No. 4 USC Men Host No. 5 Stanford, No. 23 Cal
Feb. 25, 2009
THIS WEEK: USC carries a 9-1 record and a No. 4 national ranking into its first dual match action against Pac-10 opponents this week. First up is a clash against No. 5 Stanford (8-1) at 1:30 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 27) before turning to take on No. 23 California at 1 p.m on Saturday (Feb. 28) at Marks Stadium.
ITA RANKING UPDATES: The latest ITA national team rankings have USC up to No. 4 in the nation, as of Feb. 24. Singles and doubles rankings were last release Feb. 19, with Robert Farah up to #3 in singles along with #67 Abdullah Magdas and #118 Steve Johnson. In doubles, Farah/Johnson are ranked #3.
SCOUTING STANFORD: Stanford is ranked No. 5 in the nation and is 8-1 overall after beating Saint Mary's 7-0 earlier this week. USC is 97-74 all-time against the Cardinal after picking up two wins over Stanford last season. Stanford has #28 Wire/Muller ranked in doubles and #13 Alex Clayton, #47 Bradley Klahn and #117 Richard Wire ranked in singles.
SCOUTING CAL: California is ranked No. 23 in the nation and is 3-3 after falling 5-2 to Stanford last week. USC is 126-33 all-time against the Bears after getting three wins over Cal last season. Cal has #24 Chizever/Zerbini ranked in doubles and #88 Kallim Stewart ranked in singles.
RECENT ACTION: USC improved to 9-1 on the year and got back on a winning run with a 7-0 victory over UC Irvine last week. The Trojans were led by #58 Steven Johnson, who won both his doubles match with Robert Farah and also made quick work of his singles opponent to help push the Trojans to the sweep.
BACK FOR MORE: Once again, USC has just one senior on its roster - team captain Abdullah Magdas - along with two strong juniors in Robert Farah and Jason McNaughton and sophomore standout Jaak Poldma. Those three Trojans lined up just behind USC's 1-2 punch of Farah and Van't Hof last year, and once again Farah is tabbed as the headliner on USC's ladder and sits at No. 7 in the national singles rankings for the spring.
JUST ADD FARAH: Robert Farah may well be an X-factor for doubles success. With Kaes Van't Hof last season, the Trojan pair captured USC's 21st NCAA Doubles Championship. After Van't Hof's graduation, Farah has teamed up with freshman Steve Johnson and are in similar winning form as the nation's No. 2 ranked doubles pair.
THE NEW CLASS: Trojan newcomers Steve Johnson, Matt Kecki, Andrew Kells and Daniel Nguyen all boast a laundry list of junior-level accolades along with championships and strong rankings. Ben Lankenau also joins the crew as a freshman this year, rounding out a formidable group of newcomers who have proven themselves impact players already. Johnson and Kecki both picked up spring singles rankings at No. 58 and No. 54, respectively. USC's young doubles guns also got spring rankings nods, as Kells and Nguyen clock in at No. 46 behind second-ranked Farah/Johnson.
TOLEY'S TOME: 'The Golden Age of College Tennis: A USC Coach's Unique Contributions to the Game'--the autobiography of legendary Trojan men's coach George Toley--has been published. Written with longtime sportswriter Joe Jares, the book chronicles the impressive career of the late Toley, who led USC to 10 NCAA team championships during his career. Beginning with his playing career, which included his days as a nationally-ranked player at USC in the early 1940s, the book segues to his days as a teaching pro at the Beverly Hills Tennis Club and as the head pro at the Los Angeles Tennis Club. Toley then details his 27 coaching seasons (1954-80) at USC, where he developed such players as Stan Smith, Bob Lutz, Dennis Ralston and Alex Olmedo, and goes on to highlight Toley's efforts to grow the sport in Mexico, where he was known as the 'Father of Mexican Tennis.' The 208-page softcover book, which includes photos of Toley throughout his career, was published by The Americas Group. The cover price is $15.95. It is available by contacting the publisher directly at email@example.com or at 654 N. Sepulveda Blvd. #1, Los Angeles, CA 90049.