Men's Tennis Ends Regular Season In Bay Area
April 16, 2002
This Week -- The No. 10-ranked USC men's tennis team (18-4, 4-1 Pac-10) wraps up the 2002 regular season in the Bay Area with the chance to clinch a share of the Pac-10 title. The Trojans will face No. 17 California on Friday, April 19, at 1:30 p.m. in Berkeley, then travel to No. 6 Stanford on Saturday, April 20, at noon. Both matches will count against Pac-10 records. USC is coming off a 4-3 victory at Oregon and a 5-2 win at No. 33 Washington last week.
Door Is Open For Conference Title -- Since not all matches against conference opponents count against Pac-10 records (only the second meeting of the season between teams who face each other more than once qualify as Pac-10 matches), the conference title is still up for grabs. Both Stanford and UCLA are currently 5-0 in Pac-10, while the Trojans are 4-1 with a loss to the Bruins. As all three teams face each other this week, USC has a chance to clinch a share of the title but must beat both Cal and Stanford and the Cardinal must defeat UCLA. The Trojans have won 13 conference titles in program history and last claimed the championship in 1994.
ITA Ranking Updates (Next Ranking 4/17/02)-- With USC's upset victory over then-No. 5 Stanford on April 5, the Trojans jumped nine spots to No. 10 in the rankings released on April 10. USC's Nick Rainey fell to No. 54, while Andrew Park jumped to No.33. Prakash Amritraj also moved up to No. 71 and Ryan Moore fell to No. 110. Moore and Rainey rank seventh in doubles. Updated rankings will be released Wednesday.
USC vs. California, Stanford -- Friday's match will be the 145th meeting between USC and Cal. The Trojans are 117-27 against the Golden Bears. USC and Stanford have met a total of 155 times since the series began in 1925. The Trojans own an 89-66 edge against the Cardinal.
The Last Time Against Cal, Stanford -- USC recorded one of its biggest upsets of the year with a 6-1 win over No. 6 Stanford on April 5. Prakash Amritraj and Andrew Park were the first to earn a win by defeating Stanford's Sam Warburg and Phil Sheng, 8-6, at No. 3. At No. 2, unranked Teige Sullivan and Ruben Torres upset No. 14 K.J. Hippensteel and Ryan Haviland, 9-8 (7-3), to clinch the doubles point for the Trojans. Ahead 1-0, USC was dominant in singles play. Daniel Langre put the Trojans ahead by two with a quick 6-3, 6-3 win over Warburg. After giving up a point to the Cardinal at the No. 2 spot, USC rattled off the next two points in straight sets as Amritraj defeated Scott Lipsky, 7-6, 6-2, at No. 2, and Park clinched the match with a 6-4, 7-6 upset win over Stanford's No. 4 Hippensteel at center court.
The following day, USC earned a 4-3 win over then-No. 22 Cal. The Trojans' No. 1 doubles Ryan Moore and Nick Rainey, fresh off a loss to the Cardinal, held the Bears' Ben Miles and Balazs Veress scoreless in a 8-0 win to start the match. Cal returned with wins at the No. 2 and 3 positions to earn the doubles point. Moore started singles play with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Veress at No. 2 to even the score, but a win by Cal's Robert Kowalczyk and Conor Niland put the Bears back in the lead, 3-1. It was a must-win situation for Andrew Park, Ruben Torres and Rainey, playing at courts 1, 6 and 4, respectively. Torres defeated the Bears' Mik Ledvonova, 6-4, 6-3, followed by Park who upset 22nd-ranked John Paul Fruttero, 7-5, 6-4, to tie the score. Rainey clinched the victory with a three-set win over Wayne Wong, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.
Last Week's Results -- USC defeated Oregon, 4-3, on Friday, April 12. After the Trojans swept through doubles play with three identical 8-4 wins to take a 1-0 lead, Oregon began to challenge. The Ducks won at the top three singles slots, against USC's Andrew Park, Ryan Moore and Nick Rainey. But the bottom of the Trojans' lineup proved too tough for the Ducks, as Damien Spizzo, Ruben Torres and Daniel Langre won at Nos. 4, 5 and 6 to clinch the match victory.
USC completed its sweep through the Northwest with a 5-2 victory over No. 33 Washington Saturday, April 13. USC was clearly not affected by the difference in climate playing at UW's outdoor stadium as the team won four of six singles matches and two of the three doubles competitions for the win. The Huskies managed to earn one victory at court two doubles, but the Trojans collected wins at the No. 1 and 3 spots to post the first point. The Huskies began singles by earning two points in the top singles matches, but USC swept through the remaining four to secure the win.
News N' Notes -- Andrew Park currently has recorded the most singles victories (24) this season, but teammate Ruben Torres owns the team's best win percentage (21-7, .750) *** In doubles, Nick Rainey and Ryan Moore lead with an 14-6 record and .700 win percentage *** Rainey and Moore have won their last nine of 10 and are 5-0 in the Pac-10.
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 Dick Leach -- Dick Leach enters his 23rd season at the helm of the USC men's tennis program. In 22 years with the Trojans, he has amassed a 528-132 (.800) overall record and won three national championships (1991, 1993, 1994). His teams have garnered seven Pac-10 championships, for which Leach has been named conference coach of the year four times (1987, 1991, 1992, 1994). Last season, he guided USC to a 15-9 (.625) overall mark, fourth place finish in the Pac-10 (3-4), and his second-consecutive Round of 16 appearance at the NCAAs.