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No. 5 USC Men’s Tennis Hosts Rival UCLA On Tuesday At Marks Stadium

Feb 28, 2022

THIS WEEK        
No. 5 USC's next action brings the Trojans back to Marks Stadium for a crosstown rivalry clash against UCLA. The Trojans and Bruins will square off at 3 p.m. on Tuesday (March 1). There will be pizza provided for fans, as well as Trojan Tennis t-shirts at this match!

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. 23), USC earned its highest rank of the year, now at No. 5 in the land. Individual preseason rankings were released on Feb. 24, with four Trojans ranked in singles. Junior Stefan Dostanic sticks in the top 10 with his #4 in the nation, followed by a career-best #26 for Peter Makk, along with #40 Lodewijk Weststrate and #122 Bradley Frye on the list. In doubles, USC has Dostanic and Frye also still locked into the top 10 at #10 in the land.

USC scored the doubles point but failed to make its signature singles rally, taking a 4-2 loss at Pepperdine in Malibu. The Trojans captured the doubles point for the first time in six matches, sparked by a solid 6-1 win from #10 Stefan Dostanic and Bradley Frye on court one. The Waves snagged a victory on court three, but USC responded from court two with Ryder Jackson and Wojtek Marek keeping their perfect dual-match record together intact with a 6-4 win that marked their third win together on court two while plugging a 1-0 lead on the board for the Trojans. As the teams segued into singles, Pepperdine claimed the first sets on five courts, with just #4 Trojan Stefan Dostanic winning his opening set against his Wave opponent. Pepperdine equalized things when Corrado Summaria topped USC's #40 Lodewijk Weststrate 6-1, 6-4 on court five, and then took the lead on a 6-4, 6-4 win from Eric Hadigan over USC freshman Ryan Colby on court six. The reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week, #26 Peter Makk, gave USC a lift with his fifth straight win on an 0-6, 6-2, 61 comeback effort to beat #49 Pietro Fellin on court three, evening it up at 2-2. Pepperdine fired back and pulled into position on #24 Andrew Rogers' 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over USC's #122 Bradley Frye at the No. 4 spot, and then the Waves would clinch it when USC freshman Wojtek Marek was dealt his first singles loss as a Trojan. Up against #111 Tim Zeitvogel on court two, Marek was edged out 6-3, 7-6 (3) as Pepperdine got the 4-2 win over the Trojans.

USC freshman Peter Makk won three singles matches for the Trojans in Seattle last week and secured himself as USC's first winner of a Pac-12 Player of the Week honor this year with his selection on Feb. 22. Makk's work helped the No. 11 Trojans to three wins in four matches, including 4-1 decisions over No. 15 Mississippi and No. 8 Stanford at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. Makk opened the week with the cinching victory against Portland. His singles match against No. 10 Kentucky in the opening round of ITA Indoors was suspended, but he'd bounce back with straight-set wins in USC's next two matches against the Rebels and the Cardinal. In the rematch with Stanford, Makk avenged his only dual-match loss of the year with a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 49 Max Basing on court four. Now ranked No. 26 in the nation in singles, Makk holds a four-match win streak and boasts the second most singles wins on the team to date with his 14-6 mark.

USC avenged an earlier loss to Stanford by turning the tide on the No. 8 Cardinal in Seattle for a 4-1 comeback win in consolation play at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. In doing so, USC avenged an earlier loss taken to the Cardinal in Palo Alto. To get this one, USC steamrolled its way through singles play, rebounding from losing the doubles point with a string of straight-set singles wins. Lodewijk Weststrate registered the clincher in this one to help USC to an 8-2 overall record with its second win at the ITA event in Seattle. Stanford snagged the doubles point with  6-3 decisions on courts one and three to get the early leg up in this one. USC responded by taking the first sets on five courts in singles. The Trojans would keep their feet on the gas, sparked first by #46 Peter Makk's 6-1, 6-4 victory over Stanford's #46 Max Basing on court four to snarl things up at 1-1. Senior Bradley Frye came through next with a swift 6-1, 6-4 win of his own over #74 Axel Geller at the No. 3 spot. Pulling the Trojans into position was freshman Ryan Colby on court six, where his 6-3, 6-2 win over Tomas Kopczynski made it 3-1 USC. Two Trojans were pressing for the clincher, and it would be Lodewijk Weststrate who hit the finish line first with a  6-3, 6-3 win over #108 Aryan Chaudhary on court five. That gave USC the win and suspended a top-four battle on court one, where USC's #4 Stefan Dostanic was leading Stanford's #1 Arthur Fery 7-5, 5-2 when action came to a halt.

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.

USC's winningest player to date is newcomer Stefan Dostanic, who has churned out 25 singles wins while riding a seven-match win streak. Three Trojans now join him with double-digit wins on the singles side, with freshman Peter Makk holding 15 wins and senior Bradley Frye at 13. Sophomore Lodewijk Weststrate, meanwhile, weighs in with 11. In doubles, #3 Dostanic/Frye have played the most matches together and boast the most wins with their 12-7 record together to date.

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. •