Men's Tennis Moves On To NCAA Round Of 16

May 13, 2001

OXFORD, Miss. - 24th-ranked USC men's tennis upset ninth-ranked Ole Miss with a 4-3 comeback effort in singles to win the 2001 NCAA Men's Tennis Regional final on Sunday, May 13, at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.

With the victory, the Trojans (15-8) advance to the Round of 16 in Athens, Ga., May 19-22, for the second-consecutive year. The Rebels end the season at 18-8.

'It was a hard fought match and you have to give USC credit,' said Mississippi Head Coach Billy Chadwick. 'There were so many key points, and they came up with the big shots. The bottom line is that on the big points they played better. We've had a great year. We had our sights set on advancing further, but now we'll focus our efforts on the individual championships.'

Ole Miss took a 1-0 lead by claiming the doubles point. Alex Hartman and Patrick Chucri defeated Andrew Park and Damien Spizzo 8-4 at No. 2 doubles, followed by an 8-4 win at the No. 3 spot when Martin Selin and Paul Ciorascu defeated Parker Collins and Ruben Torres to clinch the doubles point.

Mississippi's Hartman took the first singles match with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Park at center court, but was followed by a 6-3, 6-2 USC victory at No. 6 as Collins downed Rebel Chucri. The Rebels then took a two-point lead when Shortall earned a 6-2, 6-2 win over Ryan Moore at the No. 2 spot.

USC fought to hold off Ole Miss who was just one point away from clinching the match. The Trojans pulled within 3-2 when Nick Rainey defeated Rebel Selin 6-2, 7-5 at No. 4 singles, then Spizzo gave the Rebels' Kristofer Stahlberg just his third dual match loss of the season, 6-4, 6-2, at court three.

The teams were tied at three apiece as court five entered its second set. USC's Torres won the first set against Rebel Ciorascu, but Ciorascu battled back. It was 5-5 when Torres broke to go ahead 6-5. Ciorascu broke back to force a tiebreaker. After being down 4-1 in the tiebreak, Ciorascu battled back to take a 6-5 lead, before Torres would win the next two points to clinch the match and the 4-3 win for USC. Torres came into Sunday's match with a 12-1 record at No. 5 singles.

'It was one of those great college matches that could have gone either way,' said USC Head Coach Dick Leach. 'Ole Miss is great at the top of the lineup and they really beat us up in doubles. It was great for our team to come back the way it did. I was really proud of the guys. They have great facilities here and coach Chadwick does a great job with his team.'

USC 4, Ole Miss 3

(1) Shortall/Stahlberg (Miss) vs. Rainey/Moore (USC) - did not finish
(2) Hartman/Chucri (Miss) def. Park/Spizzo (USC) - 8-4
(3) Selin/Ciorascu (Miss) def. Collins/Torres (USC) - 8-4

(1) Alex Hartman (Miss) def. Andrew Park (USC) - 6-0, 6-3
(2) James Shortall (Miss) def. Ryan Moore (USC) - 6-2, 6-2
(3) Damien Spizzo (USC) def. Kristofer Stahlberg (Miss) - 6-4, 6-2
(4) Nick Rainey (USC) def. Martin Selin (Miss) - 6-2, 7-5
(5) Ruben Torres (USC) def. Paul Ciorascu (Miss) - 7-5, 7-6(8)
(6) Parker Collins (USC) def. Patrick Chucri (Miss) - 6-3, 6-2

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