Men's Tennis To Face Oral Roberts In NCAA First Round

May 9, 2002

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2002 NCAA Regional (First and Second Round)
Tulsa, Okla.

Saturday, May 11, 9 a.m. CST
#42 Tulsa vs. #24 Arkansas

Saturday, May 11, 1 p.m. CST
#11 USC vs. Oral Roberts

Sunday, May 12, Noon CST
Tulsa/Arkansas vs. USC/Oral Roberts

This Week -- The 11th-ranked USC men's tennis team (19-5 overall, 5-2 Pac-10) received its 26th all-time bid to the 2002 NCAA Championships and will be making its 26th-consecutive appearance. The Trojans will face unranked Oral Roberts (10-12) in the first round on Saturday, May 11, at 1 p.m. CST in Tulsa, Okla., following a first round match-up between No. 42-ranked Tulsa (16-11) and No. 24 Arkansas (14-9) at 9 a.m. The winner of each match will advance to the second round on Sunday, May 12, to be played at noon. The regional champion will advance to the NCAA Round of 16 in College Station, Texas, May 18-21.

Did You Know? USC has never missed an NCAA Tournament since the NCAA began sponsoring the postseason championship in 1977.

Seniors Andrew Park and Nick Rainey were selected to compete in the NCAA Individual Singles Championship (singles selection is a first-ever for Rainey, third for Park) to take place following the team championships in College Station. Rainey and partner Ryan Moore will make their third-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Doubles Tournament.

2002 NCAA Championships -- The NCAA selected 64 teams to participate in the 2002 NCAA Tennis Championships. First and second round matches will be played at 16 host sites May 11-12, and the winner of each site will advance to the Round of 16 at the championships. The final rounds will be held in College Station, Tex., May 18-21. Individual championships will consist of 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams, and will take place following the team championships, May 22-27.

Coach Leach Named Pac-10 Coach of the Year; Announces Retirement -- In a vote taken by the Pac-10 coaches, head coach Dick Leach was named the 2002 men's tennis Coach of the Year. This is Leach's fifth Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor in his 23 years at the helm of the USC program.

The announcement comes just two weeks after Leach announced he would retire following the completion of the 2002 season. A former Trojan All-American who has led USC to three NCAA titles in his 23-year coaching career, 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, Leach boasts an overall record of 529-133 for a superb .799 winning percentage.

Park and Moore Named To All-Pac-10 Teams -- Andrew Park and Ryan Moore received their second career All-Pac-10 honors when the 2002 all-conference teams were announced on Tuesday, May 6. Park was named to the first team, while Moore received honorable mention accolades.

ITA Ranking Updates -- The Trojans remained at No. 11 in the latest rankings released on May 1. USC's Andrew Park dropped to No. 30, while Nick Rainey improved to No. 46. Prakash Amritraj also moved to No. 85 and Ryan Moore improved to No. 87. Moore and Rainey improved to No. 9 in doubles.

Last Year at The NCAA Championships -- After being sent to Mississippi for the first and second round as the region's top seed, the Trojans managed to advance with wins over Virginia, 4-0, and Ole Miss, 4-3. USC was eliminated by TCU, 4-2, in Athens, Ga., in the Round of 16. Then-juniors Ryan Moore and Andrew Park lost in the first round of the NCAA Singles Tournament. Moore and Nick Rainey, coming off an NCAA Doubles Championship Finals appearance in 2000, advanced to the doubles quarterfinals last season, but were eliminated by No. 1-ranked Brian Vahaly and Huntley Montgomery of Virginia, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.

Trojan History at the NCAA Championships -- USC's history at the current format (dual-match single elimination team championship) NCAA championships spans more than three decades. Since 1977, the first year the NCAA sponsored a postseason tennis team championship, the Trojans have advanced to the tournament in each of the 26 seasons and have claimed the national championship three times (1991, 1993, 1994). The Trojans have reached the semifinals nine times and the quarterfinals five times. USC's players have also earned two singles championships (Robert Van't Hof, 1980, and Cecil Mamiit, 1996) and four doubles championships (Bruce Manson/Chris Lewis, 1977, Rick Leach/Tim Pawsat, 1986, Rick Leach/Scott Melville, 1987, Eric Amend/Byron Black, 1989) in the history of the NCAAs.

Prior to 1977, the Trojans prominence on the national scene dates back to 1946 - the year USC won its first national title (the Trojans also went undefeated in 1943 and 1944 without an official tournament title). Dating back to that year, USC has collected a total of 15 national titles, 13 singles championships and 20 doubles titles (most in the nation) in program history.

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).

One Of The Nation's Toughest Conference -- 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.

2002 Pac-10 Championships -- USC tennis swept both the men's and women's Pac-10 Invitational singles titles, as sophomore Ruben Torres and junior Tiffany Brymer were both victorious on the final day of the Pac-10 Tournament/Invitational in Ojai, Calif., April 25-28. The Trojans were represented in four of the final six matches on Sunday. Torres won four straight matches en route to winning his first collegiate title at USC. He defeated UCLA's Alberto Francis, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, in the championship match. Also expected to play on championship Sunday was the Trojan's tandem of Daniel Langre and Prakash Amritraj. The pair was scheduled to face Arizona's Tom Lloyd and Collin O'Grady but defaulted the match due to injury. Throughout the tournament USC saw top performances from senior Nick Rainey who advanced to the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals. Rainey was eliminated by eventual runner-up Alex Vlaski of Washington, 6-2, 6-1.

Opponents ----------------------------------------------------------

Oral Roberts: Oral Roberts earned a bid to the 2002 NCAA Championship by capturing its second-straight Mid-Continental Conference Tournament championship. The Golden Eagles upset top-seeded Valparaiso, 4-2, in the tournament finals. The team has advanced to the NCAAs three of the last five years. Oral Roberts posted a 10-12 overall record this season and a 3-2 mark in the MCC. The team is led by junior Jared Welch (Huntsville, Ala.) with a 7-17 overall record at the No. 1 position. No. 6 player Kevin Garlington (Huntsville, Ala.) owns the team's only winning record with a 10-9 overall mark this season.

USC vs. Oral Roberts Series Records: Saturday's match will be the first-ever meeting between USC and Oral Roberts.

No. 42 Tulsa: Regional host Tulsa is coming off an upset after falling to SMU in the Mountain West Championship Tournament finals. The Golden Hurricanes finished the season with a 16-11 overall record. The team is led by senior All-MWC selections Shriranga Sudhakara (Bengalore, India) and Dane McGregor (Port Elizabeth, South Africa). The 17th-ranked pair own a 17-7 record at the No. 1 doubles spot and 25-9 overall mark. In singles, senior Pawel Sebastyanski (Warclaw, Poland) is ranked No. 90 with a 4-9 record (12-12 overall) at No. 1.

USC vs. Tulsa Series Records: Tulsa and USC have only met once in program history. The Trojans defeated the Golden Hurricane, 6-0, in a regular season match-up on March 3, 1983.

No. 24 Arkansas: Arkansas is coming off a 4-2 loss to higher-ranked South Carolina in the opening round of the SEC Tournament last week. The Razorbacks finished the season with a 14-9 overall record and an 8-9 mark against ranked opponents. The team is led by 35th-ranked Oggie Kolev (Sydney, Australia), who has collected a 10-10 record at the No. 1 position and 25-13 overall record. Kolev and teammate Aleksey Bubis (Palm Harbor, Fla.) are 6-6 at the No. 1 doubles spot and are currently ranked No. 54. Sophomore Nathan Price (Tulsa, Okla.) and senior Magnus Kullenberg (Malmoe, Sweden) are also ranked No. 93 and No. 116, respectively.

USC vs. Arkansas Series Records: USC owns an 8-1 advantage in the all-time series with Arkansas. The two teams last met on March 16, 1993, in Los Angeles. The Trojans defeated the Hogs 8-1.

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 is in his 23rd season at the helm of the USC men's tennis program. In 23 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
18-14 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. Amritraj advanced to the second round of the Pac-10 Singles Tournament and the finals of the Pac-10 Doubles Invitational with partner Daniel Langre (the pair defaulted the championship match). In doubles, he and 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
17-14 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. Langre lost in the first round of the Pac-10 Singles Tournament, but advanced to the finals of the Pac-10 Doubles Invitational with partner Prakash Amritraj (the pair defaulted the championship match). In doubles, he and 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
14-12 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. Moore fell in the first round of the Pac-10 Singles Tournament, but advanced to the quarterfinals of the doubles tournament with partner Nick Rainey. He and Rainey have again enjoyed great success in doubles this season. 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
18-8 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. Rainey upset Jean-Julien Rojer (UCLA) and John Paul Fruttero (Cal) to advance to the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament and also advanced to the quarterfinals of the doubles tournament with partner Ryan Moore. He and 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
1-8 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. Sullivan fell in the first round of the Pac-10 Singles Invitational, but advanced to the quarterfinals of Pac-10 Doubles Tournament with partner Ruben Torres. Midseason he was paired with Torres for doubles and the duo began to surprise 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
26-8 overall / 16-5 Dual Matches / 5-2 Pac-10 Matches

Sophomore Ruben Torres has been the Trojans' steadiest player 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. Torres captured his first collegiate title by winning the 2002 Pac-10 Invitational Singles Championship at the end of the regular season. He and partner Teige Sullivan advanced to the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals. Midseason he was paired with the freshman Sullivan for doubles and the duo surprise 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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