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No. 9 USC Men's Tennis Opens Dual-Match Play At Marks Stadium

Jan 20, 2022

THIS WEEK        
The No. 9 Trojans have their first dual-match action of 2022 on tap this week with a run of three matches at Marks Stadium. On Friday (Jan. 21), USC hosts a doubleheader, taking on UC Davis at 10 a.m. before turning to face Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 2 p.m. The Trojans get back to it on Sunday (Jan. 23) with a 3 p.m. matchup against UC Irvine.

IN THE RANKINGS        
The Trojans opened 2022 ranked No. 9 in the nation —  an upgrade from the No. 10 spot it finished up at in 2021. As of the latest set of ITA National Team Rankings (released Jan. 19), USC remains ranked at No. 9 in the nation. Individual preseason rankings were released on Dec. 8, 2021, with five Trojans ranked in singles. A top-10 player for the first time in his career, junior Stefan Dostanic weighs in at #6 in the land. More career bests follow for #35 Peter Makk, #40 Lodewijk Weststrate and #94 Samuel Rubell, while #70  Bradley Frye also stands tall with his preseason singles ranking. In doubles, USC has Dostanic and Frye looming large at #10 in the land, while Dostanic and Rubell stand at #12.

LAST ACTION        
In its first competition of 2022, USC overcame a rainout to storm the courts at the Sherwood Cup with a solid day's work on Sunday against opponents from Stanford and Texas A&M. Inclement weather aborted mission on USC's scheduled clash with UCLA players on Monday. Against Stanford opponents in the morning's matchup, USC notched three doubles wins and six singles victories  — including the first career wins for newcomers Ryan Colby and Wojtek Marek. Both spring additions, Colby topped Stanford's Tomas Kopczynski in straight sets, and Marek took down Timothy Sah in straight sets as well. USC's top-10 Trojans — #6 singles player Stefan Dostanic and #10 doubles duo Dostanic and Bradley Frye — also had a winning start to the new year. Dostanic and Frye continued their roll with a 6-4 win over Texas A&M's #35 Abbrat/Schachter in the evening session. Wojtek Marek also made it a victorious first day of doubles duty as a Trojans in nabbing a win with Samuel Rubell against Stanford and then notching another W alongside Ryder Jackson against Texas A&M. Dostanic and Marek both finished the day as winners in both sets of singles action. Dostanic topped Stanford's Alexandre Rotsaert 7-6 (3), 6-3 and Texas A&M's #115 Noah Schachter 6-1, 4-6, 1-0 (10-2). Newcomer Marek, meanwhile, followed up his win over Stanford's Sah with a 6-3, 7-6 (3) victory over Aggie Stefan Storch to chalk up his first two singles wins as a Trojan.
 
STEF'S SHERWOOD SUCCESS    
USC may have had its final day of action at the Sherwood Cup washed out, but Trojan junior Stefan Dostanic still emerged with top honors at the event. After netting two strong singles wins in USC's double day of competition on Sunday (Jan. 16), the No. 6-ranked Dostanic was named Singles Champion. In USC's morning matchups against Stanford players, Dostanic topped the Cardinal's Alexandre Rotsaert 7-6 (3), 6-3. Later that evening, in the Trojans' makeup action against players from Texas A&M, Dostanic made it a winning day for himself in taking down #115 Noah Schachter  6-1, 4-6, 1-0 (10-2). After that first round of Spring competition, Dostanic grips a 20-4 overall record in this 2021-22 campaign.

BY THE NUMBERS    
USC's winningest player to date is newcomer Stefan Dostanic, who has churned out 20 singles wins in his junior campaign so far. He's the only Trojan so far with double-digits singles wins, although senior Bradley Frye and sophomore Lodewijk Weststrate are just a breath away with nine each. .In doubles, #10 Dostanic/Frye have played the most matches together and boast the most wins with their 8-3 record together to date.

LAST SEASON    
In Brett Masi's second season at the helm of the USC program, the Trojans posted a 23-7 overall record and claimed the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament Championship  along the way. No fall competition was held due to the coronavirus pandemic, but action eventually got underway in January 2021. The Trojans were ranked No. 1 in the nation entering 2021 — a nod to the 2020 ITA National Team Indoor Championship the Trojans had won before the pandemic brought competition to a halt that year. After a run to the 2021 NCAA Quarterfinals, where USC fell in a tough 4-3 decision to Texas, the Trojans ended the season ranked No. 10 in the land. Seniors Daniel Cukierman and Riley Smith both earned ITA All-American  status for singles and doubles, having made a run  to the  NCAA Doubles quarterfinals and finishing up ranked No. 6 in the nation. In singles, Cukierman reached the NCAA Singles Round of 16 and wrapped his USC career ranked No. 24 in the nation. Smith, meanwhile, reached the NCAA Singles Round of 32 and ended up ranked No. 53. Sophomore Stefan Dostanic finished up at No. 98 in the final national singles rankings, and was No. 88 in doubles alongside Bradley Frye. •