USC Men's Tennis Plays SMU In Seattle In NCAA First/Second Round Action

May 11, 2005

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THIS WEEK -- The 21st-ranked USC men's tennis team (11-12, 3-4 Pac-10) received its 29th all-time bid (all consecutive) to the NCAA Championships. The Trojans head to Seattle to face No. 44 SMU (15-12) at 10 a.m. on May 13 in a first-round match in the 64-team tourney. If they win, the Trojans would face the winner of No. 2-ranked host Washington's (18-4) 1 p.m. first-round match versus Oral Roberts (13-12) in the second round on May 14. The winner of that 2 p.m. match will advance to the Round of 16 on May 21 at host Texas A&M's George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. Play there will continue to the championship on May 24.

Sophomore Jamil Al-Agba (ranked No. 19) was selected to compete in the NCAA Singles Championship, while he and senior Johan Berg (No. 35) were picked for the NCAA Doubles. The men's singles and doubles play will be conducted May 25-30 at Texas A&M following the team tournament.

The 2005 squad, led by third-year head coach Peter Smith, featured seven returners and five newcomers. The Trojans came 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. USC's men have won 16 NCAA team championships (second most in the nation), most recently in 2002.

2005 NCAA Championships - First and Second Round

All matches played at Washington's Bill Quillian Stadium.

Friday, May 13, 10 a.m.

#44 SMU vs. #21 USC

Friday, May 13, 1 p.m.

#12 Washington vs. Oral Roberts

Saturday, May 14, 2 p.m.

USC/SMU vs. UW/ORU

ITA RANKING UPDATES -- The Trojans fell two spots to No. 21 in the most recent ITA poll released on May 2. In singles, sophomore Jamil Al-Agba is at No. 19, senior Drew Hoskins appears at No. 55 and senior Johan Berg is at No. 93. The doubles duo of Berg and Al-Agba appear at No. 35, while Hoskins and Adam Loucks are No. 52.

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 -- Peter Smith, the 2004 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, is in 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 three years at USC. He boasts a 318-173 (.648) overall record and has led his teams to 12 straight 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.

LAST YEAR AT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS -- After easily beating Montana State (4-0), No. 32 California (4-1), No. 27 Arkansas (4-1) and No. 9 Stanford (4-0) in the 2004 NCAA Championships, No. 4 USC fell to No. 3 Baylor, the eventual NCAA champion, 4-0, in the semifinals. In the NCAA Singles tourney, senior Adriana Biasella -- USC's only entrant -- lost in the first round to No. 23 Izak van der Merwe of Old Dominion.

USC HISTORY AT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS -- USC's history in the current format (dual-match single elimination team championship) NCAA championships spans nearly four decades. Since 1977, the first year the NCAA sponsored a postseason tennis team championship, the Trojans have advanced to the tournament in each of the 29 seasons and have claimed the national championship four times (1991, 1993, 1994, 2002). The Trojans have reached the semifinals 10 times (including 2004) and the quarterfinals five times. USC's players have also earned two singles championships (Robert Van't Hof, 1980, and Cecil Mamiit, 1996) and four doubles championships (Bruce Manson/Chris Lewis, 1977, Rick Leach/Tim Pawsat, 1986, Rick Leach/Scott Melville, 1987, Eric Amend/Byron Black, 1989) in the history of the NCAAs. Prior to 1977, the Trojans' prominence on the national scene dates back to 1946 - the year USC won its first national title (the Trojans also went undefeated in 1943 and 1944 without an official tournament title). Dating back to that year, USC has collected a total of 16 national titles, 13 singles championships and 20 doubles titles (most in the nation) in program history.

PAC-10 AMONG NATION'S TOUGHEST -- Once again, the Pacific-10 Conference proved to be one of the toughest tennis conferences in the country. All eight Pac-10 universities which sponsor men's tennis are ranked among the top 70, with five teams in the top 25 (all five are competing in the NCAA Championships). The Pac-10 men hold down 19 spots in the Top-125 men's singles list (including eight in the top 20) and occupy nine spots among the Top-60 doubles teams.

FINAL PAC-10 STANDINGS -- UCLA and Washington finished in a tie for the 2005 Pac-10 title at 6-1. USC was fifth (3-4), behind California (5-2) and Stanford (4-3).

AT PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS -- USC freshman Kaes Van't Hof and junior Jeff Kazarian teamed to win the Doubles Invitational title at the recent Pac-10 Championships in Ojai. Van't Hof also advanced to the quarterfinals of the Singles Main Draw.

ALL-PAC-10--Senior Drew Hoskins and sophomore Jamil Al-Agba were named to the 2005 All-Pac-10 second team.

NEWS `N NOTES--USC's season has been one of streaks, as the Trojans won their first three dual matches, lost their next four, won four of their next five before dropping three in a row, then finished with four straight wins followed by four consecutive losses ... Similarly, in Pac-10 play, Troy started off 3-0 before losing its final 4 matches ... USC posted a trio of wins over Top 20 teams, beating No. 4 UCLA (5-2, climbing back from a 2-0 deficit and having lost the first set in 4 of the 6 singles matches), No. 7 Stanford (4-0 at the USTA/ITA Team Indoors) and No. 20 Texas A&M (4-3 at home) ... Freshmen Kaes Van't Hof and Jarryd Cooper posted a 7-4 overall doubles mark, playing at the No. 3 spot ... Van't Hof was 6-1 in Pac-10 singles action and senior Johan Berg was 5-2

OPPONENTS

SMU: No. 44 SMU, coached by former USC assistant Carl Neufeld, has earned its ninth consecutive NCAA berth with a 15-12 overall record. After starting the 2005 campaign at 5-0, the Mustangs won just 10 of their final 22 matches. They advanced to the WAC Championships semifinals. SMU does not have any ranked singles players, but Paul McNaughton and Federico Murgier are ranked No. 46 in doubles.

USC vs. SMU: USC and SMU are tied at 8-8 in their all-time series. The teams last met in 2002, with USC posting a 4-1 victory in the first round of the ITA Championships.

Washington: Pac-10 co-champion Washington, 18-4 overall (6-1 in the Pac-10), is coached by former USC player and assistant Matt Anger (he was the 2005 Pac-10 Coach of the Year). UW has won eight of its last nine matches and is the NCAA tourney's No. 15 seed. The Huskies feature No. 6 Alex Vlaski (an All-Pac-10 first teamer), No. 44 Alex Slovic and No. 65 Christoph Palmanshofer. Slovic and Daniel Chu are No. 18 in doubles.

USC vs. Washington: USC holds an 18-2 all-time mark against No. 12 Washington, but fell to the Huskies last month at home, 4-3.

Oral Roberts: Oral Roberts is unranked and 13-12 overall, but is riding an eight-match winning streak. The Golden Eagles won the Mid-Continent's regular season and tournament titles in 2005 (their fifth consecutive tourney crown). First-year head coach Chris Milliron was named the Mid-Continent Conference Coach of the Year, while Wessel Kemp was the league's Player of the Year. This is ORU's fifth straight NCAA tourney appearance. Oral Roberts has no ranked players in singles or doubles.

USC vs. Oral Roberts: USC has faced Oral Roberts just once, posting a 5-0 victory in 2002 in the NCAA first round.

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