Peter Smith Named Pac-10 Men's Tennis Coach of the Year
May 15, 2007
USC men's tennis head coach Peter Smith has been named the 2007 Pac-10 Men's Tennis Coach of the Year for his success in leading the Trojans to the biggest turnaround in program history. He is joined in 2007 All-Pac-10 distinction by four Trojan athletes as well, as the 22-2 USC squad heads into the NCAA Round of 16 this week. Senior Jamil Al-Agba has been named to the Pac-10 First Team, following by senior Dejan Cvetkovic and junior Kaes Van't Hof on the Second Team, and freshman Robert Farah's accolades as Honorable Mention.
For Peter Smith, the Coach of the Year award is the second of his Pac-10 career, as he last won the honor in 2004. The 2007 Coach of the Year award recognizes Smith's efforts in turning the Trojans around from a disappointing 2006 year in which USC went 8-14 overall in suffering numerous 4-3 losses to a powerful 2007 season. This year, Smith's USC team tied the best season start since 1987 as the Trojans opened the year 11-0 before falling to top-ranked Georgia. USC went on to place second in the Pac-10 with a 6-1 record and earned the No. 12 seed into the NCAA Team Championships, where the Trojans are set to enter the Round of 16 on Thursday in Athens, Ga. USC is currently 22-2 overall.
Jamil Al-Agba (Camarillo, Calif./Laurel Springs HS) becomes the first Trojan since 2004 to earn a place on the All-Pac-10 First Team. He has been an honorable mention and second team selection already in his USC career, but his strength at the No. 1 singles position this year for the Trojans has helped the senior to the highest honor of his time at Troy. Entering the NCAA Round of 16 with his Trojan teammates, Al-Agba holds a 19-9 overall singles record, having gone 13-7 in dual matches. He is ranked No. 36 in the nation and is also bound for an appearance in the NCAA Singles Championships. In doubles play, Al-Agba has gone 17-2 overall playing with Dejan Cvetkovic and Garrett Snyder. He is a perfect 9-0 with Snyder, bringing a nine-match win streak into USC's NCAA dual match clash with Notre Dame on Thursday in Georgia.
For senior Dejan Cvetkovic (Montreal, Quebec/Florida School of Excellence), his All-Pac-10 Second Team selection is also the highest conference honor of his USC career. He earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this season, and was a 2006 All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention selection last season. Ranked No. 52 in the nation, Cvetkovic has held down the No. 2 singles spot for the Trojans, going 18-12 overall and 10-9 in dual match play. He also will compete in the NCAA Singles Championships next week following USC's run in the NCAA Team Championships. In doubles play, Cvetkovic has teamed up with three different Trojans in accumulating a 21-5 overall doubles record. He is playing alongside Gary Sacks in the 2007 NCAA Team Championships, and the pair hold an 11-1 record together in dual matches this year.
USC's No. 3 singles player Kaes Van't Hof (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei HS) has earned himself his first All-Pac-10 Second Team honor this year. He was twice selected a Pac-10 Player of the Week this season, and earned All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention last year. Now a junior, Van't Hof has been one of the Trojans' winningest singles players all season. He holds a 30-5 overall singles record, going an impressive 19-1 in dual matches while in contention for wins in three suspended matches this year. Named an alternate for the 2007 NCAA Singles Championships despite his national ranking of No. 63, Van't Hof has the fewest singles losses of his teammates in the dual match ladder and went 6-0 in Pac-10 action. On the doubles side, he is ranked No. 43 with Robert Farah - his teammate in NCAA Team Championship play. The pair are 22-5 overall and 17-3 in dual match play. The duo recently edged out top-seeded UCLA pair Gruendler/Kohlloeffel in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals.
For his strength in doubles play alongside Van't Hof and his powerful addition to the Trojan lineup at the No. 4 singles slot, freshman Robert Farah (Cali, Colombia/San Andres Apostol) opens his Trojan career with All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention. Farah recently earned his 20th singles win of the year, holding a 20-7 overall singles record and an 18-5 dual match mark. His doubles performance this season has been solely with Van't Hof, pushing to a 17-3 dual match record and a 22-5 overall mark in his freshman campaign at Troy.
2007 Pac-10 Men's Tennis All-Conference
Haythem Abid, So., UCLA
Jamil Al-Agba, Sr., USC
Benjamin Kohlloeffel, Sr., UCLA
Pierre Mouillon, Jr., CAL
Juan Carlos Rebaza, Jr., ASU
Alex Slovic, Sr., WASH
Tyler Browne, Sr., CAL
Robert Farah, Fr., USC
Philipp Gruendler, Sr., UCLA
Pac-10 Player of the Year
Benjamin Kohlloeffel, Sr., UCLA
Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year
Benjamin Kohlloeffel, Sr., and Philipp Gruendler, Sr., UCLA
Pac-10 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year
Matt Brooklyn, Fr., ASU
Pac-10 Coach of the Year
Peter Smith, USC