Trojans Face Virginia In First Round Of NCAAs
May 8, 2001
This Week -- The 24th-ranked USC men's tennis team (13-8 overall, 3-4 Pac-10) received their 24th all-time bid to the 2001 NCAA Championships. Traveling to top-seeded Ole Miss, the Trojans face 40th-ranked Virginia in the first round on Saturday, May 12, at 3 p.m. EST. Ole Miss and Jackson State will square off in the other match at Noon. The winners of each match will face each other on Sunday, May 13, at Noon EST in the second round.
Juniors Ryan Moore and Andrew Park were each selected to compete in the NCAA Individual Singles Championship. Moore and Nick Rainey, who advanced to the 2000 Doubles Championship Final, will make their second-consecutive appearance in this season's NCAA Doubles Tournament.
2001 NCAA Championship First and Second Round
Saturday, May 12, Noon EST
Ole Miss vs. Jackson State
Saturday, May 12, 3 p.m. EST
USC vs. Virginia
Sunday, May 13, Noon EST
USC/Virginia vs. Ole Miss/Jackson State
2001 NCAA Championships -- The NCAA selected 64 teams to participate in the 2001 NCAA Tennis Championships. First and second round matches were played at 16 host sites May 11-13, and the winner of each site advances to the finals. The championships will be held in Athens, Ga., May 19-28. Individual championships will consist of 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams, and will take place following the team championships.
Last Year at the NCAA Championships -- USC made a surprising run at the 2000 NCAA Championships by reaching the Round of 16 with an upset victory over Fresno State. For the second-consecutive year, the Trojans were sent to Fresno for the opening rounds of the tournament, but this time came away with identical 4-1 wins over Pacific and Fresno State to move onto the next round. In Athens, Ga., USC was eliminated with a 4-1 loss to Florida. But the highlight of the 2000 NCAAs was in the Individual Doubles Championship where USC's Ryan Moore and Nick Rainey narrowly missed the national title. With the Trojans' 30th all-time appearance in the NCAA Doubles Final match, Moore and Rainey suffered a 6-4, 6-2 defeat at the hands of Cary Franklin and Graydon Oliver of Illinois.
Trojan History at the NCAA Championships -- USC's history at the NCAA championships spans three decades. Since 1977, the first year the NCAA sponsored a postseason tennis championship, the Trojans have advanced to the tournament in 24-of-25 seasons and have claimed the national championship three times (1991, 1993, 1994). The Trojans have reached the semifinals nine times and the quarterfinals five times. USC's players have also earned two singles championships (Robert Van't Hof, 1980, and Cecil Mamiit, 1996) and four doubles championships (Bruce Manson/Chris Lewis, 1977, Rick Leach/Tim Pawsat, 1986, Rick Leach/Scott Melville, 1987, Eric Amend/Byron Black, 1989) in the history of the NCAAs.
Virginia: The 40th-ranked Hokies received their fifth-consecutive postseason NCAA bid. Virginia finished its regular season 14-7 and 3-4 in the ACC. The Cavaliers advanced to the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament for the sixth straight year after a 4-3 upset win over No. 27 Georgia Tech in the quarterfinals, but fell to No. 68 Clemson, 4-3, in the semifinal match. The team is led by senior Brian Vahaly (Atherton, Calif.) at the No. 1 position with a 20-1 dual match record and 35-5 overall mark. Paired with Huntley Montgomery (Chapel Hill, N.C.) at the No. 1 doubles spot, the pair have combined for a 19-2 record in dual matches and 31-6 overall record. USC and Virginia have never met.
Mississippi: Mississippi earned the No. 12 overall seed in this year's tourney and the No. 1 seed in the region to host the first two rounds of the NCAAs. The ninth-ranked Rebels are coming off a disappointing 4-0 loss to No. 2 Georgia in the semifinals of the SEC Championships for the second straight year. The team posted a 17-7 overall record and 7-4 mark in conference play this season. Alex Hartman (Klippan, Sweden) has led the team in singles at the No. 1 position with a 25-14 overall record and 13-10 mark in dual matches. James Shortall (Feilding, New Zealand) and Kristofer Stahlberg (Kolmarden, Sweden) have collected a 15-5 record at No. 1 doubles. The team is 2-5 this season against Top-25 opponents. USC and Mississippi have met twice before. In 1995, the Trojans were eliminated in the first round of the NCAAs with a 4-3 loss to Ole Miss. In 1991, USC defeated the Rebels 6-0 during the regular season.
Jackson State: Jackson State won the Southwestern Athletic Conference to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. The unranked Tigers enter the tournament with a 14-2 overall record, having only lost matches to New Orleans and South Carolina State. There are only two seniors on the squad of six, Richard Henry (Barbados, West Indies) and Brian Peter (Barbados, West Indies). USC and Jackson State have never met.
Final Pac-10 Standings -- Stanford captured both the men's and women's team titles in 2001, with the Cardinal men posting a perfect 7-0 mark in the Pac-10. This also marks the fourth-straight year that Stanford has won the men's title.
USC's fourth-place (tie) finish is the first time the Trojans have finished fourth since 1978 when the team went 0-6 in conference play and 10-10 overall, and only the second time in program history. In the last decade, USC has finished first in the Pac-10 four times, of which the team won three national titles (1991, 93, 94). The Trojans have twice finished second, and third four times.
School Conference W-L Overall W-L Rank
Stanford 7-0 21-1 No. 1
UCLA 6-1 20-2 No. 2
California 4-3 14-8 No. 13
Washington 3-4 18-7 No. 18
USC 3-4 13-8 No. 24
Arizona State 3-4 10-11 No. 31
Arizona 2-5 12-9 No. 39
Oregon 0-7 8-13 ----
Two Honored as All-Pac-10 -- The 2001 men's tennis all-conference selections were announced Monday, May 7, by Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen. USC had two representatives on the list - Andrew Park (first team) and Ryan Moore (first team). It is the first All-Pac-10 honor for Park and the second for Moore who was named to the honorable mention team last season.
One of the Nation's Toughest Conference -- Once again, the Pacific-10 conference proved to be one of the toughest tennis conferences in the country. Eight of the nine Pac-10 universities which sponsor men's tennis were ranked among the top-100 - four of which have consistently remained in the top-20. In doubles, two of the top-10 competitors are from the Pac-10, with eight total pairs in the top 50. There are 20 total players who represent the Pac-10 among the top 100 singles players.
At the 2001 Pac-10 Championships -- The 2001 Pac-10 Tournament was highlighted by the play of junior Ryan Moore who captured his first-ever collegiate singles title. Then 77th-ranked Moore upset 21st-ranked K.J. Hippensteel of Stanford in two sets, 6-3, 6-2, for the 2001 Tournament men's singles title. En route to his first conference title and USC's first since 1996, Moore also stunned Stanford's No. 1-ranked Alex Kim in the quarterfinals and swept No. 22 Jean-Noel Grinda of UCLA in the semis.
Rainey and Moore Receive ITA Player of the Month Honors -- Ryan Moore and Nick Rainey were tabbed the ITA National Doubles Team of the Month in March. The Trojans' tandem went 7-0 in March, registered three top nine wins and climbed 23 spots in the rankings.
Park Named November Player of the Month -- Andrew Park began 2001 by winning the SoCal Intercollegiate Championship with a 6-3, 6-3 upset victory over UCLA's Travis Rettenmaier on Oct. 30. For his second title of the fall, Park entered as the tournament's top-seed and defeated Jean-Noel Grinda of UCLA for the ITA Region VIII South Championship, a title he also won last season. Following these two victories, Park was honored as the ITA November Player of the Month.
Leach Gets 500th Career Victory -- On Tuesday, Feb. 6, head coach Dick Leach earned his 500th career victory when the Trojans swept San Diego 7-0.
Spring Additions -- USC made two new additions to the roster after the New Year. Damien Spizzo (Melbourne, Australia) and Ruben Torres (Cali, Colombia) have joined the Trojans and begun classes at USC this semester. The two international stand-outs are expected to play in one of the top six positions in the lineup.
Leach Among Top-10 Coaches -- In the April edition of Volleyball magazine, an article highlighted the top-10 winningest men's coaches currently in the NCAA. With an all-time record of 508-127 (.800) in 22 years, head coach Dick Leach ranks fourth. Here are the top three: (1) Al Scates, UCLA men's volleyball - 1001-162, .861, (2) Dick Gould, Stanford men's tennis - 691-128, .844, (3) Jerry Yeagley, Indiana men's soccer - 494-90-37, .825.
USC News & Notes -- Nick Rainey and Ryan Moore have now won 14 consecutive doubles matches (a career best for the duo)... Andrew Park is leading the squad with the best overall record (28-8) and a .778 win percentage... Park began the season with a personal record of 13-straight match victories ... Ryan Moore has won his last nine-consecutive matches... This year's squad features no seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen.
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 508-127 (.800) 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.
13-18 Overall / 9-12 Dual Matches / 2-7 Pac-10 Matches / 16-11 Doubles
Maintaining his position at No. 6 in the lineup, Parker Collins has struggled against top opponents. Prior to the start of dual match play, he posted a 4-5 overall record, including two wins in the consolation round of the Rolex Regionals. He won his first 5-of-7 dual matches but then began to struggle as the team entered Pac-10 play. In doubles, Collins played the majority of his dual matches with partner Ruben Torres. The pair compiled a 13-5 overall record primarily at No. 3 and is currently riding a three-match win streak. In the preseason, he and Daniel Langre paired to advance to the third round of the Rolex Regional main draw. Collins lost in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament in both singles and doubles with Torres.
21-10 overall / 14-6 Dual Matches / 4-4 Pac-10 Matches / 22-4 Doubles
Playing at No. 2, Ryan Moore has had success with a 14-6 record in dual matches. Hampered by injuries in the fall, Moore posted a 2-4 record in preseason tournaments. Moore has only dropped four matches since February and won 12, including upset-victories over (No. 25) K.J. Hippensteel of Stanford and Cal's (No. 83) Belazs Veress. He completed the regular season on a four-match win streak in singles. Moore and doubles partner Nick Rainey remain ranked among the top-10 and currently own a 20-3 overall record. The duo captured the SoCal Intercollegiate Doubles Championship in the fall with a victory over Chase Exon and Stefan Suter of Pepperdine. The team was tabbed ITA Doubles Team of the Month after posting a 7-0 record in March. Within that time they registered three top nine wins and extended their current win streak to 14 - the longest of their careers. Playing his best tennis as the regular season came to an end, Moore went on to win the Pac-10 Tournament Singles Championship with five victories, including upsets over Hippensteel, Alex Kim of Stanford and Jean-Noel Grinda of UCLA. He has now won the last nine consecutive matches heading into the NCAAs.
28-8 overall / 14-6 Dual Matches / 6-2 Pac-10 Matches / 11-11 Doubles
With the team's best overall record at 28-8 and the pressure of playing at the No. 1 position, Andrew Park has enjoyed an extremely successful year. He began the season with a personal record of 13-straight match victories and two tournament championships. He won the first with a 6-3, 6-3 upset victory over UCLA's Travis Rettenmaier for the SoCal Intercollegiate Championship title. For his second tournament win of the fall, Park entered as the tournament's top-seed and defeated Jean-Noel Grinda of UCLA for the ITA Region VIII South Championship, a title he also won last season. Following these two victories, Park was honored as the ITA November Player of the Month. Park had only lost four matches prior to suffering a sprained ankle against Stanford on April 7. He was forced to retire the match and since then has logged four-straight losses. In doubles, Park played the majority of the dual matches with partner Damien Spizzo. The pair compiled a 11-8 overall record primarily at No. 2. Park did not compete at the Pac-10 Tournament/Invitational in order to rest his ankle.
21-13 overall / 12-9 Dual Matches / 4-5 Pac-10 Matches / 22-4 Doubles
With a .717 combined win percentage in singles and doubles (the team's best combined average), Nick Rainey has competed primarily at No. 4 singles and No. 1 doubles during the dual match season. Rainey posted a 9-4 record in the fall and won the Rolex Regional Consolation Singles Championship title in November with a 6-0, 6-1 win over UCLA's Travis Rettenmaier. In the spring, he recorded a 12-9 mark in dual matches including a 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 upset win over Stanford's (No. 41) David Martin on April 7. Hampered by injuries, Rainey dropped his final three singles matches of the regular season. He and doubles partner Ryan Moore remain ranked among the top-10 and currently own a 20-3 overall record. The duo captured the SoCal Intercollegiate Doubles Championship in the fall with a victory over Chase Exon and Stefan Suter of Pepperdine. The team was tabbed ITA Doubles Team of the Month after posting a 7-0 record in March. Within that time they registered three top nine wins and extended their current win streak to 14 - the longest of their careers. Rainey did not compete at the Pac-10 Tournament/Invitational in order to recover from injuries.
16-8 overall / 16-5 Dual Matches / 5-4 Pac-10 Matches / 13-9 Doubles
Joining the team in January, Damien Spizzo has competed primarily at No. 3 and posted a team-best 16-5 record in dual match play. He recorded six consecutive match victories from Jan. 30 through March 6, not losing a single match in the month of February. Three of his five regular season losses have been to ranked opponents. In doubles, Spizzo played the majority of the dual matches with partner Andrew Park. The pair compiled an 11-8 overall record primarily at No. 2. Recently, Spizzo teamed with Nick Rainey for two wins against Cal and Oregon at No. 1. Spizzo dropped his first round singles match of the Pac-10 Tournament.
14-8 overall / 13-5 Dual Matches / 3-4 Pac-10 Matches / 15-7 Doubles
After joining the team in January, Ruben Torres has compiled a 13-5 record in dual matches while playing at No. 5. He owns the team's longest win streak during the regular season after winning eight straight matches from Jan. 19 through Feb. 21. Torres missed two matches in early April due to a wrist injury, then returned to finish the season with two wins and a loss. In doubles, Torres played the majority of his dual matches with partner Parker Collins. The pair compiled a 13-5 overall record primarily at No. 3 and is currently riding a three-match win streak. Recently, he teamed with Ryan Moore for three matches, during which the pair upset Stanford's sixth-ranked Scott Lipsky and David Martin. Torres won his first round match over Matt Hanlin of Washington in the Pac-10 Singles Tournament, but fell in the second to K.J. Hippensteel of Stanford. Collins and Torres fell in the first round of the Pac-10 Doubles Tournament.