USC Men Look For First Pac-10 Wins At Home
April 5, 2006
THIS WEEK: USC continues Pac-10 competition this week with a pair of home matches. The #53 Trojans face California and Stanford for the second time this season for a chance to avenge earlier losses and grab their first conference wins of the year. USC first faces the #24 Bears at 1:30 p.m. on Friday (April 7) and then plays the #12 Cardinal at 1 p.m. on Saturday (April 8). Both matches will be held at Marks Stadium.
ITA RANKING UPDATES: USC (7-10, 0-2) is ranked #53 in the latest ITA team rankings (released April 4). California (11-4, 4-2) is ranked #24, and Stanford (11-3, 3-0) is #12.
RECENT RESULTS: The Trojans slipped in a pair of road matches last week to fall to 0-2 in Pac-10 play. USC paid visits to #47 Arizona and #55 Arizona State and was edged out 4-3 in both matches. Kaes Van't Hof was the only Trojan to post singles wins against both the Wildcats and the Sun Devils. Against Arizona, Dejan Cvetkovic tied up the match 1-1 with a dominating win at No. 1 singles, but the Wildcats won the next three matches to clinch the victory. At ASU, USC won doubles and took a 3-1 lead with Van't Hof and Adam Loucks' singles wins, but the Sun Devils took the next three matches to edge out the Trojans 4-3.
USC VS. CALIFORNIA: USC is 121-32 all-time against the Bears after losing 4-3 on the road earlier this season. #24 California has two ranked players: #11 Conor Niland and #98 Tyler Browne The Bears' last win was a 7-0 sweep of Oregon in Pac-10 play.
USC VS. STANFORD: USC is 93-73 all-time against the Cardinal after falling 4-3 in a road match earlier this season. #12 Stanford has two ranked players: #14 Matt Bruch and #24 KC Corkery, The Cardinal have won their past four matches with Pac-10 wins over Washington and Oregon.
JAMIL ALL OVER IT: Junior Jamil Al-Agba has overcome an early-season injury that kept him off the courts for much of the year and now holds a 2-4 singles record. Al-Agba recently grabbed his first win at the No. 1 singles slot. His first three losses came to top-5 ranked opponents and his first singles win was over a #28 player.
DEJAN GETS IT DONE: Sophomore Dejan Cvetkovic earned his first career Pac-10 Player of the Week award after posting a three-set upset of Baylor's #48-ranked Matija Zgaga for USC's lone win of the match against the seventh-ranked Bears.
CHONG'S WINNING WAYS: In his first season at Troy, freshman Chong Wang has played in every dual match for the Trojans and is also even with Kaes Van't Hof for the most dual match singles wins so far this season. Wang has racked up a 10-7 record playing at the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 slots during dual match action.
ONE TOUGH KAES: Sophomore Kaes Van't Hof is right back to the solid play he began his USC career with last season, boasting the strongest singles record on the team at 18-10 overall. Last week in Arizona, Van't Hof snapped a three-match losing slump with two wins to emerge as USC's only 2-0 player in Pac-10 action so far.
2006 TROJANS: The 2006 USC squad, led by fourth-year coach Peter Smith, is highlighted by nine returning players from last year's team that reached the NCAA Second Round and finished the 2005 season with a No. 21 national ranking. This year, the Trojans boast four newcomers to the roster as USC works toward improving on last year's 12-13 overall record and 3-4 fifth-place finish in Pac-10 play.
COACH Peter Smith: Peter Smith, the 2004 Pac-10 Coach of the Year whose teams have now made 12-straight NCAA appearances, enters his fourth 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 319-164 (.660) overall record, is 49-29 (.628) with the Trojans and has led his teams to 12 NCAA appearances, including last year's second-round run, and 10 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.