USC Men's Tennis Hosts No. 2 UCLA On Friday

Feb. 8, 2005

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This Week -- Following a tough trip to Texas, the 12th-ranked USC men's tennis team (3-2) returns to Los Angeles to host crosstown rival No. 2 UCLA. The Trojans host the Bruins this Friday, Feb. 11, at 1:30 p.m.,at Mark's Tennis Stadium.

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 traveled to Texas last week, losing to the top-ranked and defending national champion Baylor Bears, 5-2, on Feb. 3 and losing to the No. 15 Texas A&M Aggies, 4-3, on Feb. 5.

ITA Ranking Updates -- The team fell four spots to No.12 in the most recent ITA poll released on Feb. 8. 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. UCLA -- USC and UCLA have met 167 times in series history. The series stands at 89-78 in UCLA's favor, including a series split in 2004. Last season, USC lost at UCLA, 4-3, but beat the Bruins at home, 4-3, both being regular season matches.

SENIOR TAKING CHARGE- USC senior Drew Hoskins (5-0 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. Last week, he went 2-0, upsetting 11th-ranked Lars Poerschke of Baylor, 3-6, 7-6, 10-7, and also beating Texas A&M's Ante Matijevic, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2.

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.

LEXUS GAUNTLET--The winner of this week's USC-UCLA match scores 2.5 points towards the Lexus Gauntlet, a trophy awarded annually to the school with the most successful athletic year agauinst the other. Points are awarded to the winner of each head-to-head Trojan-Bruin contest. Currently, UCLA holds a 27.5 to 20 lead in this season's competition.

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