Men's Tennis Hosts Princeton Thursday

March 20, 2001

This Week -- 19th-ranked USC men's tennis (10-3, 1-1) plays only one match this week against No. 64 Princeton (2-5). The Tigers will play at Marks Tennis Stadium on Thursday, March 22, at 1:30 p.m.

ITA Rankings -- Andrew Park is ranked 31st, while Nick Rainey and Ryan Moore rank 36th in doubles.

USC vs. Princeton -- The Trojans have faced the Tigers five times in program history and have never lost a match. With a 5-0 record against Princeton since the first meeting in 1977, USC's last win came in 1994 in the first round of the NCAA Championships. USC defeated princeton 4-0.

Common Connection -- Princeton's first-year head coach Glenn Michibata will be returning to familiar territory on Thursday. Michibata was a two-year assistant coach for the USC men's tennis team (1999, 2000) and also served as an assistant for the women's tennis team in 1998.

The Trojans' Last Outing -- The Trojans dropped a heartbreaker to 12th-ranked Illinois 4-3 on Thursday (March 15). The close match was a battle from the start as two of three doubles matches were decided in a tiebreaker. USC's most important victory came at the No. 1 doubles spot where Ryan Moore and Nick Rainey pulled out a 9-8 victory in a 7-5 tiebreaker over Graydon Oliver and Amer Delic (Oliver, and former partner Cary Franklin, defeated Moore and Rainey last season to claim the 2000 NCAA Doubles Championship). With a win at court three, USC earned the doubles point and a 1-0 lead. Singles play began in a tug-of-war as Mike Kosta evened the score for Illinois with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Rainey at court 4. The Illini followed with victories at courts 1 and 6, then USC tied the score with wins at the No. 3 and 5 positions. Knotted at 3-3, the match came down to USC's Moore and Illinois' Phillip Stolt. Moore earned a 6-3 decision in the first set, then Stolt took the second in a 7-5 tiebreaker. With a stadium of fans focused on court No. 2, the two alternated with the lead in the final set through the first four points, but strong serving allowed Stolt to pull away. Stolt earned the final win 6-4 for the Illini victory.

USC left Utah scoreless with a 7-0 victory Tuesday, March 13. Earning victories at No. 1 and 3 doubles, USC entered singles play with a 1-0 lead. The Trojans quickly set the tone for the match in singles with five decisive first-set wins on courts 1 through 5, not allowing any Utah player to score more than two points. Andrew Park was the first off the court for USC with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over David Mercier at No. 1. Damien Spizzo and Nick Rainey followed with respective wins at courts four and three to guarantee the USC win with a 4-0 lead.

USC News & Notes -- Andrew Park is leading the squad with the best overall record (25-4) with a .862 win percentage, and he began the season with a personal record of 13-straight match victories ... This year's squad features no seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen.

Coach Leach Gets 500th Career Win -- On Tuesday, Feb. 6, head coach Dick Leach earned his 500th career victory when the Trojans swept San Diego 7-0.

Head Coach Dick Leach -- Dick Leach enters his 22nd season at the helm of the USC men's tennis program. In 21 years with the Trojans, he has amassed a 506-122 (.806) overall record and won three national championships (1991, 1993, 1994). His teams have garnered seven Pac-10 championships, for which Leach has been named conference coach of the year four times (1987, 1991, 1992, 1994). Last season, he guided USC to a 18-9 (.667) overall mark, third place finish in the Pac-10 (5-2), and Round of 16 appearance at the NCAAs.

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