USC Men Set Up For ITA Kick-off Weekend

Jan. 29, 2010

THIS WEEK: USC is the No. 1 team in the land as the Trojans take their 2-0 start to the year into the ITA Kick-off Weekend at Marks Stadium. Host USC welcomes No. 49 Vanderbilt, No. 70 Radford and No. 73 Yale to town this weekend. As the precursor to the coming ITA National Team Indoor Championships, the Kick-off serves as a qualifier for the competition to come in Charlottesville, Va. No. 70 Radford (0-2) and No. 73 Yale (0-0) will face off first in an 8:30 a.m. opener on Saturday (Jan. 30), followed by No. 1 USC's match against No. 48 Vanderbilt (3-1) at 11:30 a.m. The men's consolation match is set to start at 10 a.m. on Sunday (Jan. 31) followed by the men's championship match at 1 p.m. to determine who moves on to the ITA Team Indoors in February.

ITA RANKING UPDATES: The latest ITA national team rankings have the defending NCAA champ USC ranked No. 1. The latest individual rankings are the ITA preseason picks released Jan. 5. There, #1 Steve Johnson leads the Trojans, with five other teammates settled in the rankings. #14 Robert Farah and #47 Matt Kecki open up the year in the top-50, followed by #67 JT Sundling, #78 Daniel Nguyen and #116 Jaak Poldma. In doubles, Farah/Johnson rank #13 in the nation.

RECENT ACTION: USC got the ball rolling on its 2010 dual-match season with a pair of decisive wins on the Trojans' home court. USC opened things with a 7-0 sweep of LMU, falling only in one doubles match while amassing straight-set wins down the line in singles play. Against UC Santa Barbara, USC swept up in doubles and got singles wins at the Nos. 1-3 slots to tack up a 4-3 victory over the Gauchos. USC's top guns in doubles, Robert Farah and Steve Johnson, teamed up victoriously in both matches at the No. 1 doubles slot to help anchor the doubles point against both LMU and UC Santa Barbara. USC newcomer Peter Lucassen also had a successful day out in his first action as a Trojan, winning at No. 3 doubles with Daniel Nguyen against the Lions and with Jaak Poldma against the Gauchos. He snagged a pair of straight-set singles wins as well, topping LMU's Malet 6-1, 6-1 at the No. 3 spot and UCSB's Hohenstein 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2.

COMING TO TROY: Of the three teams joining USC this week at the ITA Kick-off Weekend, Yale is the only team the Trojans have ever faced before. The Trojans hold a 4-0 all-time record against Yale, although the teams haven't faced since 1988 in a 6-3 USC victory. Yale has no players currently ranked in the ITA singles and doubles rankings. New faces Radford and Vanderbilt both have players in the national rankings. Radford's Ivan Selec is ranked #66 in singles. Vanderbilt has #29 Ryan Lipman, #53 Charlie Jones and #71 Vijay Paul ranked in singles as well as three ranked doubles teams: #24 Baker/Jones, #30 Paul/Lipman and #57 Paul/Salcedo.

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