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More Action At Marks Stadium As No. 15 USC Men’s Tennis Hosts Stanford & Cal

Mar 24, 2022

THIS WEEK        
No. 15 USC (11-5, 1-1 Pac-12) tops off its seven-match home stand with two Pac-12 tilts this week at Marks Stadium. On Friday (March 25), USC hosts No. 13 Stanford at 3 p.m. in a rubber match that has important implications in the Pac-12 race. And on Saturday (March 26), the Trojans take on No. 27 California at 1 p.m. in another key conference clash.

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 March 23), USC stands at No. 15 in the land. Individual preseason rankings also were released on March 23, with four Trojans ranked in singles. Junior Stefan Dostanic sticks in the top 10 with a spot at #6 in the nation, followed by a #46 slot for Peter Makk, along with #73 Lodewijk Weststrate and #116 Bradley Frye on the list. In doubles, USC has Dostanic and Frye now standing at #17 in the land.

SCOUTING STANFORD        
The No. 13 Cardinal is 11-2 overall and 0-1 in Pac-12 play after a 6-1 win over San Francisco in its last action. Stanford has two players ranked in singles: #2 Arthur Fery and #58 Max Basing. In doubles, Stanford has #15 Fery/Rotsaert and #48 Fery/Geller in the rankings. In a series dating back to 1925, USC is 120-82 all-time against Stanford after the teams split matches so far this year. The Cardinal beat USC 4-1 in Stanford in February, and then the Trojans avenged that with a 4-1 win weeks later in consolation play at ITA National Team Indoors in Seattle.

SCOUTING CAL        
The No. 27 Golden Bears enter the week at 10-3 overall and 1-1 in Pac-12 play after beating Purdue 5-2, Yale 4-3 and Cal Poly 6-1 last week. Cal has #102 Yuta Kikuchi ranked in singles. In doubles, Cal has #28 Kikuchi/Overbeck in the rankings. In a series dating back to 1927, USC is 145-35 all-time against Cal after a 4-2 win last month in Berkeley. Cal is coached by former USC associate head coach Kris Kwinta, who took over the Bears program in fall 2021.

LAST ACTION        
USC had a busy Spring Break last week, hosting three opponents at Marks Stadium. All three battles wound up as 4-3 scorelines, as the Trojans fell to Texas, beat Arizona State and dropped one to Arizona to go to 11-5 overall and 1-1 in Pac-12 play. USC claimed the doubles point in all three matches, and both Stefan Dostanic and Ryan Colby would come through with singles wins in each match. Bradley Frye claimed the clincher to secure USC's 4-3 win over the Sun Devils, but the Trojans were unable to get a third singles victory against the Longhorns and the Wildcats.

THIS IS 30    
After going undefeated in singles and doubles across the Trojans' three dual matches last week, junior Stefan Dostanic scored his 30th singles win and secured his second career selection as Pac-12 Men's Tennis Player of the Week. Paired with partner Bradley Frye at the No. 1 position in doubles, Dostanic collected two decisive wins and one tiebreaker victory for a 3-0 effort in doubles. And on court one in singles, the now-No. 6 ranked player in the nation beat two ranked opponents in straight sets and claimed a three-set comeback victory as well to extend his singles win streak out to 12 in a row. Dostanic is the second Trojan to be named Pac-12 Player of the Week this season, joining freshman Peter Makk's pick on Feb. 22. Dostanic's first such honor came last season.

MAKK ON THE ATTACK    
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. 46 in the nation in singles, Makk boasts the second most singles wins on the team to date with his 16-10 mark.

REVENGE IN SEATTLE    
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.

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 boasted a 20-4 overall record in this 2021-22 campaign.

BY THE NUMBERS    
USC's winningest player to date is junior Stefan Dostanic, who has churned out 30 singles wins while riding a 12-match win streak. Five other Trojans now join him with double-digit wins on the singles side, with freshman Peter Makk holding 16 wins, senior Bradley Frye at 14 and freshman Ryan Colby is next in line with 13 to his name. Junior Ryder Jackson and sophomore Lodewijk Weststrate, meanwhile, now weigh in with 12 each. In doubles, #14 Dostanic/Frye have played the most matches together and boast the most wins with their 15-8 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. •