Trojans Host California, Stanford This Week
April 16, 2003
This Week -- The No. 21 USC men's tennis team (13-9, 2-3 Pac-10) hosts No. 3 California (17-3, 3-1 Pac-10) and No. 7 Stanford (18-3, 5-0 Pac-10) this week in the final home matches of the regular season. The Trojans face the Bears on Friday, April 18, at 1:30 p.m., then host the Cardinal on Saturday, April 19, at noon. Both matches will be played at Marks Tennis Stadium. USC is coming off a split last week when it fell to Washington, 4-2, but defeated Oregon, 6-1.
* This week's matches against California and Stanford will count against conference records. Only the second of two meetings against Pac-10 teams during the season (except Washington and Oregon, which USC faces only once) count against Pac-10 records.
ITA Ranking Updates -- The Trojans moved up two spots to No. 21 in the latest ITA poll released on April 15. In the individual singles rankings, Prakash Amritraj is ranked 53rd and Johan Berg is ranked No. 115. Amritraj and Daniel Langre jumped five spots and are ranked No. 12 in doubles. Singles and doubles rankings will be updated on April 21.
Injuries Mount -- Multiple injuries this season have depleted the Trojans' lineup, including the loss of Brian Wright who has missed the entire year with knee injuries. Ruben Torres and Jeff Kazarian have also missed their share of matches due to injury.
USC vs. California - Friday's match will be the 147th meeting between USC and Cal. The Trojans are 117-29 (.801) against the Golden Bears, but were defeated in the first meeting of the 2003 season, 5-2, in Berkeley on April 4. Last season, USC beat the Bears 4-3 at home and fell 5-1 on the road.
USC vs. Stanford - USC and Stanford have met a total of 158 times since the series began in 1925. The Trojans own an 90-68 (.570) all-time edge against the Cardinal, but fell 7-0 in the first meeting of the 2003 season on April 5 in Stanford. Last year, USC swept the two regular season match-ups for the first time since 1994.
Coming Up -- Following this week's final regular season matches, USC will send six players (and two doubles teams) to compete at the 2003 Pac-10 Singles and Doubles Championships, April 24-27, in Ojai, Calif. NCAA Championship team and individual singles and doubles selections will be made on Thursday, May 1, and the tournament begins with the first and second rounds on May 9-11.
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 Peter Smith in First Season -- Peter Smith, who guided the Pepperdine men's tennis team to conference titles and NCAA tournament appearances in each of his five years there, is in his first year at the helm of the USC men's tennis program. Smith's collegiate coaching career includes five years (1998-2002) at Pepperdine, six years at Fresno State (1992-1997) and four years at Long Beach State (1988-1991). He boasts a 283-144 (.663) overall record and has led his teams to nine NCAA appearances and seven top 20 finishes. Last season he earned his sixth conference Coach of the Year honor (WCC) and was named the ITA Region VIII Coach of the Year.