out for the start of the dual match season, freshman Teige Sullivan found his way into the doubles lineup and proved valuable for the team. His only singles play was at two fall tournaments and two dual matches at No. 6, but the outings did include a 6-3, 7-5 win over Arizona's Arnaud Agniel. Midseason he was paired with Ruben Torres for doubles and the duo surprised many. Sullivan and Torres played two fall tournaments but did not advance past the second round, then played their first four dual matches at No. 3. The pair was moved to No. 2 for the April 5 Stanford match and upset the Cardinal's 14th-ranked K.J. Hippensteel and Ryan Haviland to clinch the doubles point for USC. Torres and Sullivan remained at the spot for the final three conference matches. Sullivan also played doubles matches with Damien Spizzo (2-2) and Christian Jensen (0-2).

Ruben Torres
22-8 overall / 16-5 Dual Matches / 5-2 Pac-10 Matches

Sophomore Ruben Torres has been the Trojans' most steady point this season. With a 22-8 overall record he owns the team's best win percentage (.733). After falling in the first round of the ITA Regional Championships at the start of the season, he won his next five-straight to reach the consolation finals but was defeated by UCLA's Lassi Ketola. He played seven dual matches at No. 5 and 14 at No. 6 where he won 16-of-21 outings, including six consecutive from March 29 through April 13. Midseason he was paired with freshman Teige Sullivan for doubles and the duo surprised many. Sullivan and Torres played two fall tournaments but did not advance past the second round, then played their first four dual matches at No. 3. The pair was moved to No. 2 for the April 5 Stanford match and upset the Cardinal's 14th-ranked K.J. Hippensteel and Ryan Haviland to clinch the doubles point for USC. Torres and Sullivan remained at the spot for the final three conference matches.

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