Successful Start To 2021 For USC Men's Tennis at Pepperdine Invite
MALIBU, CALIF. — The top-ranked Trojans kicked down the 2021 starting gates with a successful showing at the Pepperdine Invite on Jan. 15 and 16 in Malibu, Calif. USC posted a clean sweep in singles action, dropping only three sets in 14 matches across the two days of competition.
"It was a blast being able to be out with the team this weekend and competing again together," USC head coach Brett Masi said. "After 11 months without doing that you realize how special that is. We really grew over two days and that's what this weekend was for. Some players hadn't played in over 7-8 plus months and we needed to grease up the wheel. Now we just need to have a good week of practice and mentally be ready for a tough weekend ahead in hopes to qualify for ITA National Indoors."
On Friday (Jan. 15), the Trojans took the courts for their first collegiate matches of the year, lined up against opponents from LMU. Doubles play kicked off the day's action, with three Trojans seeing their first action in Cardinal and Gold. Redshirt freshman Colter Smith teamed up with sophomore Stefan Dostanic for doubles victory, while USC pairs fell in the other two matches. As singles play unfurled it was a winning sweep for USC down the line. Along the way, true freshman Lodewijk Weststrate notched his first singles wins as a Trojan, as did Colter Smith. Meanwhile, veterans Daniel Cukierman and Riley Smith also picked up opening day wins along with junior Bradley Frye and sophomores Dostanic and Ryder Jackson.
On Saturday (Jan. 16), USC lined up against competitors from host Pepperdine. In doubles, the nation's top-ranked Cukierman and Riley Smith snagged a 6-1 win over the Waves' #34 Oetzbach/DeJonge, and the sophomore combo of Dostanic and Jackson also rang up a win. It was a clean sweep in singles next for the Trojans, who didn't give up a set on the day. The same set of seven Trojans all cleaned up straight-set victories, with #104 Dostanic capturing a smooth 6-1, 6-4 upset of Pepperdine's #99 Corrado Summaria.
USC is scheduled to host ITA Kickoff Weekend matches next weekend (Jan. 23-24) at Marks Stadium. The winner of the event will earn qualification for the 2021 ITA National Team Indoor Championship, which the. Trojans won in 2020 to help earn their No. 1 national ranking.
Full results for USC at the Pepperdine Invite are listed below.
Pepperdine Invite (Malibu, Calif.)
#1 USC vs. LMU — Friday, Jan. 15
Nava/Moreno (LMU) def. Jackson/Weststrate (USC) - 6-4
Otico/Nguyen (LMU) def. Frye/Holt (USC) - 7-6
Dostanic/C. Smith (USC) def. Kaiser/DiGiulio (LMU) - 6-2
#1 Daniel Cukierman (USC) def. Nava (LMU) - 6-3, 5-7, 1-0 10-4)
#19 Riley Smith (USC) def. Otico (LMU) - 6-3, 6-3
#104 Stefan Dostanic (USC) def. Moreno (LMU) - 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-2)
Bradley Frye (USC) def. Kaiser (LMU) - 6-4, 6-0
#79 Ryder Jackson (USC) def. Nguyen (LMU) - 7-5, 6-3
Lodewijk Weststrate (USC) def. DiGiulio (LMU) - 1-6, 6-3, 1-0 (11-9)
Colter Smith (USC) def. Bellamy (LMU) - 6-1, 6-4
#1 USC vs. #21 Pepperdine — Saturday, Jan. 16
DOUBLES#1 Cukierman/R. Smith def #34 Oetzbach/DeJonge - 6-1
Summaria/Shelton def Weststrate/Frye - 6-3
Dostanic/Jackson def Fellin/Jankowiak - 6-4
#1 Daniel Cukierman def DeJonge - 6-2, 6-3
#19 Riley Smith def Oetzbach - 7-5, 6-3
#104 Stefan Dostanic def #90 Summaria - 6-1, 6-4
#79 Ryder Jackson def Fellin - 7-5, 6-0
Bradley Frye def Shelton - 6-2, 6-2
Colter Smith def Jankowiak - 6-1, 6-0
Lodewijk Weststrate def Grosjean - 6-2, 6-0