Men's Tennis Takes On Defending NCAA Champion, Thursday

Feb. 2, 2005

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This Week -- After opening its season with three victories at home, the eighth-ranked USC men's tennis team (3-0) travels to the Lonestar State to take on top-ranked and defending national champion Baylor (2-0) and No. 15 Texas A&M (2-0). The Trojans travel to Waco, Texas, to face the Bears on Thursday, Feb. 3, at 1:30 p.m., then visit the Aggies in College Station, Texas, at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5.

The 2005 squad, led by third-year head coach Peter Smith, features seven returners and five newcomers. The Trojans are coming off a successful 2004 campaign in which they advanced to the NCAA Semifinals, compiled a 23-4 overall record, earned a share of the Pac-10 title (the program's 14th) with a 6-1 conference mark and completed the year ranked fourth in the ITA.

Recent Results -- The Trojans kicked off the season with three home victories last week, defeating No. 74 San Diego State, 5-2, and unranked Cal Poly, 5-2, on Jan. 22, then defeating 24th-ranked Pepperdine, 4-3, on Jan. 27.

ITA Ranking Updates -- The team maintained its No. 8 ranking in the most recent ITA poll released on Feb. 1. In singles, sophomore Jamil Al-Agba remains at No. 89, senior Johan Berg is ranked 97th and senior Drew Hoskins is No. 116. In doubles, the pair of Hoskins and freshman Adam Loucks is ranked 59th.

USC vs. Baylor -- USC and Baylor have met four times in series history. The series stands at 2-2, including two match-ups in 2004. Last season, USC beat Baylor 4-3 in a regular season match in Los Angeles, then fell to the Bears 4-0 in the NCAA Semifinals (en route to Baylor's first-ever national title).

USC vs. Texas A&M -- Saturday's match will mark the third all-time meeting between USC and Texas A&M, and the first since 1987. The Trojans are 2-0 against the Aggies.

SEenior Taking Charge - USC senior Drew Hoskins (3-0 in singles) is leading the way this season. Hoskins has not lost a match in the team lineup, playing at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots.

Head Coach Peter Smith -- Peter Smith, the 2004 Pac-10 Coach of the Year whose teams have now made 11-straight NCAA appearances, enters his third season as head coach of the Trojan men's tennis program. Smith's collegiate coaching career includes five years (1998-2002) at Pepperdine, six years at Fresno State (1992-1997), four years at Long Beach State (1988-1991) and two years at USC. He boasts a 307-151 (.670) overall record and has led his teams to 11 NCAA appearances, including last year's semifinal run, and nine top 25 finishes. He has been honored as conference coach of the year a total of seven times and was the 2002 ITA Region VIII Coach of the Year.

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