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No. 8 USC Men’s Tennis Heads North For Tests At No. 12 Stanford, Cal

Feb 2, 2022

THIS WEEK        
The No. 8 USC men's tennis team hit the road this weekend for a pair of nonconference tangles in NorCal. The Trojans (4-0) first visit No. 12 Stanford (3-0) at 1 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 5) at Taube Tennis Center. From there, USC heads to Berkeley to take on Cal at 1 p.m. on Sunday (Feb. 6) at Hellman Tennis Complex. 

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 Feb. 2), USC stands at No. 8 in the nation for the second straight week. 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.

ANOTHER ITA ADVENTURE AHEAD        
USC whipped up another solid win at Marks Stadium, defeating No. 24 Harvard in the championship bout of the ITA Kickoff Weekend last weekend. USC will now make its 14th straight trip to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, which will be held next month in Seattle. USC's top guns in doubles — #10 Stefan Dostanic and Bradley Frye — lived up to their billing in taking down Harvard's #11 Shi/Milavsky on court one with a 6-3 decision. Ryder Jackson and Wojtek Marek hauled in the doubles point for USC with a 6-4 win on court two.  The Trojans promptly claimed first sets on five courts in singles. USC freshman Ryan Colby had a laser focus on a big win in his first match against the Crimson, sizzling his way to a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ronan Jachuck on court five to put the Trojans up 2-0. At the No. 6 slot, Ryder Jackson delivered a smooth 6-2, 6-2 victory over Steven Sun to extend the lead. With all eyes on the clincher, #35 Peter Makk stepped up, shrugging off his second set loss to #86 Daniel Milavsy to pin up a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 decision that sealed the deal on USC's win over the Crimson with a 4-0 score on the board. That suspended matches on courts one, two and three, where #6 Stefan Dostanic, #70 Bradley Frye and Wojtek Marek were in tight third sets with their respective Harvard foes.
 
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 23 singles wins in his junior campaign so far. Just last weekend senior Bradley Frye joined Dostanic with double-digit wins, now with 12 to his name. Freshman Peter Makk got win number 10 last weekend, and on the cusp of joining the double-digit win zone is sophomore Lodewijk Weststrate with nine. In doubles, #10 Dostanic/Frye have played the most matches together and boast the most wins with their 10-3 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. •