Men's Tennis Heads To The Desert To Face The Arizona Schools

March 8, 2005

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THIS WEEK -- Following an impressive upset over then No. 4 UCLA, the ninth-ranked USC men's tennis team (6-5) heads to the desert to face the Arizona schools. The Trojans will take on the No. 42 Arizona Wildcats on Friday, March 11, at 1:30 p.m. MST in Tucson, Ariz. and the No. 33 Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday, March 12, at 1p.m. MST. Both matches will not count towards conference records.

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 are coming off an impressive upset over then No. 4 and crosstown rival UCLA on Tuesday, March 1, at home. The Trojans lost the doubles point, the first match, and dropped the first set in four of the six singles positions but rallied to beat the Bruins, 5-2.

ITA RANKING UPDATES -- The Trojans moved up two spots and back into the Top 10 at No. 9 in the most recent ITA poll released on March 8. In singles, sophomore Jamil Al-Agba improved his ranking to No. 24 and senior Drew Hoskins fell three spots to No. 54. Johan Berg and Jamil Al-Agba made their debut in the rankings at No. 25.

USC VS. ARIZONA -- USC and Arizona have met 53 times in series history. The series stands at 38-15 in USC's favor, including a current 14-match winning streak by the Trojans.

USC VS. ARIZONA STATE-- Saturday's match between USC and Arizona State will mark the 53rd meeting between the two schools. USC leads the series, 33-19, including the previous four matches. Last season the Trojans beat the Sun Devils, 4-3, in Tempe, Ariz. in their only match of the year.

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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