Riley Smith Named Pac-12 Player of the Week|
March 20, 2017
The USC men’s tennis team's hottest hand right now belongs to freshman Riley Smith, who has ridden a 10-match singles win streak to his first selection as Pac-12 Player of the Week. Smith collected four singles wins and four doubles victories during a stretch of five matches last week, including a perfect singles run at the BNP Paribas Collegiate Cup in Indian Wells. Smith’s selection as Pac-12 Player of the Week makes him the second Trojan to win the award this season and brings the program its 50th all-time weekly honor from the conference on the men’s side.
Smith’s winning week opened up with a hand in USC’s 7-0 sweep of Lehigh, as he and fellow freshman — and fellow Pac-12 Player of the Week honoree this year — Brandon Holt whipped up a 6-2 victory at the No. 1 doubles spot. Smith would not play singles in that one, but he’d step up as a crucial cog in the next four contests, winning all four of his singles matches to log either the first or second singles point in each match. In doubles, Smith and Holt took losses in the Texas Tech and Oklahoma matches, but came up with key wins against South Florida and Baylor to help the Trojans claim the doubles point.
In singles, Smith continued his winning ways with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Jackson Cobb in USC’s 4-3 victory over Texas Tech at Marks Stadium. Out in Indian Wells, Smith captured a 6-0, 6-4 win over Pierre Luquet to anchor a 4-0 shutout of South Florida before snagging a 6-4, 6-3 win over Adrian Oetzbach in a 4-1 win over No. 9 Oklahoma. And in the championship match against No. 6 Baylor, Smith again reigned supreme on court six with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Constantin Frantzen to lock up the freshman’s 10th consecutive singles win. Smith is now 19-6 overall in singles play while he and Holt hold a 19-4 record together in doubles play this season.
Smith and the Trojans have a week off of competition after this last busy stretch and next set up for the opening of Pac-12 play with clashes against Oregon and Washington on March 30 and April 1, respectively, at Marks Stadium.