No. 5 USC Men Set Up For A Three-Match Week

Feb. 22, 2010

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The No. 5 USC men get back to busy weeks this week, hosting an early-week nonconference match before heading north for their first clashes of the year with Cal and Stanford. The Trojans (9-1) first face No. 63 San Diego State at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Feb. 23) at Marks Stadium. USC will then head to Berkeley for a 1 p.m. match against No. 27 Cal on Friday (Feb. 26). The Trojans square off at No. 8 Stanford at 1 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 27).

The latest ITA national team rankings (released Feb. 18) have defending NCAA champ USC ranked No. 5 in the nation after the Trojans' first loss slipped them out of the No. 1 spot at which they opened the year. The latest individual rankings also were released Feb. 18. There, #1 Steve Johnson still leads the Trojans and the nation, with three other teammates settled in the rankings. #27 Robert Farah remains in the top-50, followed by #68 Jaak Poldma and #83 Daniel Nguyen. In doubles, four Trojan teams are in the rankings: #17 Farah/Johnson, #30 Lucassen/Poldma, #34 McNaughton/Nguyen and #45 Farah/McNaughton.

USC started up a new win streak with a 6-1 victory over No. 15 Pepperdine in Malibu. The Trojans picked up the doubles point to start things before rolling out to victory on four consecutive straight-set singles wins to improve USC's overall record to 9-1 on the year. With fresh national rankings under their belts, the Trojans took to the courts in Malibu with a determined push toward victory. USC doubles pair Steve Johnson / Daniel Nguyen punched in an 8-5 win at the No. 1 before newly crowned #30 pair Peter Lucassen / Jaak Poldma nabbed the doubles point for USC with an 8-4 win at the No. 3 slot over Fenselow/Turner. In singles, Lucassen cleaned up first for USC, topping #115 Finn Tearney 6-1, 6-2 at the No. 5 singles position to make it a 2-0 USC edge. #27 Robert Farah blasted past #44 Bassam Beidas 6-2, 6-3 next to get USC a point away from victory, with USC's #1 Steve Johnson weighing in with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Alex Llompart at No. 2 singles to clinch the match. #68 Jaak Poldma added another Trojan point with a 6-4, 6-1 win from his No. 3 slot next, and although Pepperdine notched a point with a third-set tiebreak win by Sebastian Fanselow over USC's #83 Daniel Nguyen 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 (10-4) at No. 4, USC had the last word in its winning effort with Matt Kecki's 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 6.

San Diego State is ranked #63 in the nation and is 1-5 overall after beating UC Santa Barbara 4-2 last week. The Aztecs have no players nationally ranked in singles or doubles. USC is 16-0 all-time against SDSU with the Trojans winning 6-0 last season in the teams' most recent match.

Cal is ranked #27 in the nation and is 7-1 overall after upsetting #8 Stanford 4-3 last week. The Bears have #31 Pedro Zerbini, #78 Jonathan Dahan and #111 Christoffer Konigsfeldt ranked in singles and #22 Andrews/Konigsfeldt and #33 Dahan/Zerbini ranked in doubles. USC is 128-33 all-time against Cal after beating the Bears 7-0 and 6-1 last season.

Stanford is ranked #8 in the nation and is 7-2 overall after beating Boise State 6-1 and falling 4-3 to Cal last week. The Cardinal have #18 Bradley Klahn and #34 Alex Clayton ranked in singles and #2 Klahn/Thacher and #26 Claytong/Wire ranked in doubles. USC is 99-75 all-time against Stanford after facing the Cardinal three times last season. Stanford won the first meeting 4-3 with USC winning the Pac-10 clash 4-3 and also topping the Cardinal 4-2 in the 2009 NCAA Round of 16.

USC junior Jaak Poldma earned his first career honors as Pac-10 Men's Tennis Player of the Week after a dominant all-around performance at the competitive ITA National Team Indoor Championships, staking a claim as the first Trojan to win the weekly honor from the conference this season. Poldma tallied wins across the board for USC, getting two singles wins and two doubles wins and leading in both his suspended matches. #116 Poldma stayed flawless in dual match singles play from the No. 3 singles position, beating Kellen Damico of Texas and #118 Nick Meister of UCLA both in straight sets. His singles wins improved Polda's singles record on the year to 13-3 with a 6-0 mark in dual-match singles and a six-match overall winning streak. Poldma also stretched to a six-match win streak in doubles with Lucassen after this weekend's success, including an 8-6 upset of UCLA's #36 pair Brooklyn/Stewart.

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