Men's Tennis Heads To Bay Area To Face No. 18 Stanford, No. 35 California In Pac-10 Play

April 6, 2005

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This Week -- Coming off two wins last week, including its first shutout of the season, the 13th-ranked USC men's tennis team (11-9, 3-1) continues Pac-10 play up north when it faces No. 18 Stanford (11-7, 3-1) on Friday, April 8, at 1:30 p.m. in Palo Alto, Calif. and No. 35 California (8-9, 2-2) on Saturday, April 9, at 1 p.m. in Berkeley, Calif.

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 came away with two impressive victories and a tough loss last week at home. Troy avenged an early-season loss to No. 20 Texas A&M in its 4-3 victory on Tuesday, March 29. USC then opened the weekend with its first shutout of the season, 7-0, over No. 75 Oregon on Friday, April 1. The Trojans then dropped a close one, 4-3, to No. 13 Washington on Saturday, April 2.

ITA Ranking Updates -- The Trojans fell four spots to No. 13 this week in the most recent ITA poll released on April 5. In singles, sophomore Jamil Al-Agba has cracked the top-10 for the first time this season, coming in at No. 10, senior Drew Hoskins remains at No. 62 and Johan Berg makes his return in the rankings, appearing at No. 93. Berg and Al-Agba climbed six spots to No. 30 in the doubles rankings.

USC vs. Stanford-- Friday's match between USC and Stanford will mark the 165th meeting between the two schools. USC leads the series, 93-71, dating back to 1925. The teams have split the two matches this season, USC winning 4-3 on Feb. 19 in the ITA Indoor Championships in Chicago, Ill. and Stanford winning, 5-2, on Feb. 26 at Marks Stadium.

USC vs. California -- USC and California have met 151 times in series history. The series stands at 121-30 in USC's favor. The Trojans won their only matchup this season against the Bears, 5-2, on Feb. 25.

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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