Trojans Vie For Pac-10 Championship
April 14, 2004
This Week -- The third-ranked USC men's tennis team (18-2, 5-0 Pac-10) -- enjoying its most successful regular-season campaign in 10 years -- has a shot at clinching the 2004 Pac-10 Championship with matches at No. 28 California (7-14, 2-3 Pac-10) and No. 11 Stanford (15-6, 4-1 Pac-10) this week. In the final two regular season duals of the year, the Trojans face the Bears on Friday, April 16, at 1:30 p.m. in Berkeley, then travel to take on the Cardinal on Saturday, April 17, at 1 p.m. in Stanford.
Pac-10 Title Within Reach -- USC's first Pac-10 title since 1994 is within reach as the Trojans prep for the final two matches of the season. If USC wins both matches, it would clinch the championship with an undefeated record. If the Trojans split the matches in the Bay Area, they would likely share the title with either UCLA and/or Stanford.
Best Since 1994 -- The last time USC headed into the last week of the regular season with only two losses was in 1993. That season, the Trojans were 19-2 with two matches remaining. USC eventually captured the 1993 NCAA Championship (the first of two straight) with a 22-2 record.
Five-Week Stay In Top 5 -- By remaining at No. 3 this week, USC has now spent six straight weeks in the top 5. This marks the longest stay for the Trojans in over 10 years.
Trojans On A Roll -- Since falling to 10th-ranked Duke on March 11, the Trojans have won 10 straight matches, all against ranked teams.
ITA Ranking Updates -- The Trojans remained at No. 3 in this week's ITA rankings. Five of USC's singles players are ranked, including No. 23 Adriano Biasella, No. 73 Johan Berg, No. 83 Jamil Al-Agba, No. 94 Drew Hoskins and No. 95 Ruben Torres. In doubles, Daniel Langre and Drew Hoskins are ranked No. 12.
Key Notes -- USC is 10-2 this season against top 25 teams. *** Jamil Al-Agba and Ruben Torres boast a team-best 9-1 singles record against Pac-10 opponents. *** USC has utilized 20 different doubles pairings this season (17 in dual matches), but 12th-ranked Daniel Langre and Drew Hoskins remain a consistent presence at No. 1 with a team best 11-5 record.
USC vs. California -- Friday will be the 149th meeting between USC and Cal. The Trojans are 118-30 (.797) all-time against the Bears, and defeated them 7-0 on April 3.
USC vs. Stanford -- USC and Stanford have met a total of 160 times since the series began in 1925. The Trojans own an 91-69 (.569) all-time edge against the Cardinal and won the first match-up, 4-3, on April 2.
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 -- Peter Smith, who guided the Pepperdine men's tennis team to conference titles and NCAA tournament appearances in each of his five years there, begins his second 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), four years at Long Beach State (1988-1991) and a year at USC. He boasts a 291-148 (.663) overall record and has led his teams to 10 NCAA appearances and eight top 25 finishes. He has been honored as conference coach of the year a total of six times and was the 2002 ITA Region VIII Coach of the Year.