Trojans Enter 2003 Season Ranked Seventh

Jan. 15, 2003

LOS ANGELES - With three returning starters from the 2002 national championship team, the USC men's tennis team was picked No. 7 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) in its preseason rankings released on Jan. 13.

Though finishing 2002 ranked No. 1 after claiming their 16th national title, the Trojans lost three seniors (Andrew Park, Ryan Moore and Nick Rainey), who made up the top of last year's lineup. But USC does return NCAA Tournament MVP Prakash Amritraj and all-tournament selections Daniel Langre and Ruben Torres. This season, the three will also be aided by top transfers Johan Berg and Brian Wright.

At the top of the preseason rankings for 2003 is UCLA, followed by Illinois, Baylor, Stanford and Florida. USC received two first place votes.

The Trojans begin the dual match season on Saturday, Jan. 25, with matches against BYU and Fresno State at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., respectively. All home matches will be played at Marks Tennis Stadium.

Singles and doubles rankings were also released on Monday. Berg is the only Trojan to earn a preseason ranking, as he enters 2003 listed 75th in singles.

Preseason ITA Top-25

1. UCLA (29)
2. Illinois (8)
3. Baylor (2)
4. Stanford
5. Florida
6. Georgia
7. USC (2)
8. Mississippi
9. Kentucky
10. California
11. Duke
12. Texas
13. Texas A&M
14. Tennessee
15. Auburn
16. Virginia Commonwealth
17. Alabama
18. Pepperdine
19. Minnesota
20. Washington
21. South Florida
22. South Carolina
23. Wake Forest
24. Ohio State
25. Mississippi State

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