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No. 13 USC Men’s Tennis Heads North For Pac-12 Tests At Oregon And Washington

Mar 30, 2022

THIS WEEK        
No. 13 USC (12-5, 3-1 Pac-12) looks to collect a couple more conference wins this week with its first road trip since late February. The Trojans are first due to visit Oregon (9-7, 0-2) for a 1:30 p.m. Pac-12 match on Friday (April 1) in Eugene, Ore. From there, USC travels to Seattle to take on Washington (13-5, 1-1) at 12 p.m. on Sunday (April 3).

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.

The No. 44 Ducks are 9-7 overall and 0-2 in Pac-12 play after a 4-0 loss to Utah last week. Oregon has #79 Joshua Charlton ranked in singles. In doubles, Oregon has #25 Charlton/Vandecasteele in the rankings. In a series dating back to 1972, USC is 26-0 all-time against Oregon after claiming two wins last season — a 5-2 win at Marks Stadium and then a 4-1 victory in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament in San Diego.

The No. 50 Huskies enter the week at 13-5 overall and 1-1 in Pac-12 play after a 4-0 loss to Utah last week. Washington has two players ranked in singles: #4 Clement Chidekh and #100 Ewen Lumsden. In doubles, UW has #34 Chidekh/Suko in the rankings. In a series dating back to 1963, USC is 32-5 all-time against Washington after a 4-0 win at Marks Stadium last year.

USC had two incredibly tight Pac-12 tilts last week, and the Trojans pulled out both of them in dramatic fashion. In a rubber match against No. 13 Stanford, USC gutted out a gritty 4-3 win at Marks Stadium, with freshman Ryan Colby collecting the clincher to net a Pac-12 win for the Trojans. USC had snagged a tight doubles point before moving into a tight singles scene that saw Stanford draw even three times to set up Colby's heroics on court four, where he beat Alexandre Rotsaert 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5). The next day, USC took it down to the wire once again at Marks Stadium, with clinching heroics coming from Bradley Frye's spot on court two. The senior shrugged off four match points during his third-set tiebreaker and brought the match to close with an impressive finish on a 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7) win over Philip Hjorth that gave the Trojans a 4-2 victory over visiting No. 27 California. Frye and Stefan Dostanic combined forces to secure the doubles points in both matches, while Dostanic stood tall as the only Trojan to win both his singles matches. He'd top two ranked foes in Stanford's #2 Arthur Fery and Cal's #103 Yuta Kikuchi — both in straight sets — to extend his singles win streak out to 14 in a row.

USC's winningest player to date is junior Stefan Dostanic, who has churned out 32 singles wins while riding a 14-match win streak. Five other Trojans now join him with double-digit wins on the singles side, with freshman Peter Makk holding 17 wins, senior Bradley Frye at 15 and freshman Ryan Colby is next in line with 14 to his name. Sophomore Lodewijk Weststrate, meanwhile, now weighs in with 13 win, followed by junior Ryder Jackson with 11. In doubles, #14 Dostanic/Frye have played the most matches together and boast the most wins with their 17-8 record together to date, thanks in part to the duo's current five-match win streak.

THIS IS 30    
After going undefeated in singles and doubles across three dual matches, 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 became 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.

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 17-8 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 boasted a 20-4 overall record in this 2021-22 campaign.

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. •