No. 10 USC Men Touch Down In Texas
March 19, 2009
THIS WEEK: No. 10-ranked USC (12-3) is spending Spring Break on the road in Texas, going up against No. 15 Texas A&M today (March 19) at 6 p.m. CT in College Station, for a preview of the courts the Trojans aim to play on at the 2009 NCAA Championships in May. From there, USC will go to No. 7 Baylor at 1 p.m CT on Saturday (March 21).
ITA RANKING UPDATES: The latest ITA national team rankings have USC ranked No. 10 in the nation, as of March 17. Singles and doubles rankings also were released March 17, with Robert Farah standing as the nation's #4 singles player. He is joined in the rankings by #75 Abdullah Magdas, #92 Steve Johnson and #101 Jaak Poldma. In doubles, Farah/Johnson are ranked #6.
SCOUTING TEXAS A&M: Texas A&M is ranked No. 15 in the nation after falling 4-3 to No. 6 Ohio State and beating #9 Illinois 4-3 last week. Texas A&M has #16 Conor Pollock, #30 Wil Spencer and #52 Austin Krajicek ranked in singles and #3 Pollock/Krajicek ranked in doubles.
SCOUTING BAYLOR: Baylor is ranked No. 7 in the nation after a 6-1 win over No. 21 Virginia Tech last week. Baylor has #6 Denes Lukacs and #49 Jordan Rux ranked in singles.
RECENT ACTION: USC improved to 12-3 overall with a pair of home wins in the past week. On March 12, USC saw freshman Matt Kecki clinch a tight match with visiting No. 30 Texas Tech by beating out his Red Raider opponent in a three-set battle at the No. 5 singles position. Kecki's win was the last to finish and put the Trojans ahead 4-3 for the match. On March 16, USC beat No. 29 Tulsa with 5-2, highlighted early by Robert Farah/Steve Johnson's upset of Tulsa's #3 doubles team and Steve Johnson's sixth straight singles win for the Trojans.
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. He has been cruising through singles play this season, topping the charts at No. 1 although he had a 14-match win streak snapped vs. UCLA.
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 to form a new team in similar winning form as the nation's No. 6 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.