USC Men Grab No. 5 Seed For NCAAs

May 4, 2010

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The defending NCAA champion USC men's tennis team has upgraded its seeding for this year's NCAA Men's Tennis Championships, weighing in at No. 5 and all set up to host the first two rounds of postseason play at Marks Stadium. The Trojans charged to the national championship last season as a No. 8 seed, and will begin defense of that crown when the No. 5 seeded USC (19-3) faces Marist (14-5) on Friday (May 14) in the afternoon. Also coming to town for the NCAA First and Second Rounds at Troy are Fresno State (18-9) and BYU (21-6), who will square off in the morning match on May 14. The Saturday (May 15) second round match will determine which team earns the right to advance to the NCAA Round of 16 and beyond, to be held in Athens, Ga., at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex from May 21-25. MATCH TIMES CURRENTLY TBA; UPDATES TO COME

This year's NCAA appearance is the Trojans' fourth straight trip to the postseason and 32nd overall. In winning the 2009 title in College Station, Texas, the Trojans have now claimed 17 national championships all-time and holds an overall NCAA tournament record of 68-29. For its winning 2009 run, USC had returned to the same site it won its last national championship in 2002 - College Station, Texas. The No. 8-seeded Trojans opened with a tight 4-2 win over fellow Pac-10 power Stanford. USC went on to deal out a 4-0 sweep of top-seeded and undefeated Virginia in the quarterfinals. Next up was a 4-1 win over Texas in semifinal in front of a Longhorn-heavy crowd to move into the title match for the first time since 2002. Up against No. 3 seed Ohio State, the Trojans dug deep and got a match-clinching singles win from Robert Farah to notch a 4-1 victory and claim the 2009 NCAA Championship.

With a 19-3 overall record so far this year, USC currently holds a No. 5 national ranking in the latest Campbell/ITA rankings as the 2010 Trojans tote a 19-win record into this year's NCAA Championships for the fourth consecutive season. USC is the automatic qualifier out of the Pac-10 Conference after sharing the Pac-10 title with Stanford with a 5-1 conference finish. The Trojans had topped the Cardinal during Pac-10 play to secure the automatic slot for NCAA action.

USC's talented lineup this season has senior Pac-10 Player of the Year and singles champion Robert Farah ranked No. 9 in the nation in singles and sitting at the No. 1 slot in the ladder for Trojan dual-match play. By his side on the doubles court as the nation's No. 2 ranked team is sophomore Steve Johnson. Together, the pair picked up back-to-back honors as the Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year as conference champions this season. Individually, Johnson has seen time as the top player in the nation and currently ranks No. 3 on the way into this year's NCAA competition. The Trojans have three other players ranked in the singles world, with sophomore Daniel Nguyen at No. 83 and junior Jaak Poldma at No. 89. All four players were instrumental in USC's run to the 2009 NCAA Championship. This year, newcomer Peter Lucassen joins his returning teammates in the national rankings at No. 121, and freshman JT Sundling also has seen time in the rankings on the singles side.

The seedings and bracket for the 2010 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships are set to be announced tomorrow (May 5). NCAA individual action will take place following the NCAA Team Championships in Athens at Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Men's team play will run May 21-25, with individual competition going May 26-31.

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