19th-Ranked USC Men's Tennis Closes Out The Regular Season When It Faces Crosstown Rival No. 7 UCLA This Weekend|
April 13, 2005
This Week -- The 13th-ranked USC men's tennis team (11-9, 3-1) wraps up the regular season by traveling across town to face rival No. 7 UCLA (20-3, 5-1) on Friday, April 15, at 1:30 p.m. in Westwood, Calif. The match holds Lexus Gauntlet implications as the competition nears an end with the Trojans having cut the margin to five (45-40).
The 2005 squad, led by third-year head coach Peter Smith, featured seven returners and five newcomers. The Trojans came off a successful 2004 campaign in which they advanced to the NCAA Semifinals, compiled a 23-4 overall record, earned a share of the Pac-10 title (the program's 14th) with a 6-1 conference mark and completed the year ranked fourth in the ITA.
Recent Results -- The Trojans returned from the Bay Area frustrated after dropping two conference matches. Troy lost to No. 35 California, 5-2, on Saturday, April 9, in Berkeley, Calif. and ended up losing to No. 18 Stanford, 5-1, in a match that was halted Friday due to rain and finished Sunday, April 10, in Palo Alto, Calif.
ITA Ranking Updates -- The Trojans fell six spots to No. 19 this week in the most recent ITA poll released on April 12. In singles, sophomore Jamil Al-Agba remains in the top-10, coming in at No. 10, senior Drew Hoskins remains at No. 62 and Johan Berg makes his appearance at No. 93. Berg and Al-Agba show up at No. 30 in the doubles rankings.
USC vs. UCLA-- Friday's match between USC and UCLA will mark the 169th meeting between the two schools. USC is down in the series, 89-79, dating back to 1929. The Trojans won the first meeting between the two this season, 5-2, at Marks Stadium on March 1. In that match, Troy used the home court advantage and rallied back to win three singles matches after dropping the first set. Jamil Al-Agba put together a masterful performance in his upset over then-12th-ranked Luben Pampoulov, 6-4, 4-6, 4-3, ret. Senior Drew Hoskins showed his gutsy side, rallying back after dropping the first set, 1-6, and trailing in the second, 4-1, to win, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 over 10th-ranked Benjamin Kohlloeffel.
Head Coach Peter Smith -- Peter Smith, the 2004 Pac-10 Coach of the Year whose teams have now made 11 straight NCAA appearances, enters his third season as head coach of the Trojan men's tennis program. Smith's collegiate coaching career includes five years (1998-2002) at Pepperdine, six years at Fresno State (1992-1997), four years at Long Beach State (1988-1991) and two years at USC. He boasts a 307-151 (.670) overall record and has led his teams to 11 NCAA appearances, including last year's semifinal run, and nine top 25 finishes. He has been honored as conference coach of the year a total of seven times and was the 2002 ITA Region VIII Coach of the Year.