March 3, 2015
USC Men's Tennis Release
The No. 6 USC men look to get their feet back underneath them after stumbling in a tight loss last week to visiting Tulsa. This week, the Trojans (10-2) can right the ship when they take a trip to La Jolla to take on No. 32 San Diego in a 2 p.m. match on Thursday (March 5). Following that, USC will turn to doubles action with competition at the Pacific Coast Doubles Championships, held March 5-8 at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.
ITA RANKINGS UPDATES
THE LAST MEETING
February 27, 2014
La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
No. 2 USC Men Take Down The Toreros 6-0
The No. 2 USC men's tennis team dished out a shutout win over No. 62 San Diego today in La Jolla, playing an abbreviated match in which the Trojans and Toreros opted out of doubles play in order to get singles action underway. USC would win them all, scoring straight-set victories on five courts en route to a 6-0 sweep of San Diego. The Trojans now hold a 10-2 overall record on the year.
The Trojans --- winners of five NCAA Championships in the past six years and the nation's leader with 21 total titles -- opened their 2015 campaign ranked No. 1 in the nation. USC was at No. 2 for one cycle after taking second at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, but bounced back to No. 1 on Feb. 24. The Trojans' upset loss to No. 51 Tulsa, however, has dropped USC to No. 6 in the latest set of national rankings (March 3). The No. 6 rank is USC's lowest since standing at No. 7 in the March 8, 2011 team rankings. Individually, USC remains stacked in the rankings department. Seniors Yannick Hanfmann
and Roberto Quiroz
opened the year tabbed at #1 in doubles, and have since move to #2 in the latest set of individual rankings, released Feb. 24. Yannick Hanfmann
remains USC's highest ranked singles player, weighing in at #6 in the nation as he continues his senior season. Fellow senior Roberto Quiroz
is next in line, now ranked at #20 in the nation in singles. Joining that pair in the singles rankings are #31 Jonny Wang
, #45 Nick Crystal
and #72 Max de Vroome
. Also in doubles, USC has #30 Max de Vroome
and Eric Johnson
teaming up for a spot in the rankings.
The No. 32 Toreros are 8-2 overall after a 6-1 win over LMU last week. San Diego has #68 Filip Vittek and #115 Uros Petronijevic nationally ranked in singles, with no teams ranked in doubles. USC is 36-3 all-time against the Toreros after a 6-0 win last season in La Jolla. The Toreros are coached by former USC assistant coach Brett Masi, who was on staff with Peter Smith for USC's 2009 NCAA Championship.
USC followed up a solid 6-1 win over No. 37 Stanford with a surprising 4-3 upset loss to No. 51 Tulsa the next day. Against the Cardinal, USC dropped the doubles point but regrouped in singles. Eric Johnson blasted through his match with a win 6-3, 6-1 on court three -- the senior's seventh straight singles win. On court six, #45 Nick Crystal was close behind as he sprinted through his match to win 6-1, 6-3 to also keep his win streak alive and well, now at eight singles wins in a row. Now up 2-1 on the Cardinal, the Trojans continued to push. Court one was full of action as USC's #2 Yannick Hanfmann was able to collect a win 6-4, 6-4 to set up the Trojans for a clincher. After his doubles match loss, #20 Roberto Quiroz was fired up for revenge and secured victory for USC with his 6-4, 6-4 win. Per the coaches' decision, the rest of the matches were played out, and the match wrapped as a 6-1 USC victory after wins from #31 Jonny Wang and #72 Max de Vroome. The next day, USC added some new faces to the lineup, and the Trojans were effective in snagging a quick doubles point over No. 51 Tulsa with three new doubles pairings: Johnson and Quiroz on court one, Hanfmann and Wang on court two, and Tanner Smith and Thibault Forget on court three. Freshman duo Smith/Forget powered through their match against Tulsa's No. 33 Bautista/Espejo and finished with a dominating 6-0 score. Soon after, seniors Hanfmann/Wang closed out their match with a strong 6-1 score to collect the doubles point. But the tide would soon turn on the Trojans. On court one, #6 Hanfmann was served his first singles loss of the season, falling 6-3, 6-2 to Tulsa's #71 Or Ram-Harel to tie up the score at 1-1. #31 Wang got USC back on top with a 7-5, 6-0 win on court three, but again Tulsa would strike back. On court two, USC's #20 Quiroz took a 6-4, 7-6 (0) loss to Alejandro Espejo, and it was tied up again at 2-2. The rest of the singles matches came down to the wire, as three sets appeared to be the trend for the remainder of the day. Sophomore Connor Farren was in an all-out war with Dylan McCloskey as that No. 6 match came down to a third-set tiebreaker, where Tulsa nabbed another point on a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (6) decision. With only two courts left competing, all eyes were on court five as it appeared it would finish first. USC's Rob Bellamy battled back to force a third set, but this one, too, would wind up in a tiebreaker. Again, Tulsa would prevail, and this one would stand as the clincher. Bellamy got stuck with a 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5) loss to Mitchel Pritchard as Tulsa held a winning 4-2 advantage on its top-ranked host. USC's de Vroome ended the day's action with a win, but the match was already in Tulsa's hands.
ITA INDOORS RECAP
Last month in Chicago at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, the top-seeded Trojans worked their way to the title match for the fourth straight season. Opening up against No. 22 Penn State in their Round of 16 match, the Trojans swept through to a 4-0 win to advance. That pushed USC into a quarterfinal clash against Ohio State, which had beaten the Trojans in last year's championship match. USC found revenge in this year's matchup. The clincher came from top gun Yannick Hanfmann for the second straight match, with the senior's win on court one wrapping up a 4-1 victory for the Trojans to advance. In the semis, USC tangled with No. 4 Georgia for the second time in two weeks, having silenced the Bulldogs in Athens to start the month. This time, Georgia was able to grab the doubles point, but the Trojans charged back with four singles wins, capped by the clincher from senior Roberto Quiroz for the 4-1 comeback. That earned the Trojans yet another championship rematch, pitting USC against Oklahoma for the first time since the Trojans beat the Sooners in last year's NCAA Championship. This time, the Sooners took a 2-0 lead on the Trojans before senior Eric Johnson continued his winning ways with yet another singles victory to cut the margin down to 2-1. Oklahoma got ahead 3-1 next before Nick Crystal pulled off a three-set comeback win on court six to keep USC within reach, only to see the Sooners get the clincher with a three-setter on court five to ring up a 4-2 victory over the Trojans. After the close of the event, USC landed several Trojans on the ITA National Indoor All-Tournament Team for their powerful efforts in Chicago. In singles, Yannick Hanfmann was named to the No. 1 spot, Eric Johnson picked up the No. 4 singles spot, and Nick Crystal earned his place at No. 6. In doubles, Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson were tabbed on the All-Tourney Team at No. 2 doubles.
USC senior Eric Johnson was instrumental in driving the USC men to a fourth straight trip to the final of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. He pinned up straight-set singles wins in the Round of 16, quarterfinal and semifinal to move USC into the title match. In doubles, he also was victorious alongside teammate Max de Vroome in the first two matches, while having his match suspended in the semifinal. He beat a ranked opponent in the quarterfinal round, topping #68 Ralf Steinbach of Ohio State to help USC win that match - a rematch of the 2014 ITA Indoors title match. In the final, Johnson was the only Trojan to win out in doubles and singles as USC fell 4-2 to No. 2 Oklahoma. The singles win marked Johnson's sixth straight victory and gave him an 8-1 mark in dual-match singles play. For his efforts, Johnson not only was named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Feb. 23 for the first time in his career, he earned multiple honors on the ITA National Team Indoor All-Tournament Team. He secured spots on team for his work at No. 4 singles and at No. 2 doubles with de Vroome. Johnson currently rides a seven-match singles win streak to hold a 13-7 overall record with a 9-1 mark in dual matches.
ROBERTO RULES IN ATHENS
USC senior Roberto Quiroz secured his fifth career selection as the Pac-12 Player of the Week with a powerful performance in Athens, Ga., at the Pac-12/SEC Showdown. Quiroz was victorious across the board in USC's winning weekend. The senior whipped up doubles wins in both matches to help USC pocket the first point in both eventual Trojan wins. The momentum he gathered up in doubles would propel Quiroz to two quick straight-set victories in singles. Against Florida's #81 Elliott Orkin, Quiroz' 6-2, 7-5 win lifted USC to a 2-0 lead over the Gators, en route to a final 5-2 victory. The next day, Quiroz whipped up the first singles win for the Trojans once again. This one was a big one, as the #68 Quiroz upset Georgia's #15 Nathan Pasha with a 7-5, 6-2 win to again put USC ahead 2-0 on the way to a final 4-0 shutout of the Bulldogs from his court two spot. The USC men are now 5-0 overall with the winning road trip. Quiroz is now 14-4 overall in singles play and is 6-2 in dual matches.
CRYSTAL SHINES THROUGH
Nick Crystal pinned up two powerful singles wins to help drive the Trojans through two sweeps of opponents at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Crystal also was victorious in his doubles match vs. Louisiana alongside Connor Farren to help spark USC in its opening win over the weekend and push him on to a selection as the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Jan. 26. It's the first career honor for Crystal, and he's the first Trojan to win the award this season. Crystal was the first to win his singles match on both days, taking USC to a 2-0 lead against #73 Louisiana and then also against #57 Santa Clara. Crystal stands as USC's winningest player to date this season, now holding a 19-3 overall record in singles play. He's also now 8-0 in dual matches thanks to an eight-match singles win streak.
BREAKING GROUND ON NEW DIGS
The USC men's and women's tennis teams have called the David X. Marks Tennis Stadium home since its construction in 1971. This year, Trojan tennis will see its home revamped and renovated, bringing the venue up to date and in line with the impressive accomplishments of both programs. A ceremony to kickstart the renovation of Marks Stadium, which includes breaking ground on the Buntmann Family Tennis Center, was held on Tuesday (Feb. 24). Goals for this renovation are to elevate Marks Tennis Stadium to be on par with the best facilities in the country by creating an inviting, elegant, bright and safe training and competition environment. The Buntmann Family Tennis Center entrance and lobby will welcome fans and visitors and put on display the rich history of USC tennis. To improve the building functionality and support the tennis program operations, the new Lisa and Douglas Goldman Family Student-Athlete Learning Studio will support direct collaboration between coaches, staff and athletes on a daily basis. The teams will be able to utilize and enjoy brand-new suites with lockers, showers, team meeting rooms and lounges. Both teams will have access to a new training room, a stringing storage area and a large multi-purpose room. To better accommodate and enhance the spectator experience, new spectator shade canopies will be added, a new elevator to the seating area will be installed. In addition to the lead gift from the Buntmann family, the renovation has been made possible thanks to financial support from the Lisa and Douglas Goldman family, the Fritz B. Burns Foundation, John Shea and Michael Uytengsu. The renovation is expected to be complete for Spring 2016.
2015 TROJANS AT A GLANCE
The Trojans enter 2015 looking to add to their growing collection of recent NCAA championships. USC's fifth title in the past six years netted the university its 100th all-time NCAA Championship last year. The 2015 Trojans are certainly up to the task of defending that crown, thanks in part to a set of five Trojans who opened the season in the national singles rankings as well as the top-ranked doubles team in the land. USC seniors Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz began 2015 as the nation's #1 pair, standing as the 2014 ITA National Indoor doubles champs and finalists at the ITA All-American in the fall. Both All-Americans, the seniors also appear on the singles list. Hanfmann reigns supreme as the highest ranking Trojan of them all, standing out at #3 in the nation. He reached the singles final at the ITA All-American and reached the quarterfinals at the ITA National Indoors. Next in line is another USC senior. Jonny Wang enjoys easily his highest post of his Trojan career, ranking #8 in the nation after a powerful fall campaign. Wang was a finalist at the ITA Southwest Regional Championships and reached the Round of 16 at the ITA All-American and ITA National Indoors. Sophomore Nick Crystal, meanwhile, stands at #58 in the nation. He reached the final of the USTA Clay Court Invitational and swept the titles at the Battle in the Bay in the fall. Senior Roberto Quiroz was limited in his action during the fall, and picks up a #68 ranking to start the spring, having reached the Round of 32 at the ITA All-American. Rounding out the USC rankings list is junior Max de Vroome -- clincher of the 2014 NCAA Championship victory. The junior reached the ITA Southwest Regional semifinals during the fall.