No. 13 USC Men’s Tennis Rides 12-Match Win Streak Into NCAA Super Regional
No. 13 USC is fresh off a 15th consecutive winning start to NCAA Team play as the Trojans take yet another trip to the NCAA Round of 16 — slated for team host sites as the NCAA Super Regional. USC (23-5) will ship off to Columbus, Ohio, to take on No. 4 seed Ohio State (26-3) at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday (May 14). The winner of that match will advance to the NCAA Championship site for competition running May 19-22 in Champaign, Ill.
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 M ay 4), USC stands at No. 13 in the land. Individual rankings also were released on May 4, with four Trojans currently ranked in singles. Junior Stefan Dostanic is standing tall at #7 in the nation. He is joined by #56 Peter Makk, #105 Bradley Frye and #117 Lodewijk Weststrate on the list. In doubles, USC has Dostanic and Frye now standing at #7 in the land, while Makk and Weststrate are on the map at #76.
Under the direction of head coach Brett Masi for the third season, USC is in the midst of its 15th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournamentand its 43rd overall appearance. Now carrying a 23-5 overall record, the No. 12-seeded Trojans have extended their stretch of reaching at least the NCAA Round of 16 in the past 15 tournaments held. With five NCAA crowns claimed since 2009, USC continues to lead the nation with 21 national championships all-time, and holds a 110-37 overall record in the NCAA Tournament. USC was a No. 12 seed in 2021 in a run to the NCAA Quarterfinals. During USC's current 15-year run of NCAA appearances, USC has been seeded No. 1 (2012 & 2014), No. 2 (2011), No. 4 (2013 & 2017), No. 5 (2010), No. 7 (2015), No. 8 (2009 & 2019), No. 10 (2016 & 2018), No. 12 (2007 & 2021) and No. 13 (2022) — with NCAA titles captured in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.
TROJANS TO DATE
USC secured its place in the 2022 NCAA Tournament as an automatic qualifier after its dominating run to the Pac-12 Tournament Championship. That title was the third consecutive conference crown and sixth overall for the Trojans, securing the 32nd 20-win season all-time by the Trojans. In the last NCAA tourney, USC was a No. 12 seed and reached the 2021 NCAA Quarterfinals. Ranked No. 13 in the nation in the latest poll, 13th-seeded USC has a roster balanced by veteran and up-and-coming young talent. With momentum gained from the Pac-12 Championship, USC also boasts four ranked singles players as well as two ranked doubles pairs. That includes top-10 spots for #7 Stefan Dostanic in singles and #7 Dostanic and Bradley Frye in doubles.
USC made another victorious home stand in stretching its win streak out to 12 in a row as the Trojans tallied a 4-0 win over Nevada in the NCAA First Round and followed that with a 4-1 win over San Diego in the Round of 16 last weekend at Marks Stadium. Against the Wolfpack, USC pulled out a tight doubles point before hitting the gas in singles. The Trojans and the Wolfpack matched one another in doubles play as USC's Wojtek Marek and Samuel Rubell emerged with a 6-1 win on court three in just their second pairing together. Nevada fired back with a 6-3 win on court two, putting all the pressure on court one to decide the opening point. Pushed to the brink, USC's #7 Stefan Dostanic and Bradley Frye fended off Nevada's upset-minded Coupu/N'tcha in a tiebreaker to get a 7-6 (6) decision that had USC on top 1-0 to bring up singles. USC would score the opening sets on the top five courts to build out its advantage. On court two, #105 Bradley Frye scooped up a 6-2, 6-1 win over Juan Batalla to make it 2-0 Trojans, and then #7 Stefan Dostanic mirrored that score at the No. 1 spot to beat Matheo Coupu and get USC in position, up 3-0. Three Trojans were leading in their second sets at that point, but it was #56 Peter Makk who hit the finish line first. The freshman topped Satchel Benn 6-4, 6-1 for the clincher, and the Trojans were officially on their way to the next round of NCAA play. Against the No. 17 Toreros in the Second Round, it was USC's #7 Stefan Dostanic clinching things with a straight-set win over San Diego's #6 August Holmgren. The win was Dostanic's 19th straight, giving him 37 singles wins this season. In order to earn that right, USC had to go through the No. 17 Toreros today. The Trojans opened up by capturing the doubles point for the seventh straight match. Courts two and three hauled in that first point for the hosts, as #76 Makk and Lodewijk Weststrate teamed up for a 6-2 win at the No. 2 spot. On court three, Marek and Rubell grabbed another win with a 6-3 decision that suspended action on court one and plugged a 1-0 lead on the board for USC. San Diego struck back with a straight-set win on court six, as Will Davies upended USC's #121 Weststrate 6-4, 6-1 to snarl things up at 1-1. At the No. 4 spot, USC's #56 Makk stayed in winning form, stretching his singles win streak out eight as he collected a 6-0, 7-5 win over Alex Slater to nudge his Trojans back on top. Fellow freshman Ryan Colby responded next, topping David Norfeldt 6-3, 6-3, and USC was up 3-1. That set the table for #7 Dostanic's top-10 takedown on court one. The junior's 37th win of the season — most by a Trojan since 2012-13 — came on a 6-3, 6-4 victory over USD's #6 Holmgren and secured USC's 15th consecutive ticket to the NCAA Round of 16.
USC worked its way to its third straight Pac-12 Tournament title after a dominant showing in Ojai, dropping only one singles match during the run to the Trojans' sixth overall conference crown. The No. 2 seed in the tourney, USC cruised past No. 7 seeded Cal 4-0 in the quarterfinals with the clincher coming from Samuel Rubell to get the Trojans to the semifinals for the 10th consecutive time. Against No. 3 seed Stanford in the semis, USC snagged another speedy doubles point and then pressed on to claim three straight-set singes victories on wins from Bradley Frye, Lodewijk Weststrate, and Ryan Colby. In the title match for the ninth time, USC flexed their doubles muscles early against an upset-minded No. 6 seeded Washington, whipping up a 1-0 lead with a couple swift wins. In singles, Ryan Colby left no doubt in his court four match, as the freshman hit the gas for a 6-3, 6-1 win that tugged the Trojans ahead 2-0. The Huskies answered back with a win on court six, but USC had another straight-set win on the agenda. At the No. 3 spot, #56 Peter Makk remained in victory mode as he notched a 6-1, 7-6 (4) win to get it to 3-1 USC. The other three matches, meanwhile, were stretched into three sets, with Washington fighting back to force a third on court five, while Trojans Stefan Dostanic and Bradley Frye had shifted their momentum to bring up third sets on their courts. It would be Frye who hit the finish line first, having shrugged off a tiebreak loss in the first set before churning out solid performances in the next two. He brought the hammer down from the service line to come through with a 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-3 comeback clincher from court two to haul in another trophy for his Trojans.
NCAA INDIVIDUAL ACTION
USC has a fresh set of faces heading into their first NCAA Individual competition, with two Trojans locked in for singles play and one USC doubles duo in that draw. Junior Stefan Dostanic and freshman Peter Makk have secured their first spots in the 64-player NCAA Singles draw, while Dostanic and senior Bradley Frye will make their NCAA doubles debut together. As the No. 7 seed in the NCAA Singles draw, Dostanic has already guaranteed himself his first round of ITA All-America honors. He'll double down on that alongside Frye as a No. 5-8 seeded pair in NCAA Doubles, locking up All-America status there, too. Dostanic was the automatic qualifier in singles and in doubles with Frye as the top representatives out of the Pac-12. Dostanic currently carries a 17-match singles win streak and boasts a 35-4 overall singles record, marking the most single-season wins by a Trojan since 2012-13. This year, he rose to a career-best singles ranking of No. 2 in the nation, and he currently sits at No. 7 in the land. Makk, meanwhile, grips a nice win streak of his own. He's won nine straight singles matches as the freshman, and at 25-11 overall in singles, he boasts the second most wins by a Trojan this season. USC's top doubles duo — Dostanic and Frye — grip a 24-9 overall record to date. They've ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation this year and are currently slotted at No. 7. Both will be making their first trips into NCAA Individual action with this year's No. 5-8 seeding into the tourney.
BY THE NUMBERS
USC's winningest player to date continues to be junior Stefan Dostanic, who has churned out 37 singles wins while riding a 19-match win streak. Five other Trojans now join him with double-digit wins on the singles side, with freshman Peter Makk and holding 25 wins, freshman Ryan Colby and senior Bradley Frye with 20 each, sophomore Lodewijk Weststrate with 18, and junior Ryder Jackson with 11. In doubles, Dostanic/Frye have played the most matches together and boast the most wins with their 24-9 record together to date.
USC men's tennis is enjoying a bumper crop of Pac-12 awards with a near-sweep of the top honors. For the second straight season, USC boasts the Pac-12 Singles Player of the Year and the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year, although there are new faces in those spots. Junior Stefan Dostanic is the Singles Player of the Year as well as being alongside Bradley Frye for Doubles Team of the Year accolades. And weighing in with his first pick as Pac-12 Coach of the Year is Brett Masi'.
BRETT MASI: COACH OF THE YEAR
Head coach Brett Masi's selection as Pac-12 Coach of the Year is his first and the 12th such honor by a USC head coach in program history. Overall, he is the fourth Trojan to win the award. Under Masi's direction this season — the first played under "normal" conditions since Masi started in 2019 — the Trojans claimed their third consecutive Pac-12 Tournament title and have laid claim to the 32rd 20-win season in program history.
STEFAN DOSTANIC: SINGLES & DOUBLES SWEEP
Junior Stefan Dostanic's pick as the Pac-12 Singles Player of the Year is the 12th for a Trojan all-time. Also standing out as half of this year's Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year, he is the fifth Trojan to sweep those two awards in a season. Dostanic's standout junior campaign has seen him rise as high as No. 2 in the nation in singles — he's currently No. 7 — and gather up 35 singles wins to date to mark the most by a Trojan in a single season since 2016-17. He also has a spot on the 2022 All-Pac-12 First Team, an upgrade from last year's Honorable Mention. As the recently-revealed No. 7 seed in the coming NCAA Singles draw and a No. 5-8 seed with Frye in the NCAA Doubles competition, Dostanic has already also secured his first ITA All-America honors. In doubles, Dostanic and Bradley Frye carry a 23-9 overall record into NCAA play. They've ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation this year and are currently slotted at No. 7.
BRADLEY FRYE: TOP DOUBLES & SECOND TEAM
Dostanic's partner in crime, senior Bradley Frye, has paired his Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year honor — the seventh time USC has claimed that award — with a place on the All-Pac-12 Second Team. It's an upgrade for him as well, following 2021 Honorable Mention. And Frye, in joining Dostanic in the NCAA Doubles draw for the first time, also has laid claim to ITA All-America status. In singles, Frye has clinched six dual matches, including the recent Pac-12 Tournament title. He's currently ranked No. 105 in the nation in singles.
YOUNG GUNS: HONORABLE MENTION
USC's five-pack earning All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention are all first-time recipients aside from sophomore Lodewijk Weststrate, who has repeat honors the books now. He's joined on this year's list by freshmen Ryan Colby and Peter Makk, along with sophomore newcomer Samuel Rubell and junior Ryder Jackson. All five have been instrumental in the USC lineup, which surrendered just one individual match during the Trojans' run to the 2022 Pac-12 Tournament Championship. Four of the five have collected double-digit singles wins to date, led by NCAA singles-bound Makk's 23 victories. The group as a whole has also combined forces to clinch 15 of USC's 21 dual-match wins to date. Freshman Colby has seven of those clinchers. In the latest ITA national rankings, these honorable mention selections include No. 56 Makk and No. 121 Weststrate in singles, while those two have combined for a No. 76 ranking together in doubles.
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. •