Men's Tennis Faces Pac-10 Foes Arizona, Arizona State
Feb. 13, 2003
This Week -- The No. 15 USC men's tennis team (4-2) hosts conference opponents No. 47 Arizona (5-1) and No. 43 Arizona State (3-2) this Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15, at Marks Tennis Stadium. The matches will not count against conference records. Friday's match will begin at 1:30 p.m., while Saturday's match starts at Noon. The Trojans earned a 6-1 victory over Cal Poly last week.
ITA Ranking Updates -- USC dropped to No. 15 when the team rankings were updated on Feb. 12. Sophomore John Berg ranked 75th in singles in the preseason poll.
USC vs. Arizona, Arizona State -- Friday's match against Arizona will marks the 82nd meeting between these two teams. The Trojans are 80-1 against the Wildcats and suffered their only loss in 1981 in Tucson. Saturday's match will be the 52nd meeting between USC and Arizona State. The Trojans are 45-6 all-time against the Sun Devils.
Match Recap (USC def. Cal Poly, 6-1) -- USC defeated Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 6-1, on Feb. 8. Playing without Prakash Amritraj, the Trojans began the afternoon with a doubles sweep to take a 1-0 lead. USC followed with two-set victories at the top three singles spots and at No. 6 to secure the victory. Parker Collins posted USC's final point as he fought for a 10-6 win in the tiebreaker to beat Davey Jones at No. 4, 6-2, 3-6, 10-6. The Mustangs only win came at No. 5 as Stacy Meronoff came from behind to defeat Jeff Kazarian, 5-7, 6-1, 11-9.
Amritraj Untouched -- Sophomore Prakash Amritraj has proven that he belongs at the top of the lineup in only his second season. Last year's NCAA Tournament MVP made the jump from No. 3 to No. 1 this year and remains undefeated in dual matches, but has not gone unchallenged, recording upset victories over Pepperdine's No. 81 Diego Acuna and UCLA's No. 12 Tobias Clemens. Amritraj did not play against Cal Poly, while competing at the Siebel Open in San Jose as an amateur.
Get The Latest Info -- Updated team stats can always be found by logging on to www.usctrojans.com. They are located on the men's tennis page under "Season Statistics."
Head Coach Peter Smith Enters First Season -- Peter Smith, who guided the Pepperdine men's tennis team to conference titles and NCAA tournament appearances in each of his five years there, is in his first year at the helm of the USC men's tennis program. Smith's collegiate coaching career includes five years (1998-2002) at Pepperdine, six years at Fresno State (1992-1997) and four years at Long Beach State (1988-1991). He boasts a 274-137 (.667) overall record and has led his teams to nine NCAA appearances and seven top 20 finishes. Last season he earned his sixth conference Coach of the Year honor (WCC) and was named the ITA Region VIII Coach of the Year.