Trojans Travel To Tulsa For Round of 16
May 18, 2004
This Week -- The second-seeded and fourth-ranked USC men's tennis team (21-3, 6-1 Pac-10 t1st) moves into the NCAA Round of 16 this week. The Trojans, who received their 28th all-time bid to the 2004 NCAA Championships, advanced with wins over Montana State, 4-0, and No. 32 California, 4-1, in the first and second rounds last week in Los Angeles. USC will face No. 27 Arkansas (16-9) in the Round of 16 on Saturday, May 22, at noon CST in Tulsa, Okla., at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. The winner advances to the quarterfinals on Sunday and will face either No. 9 Stanford (18-7) or No. 8 Florida (18-7).
2004 NCAA Championships - Round of 16 and Quarterfinals
Saturday, May 22, Noon CST
Saturday, May 22, Noon CST
Sunday, May 23, 2 p.m. CST
Live Scoring -- All remaining tournament matches can be followed via live scoring on the internet at www.tulsahurricane.com.
NCAA Championships -- The NCAA selected 64 teams to participate in the 2004 NCAA Division I Tennis Championships. First and second round matches were played at 16 host sites May 14-16, with the winner of each regional site advancing to this week's championship rounds. The championships are being held in Tulsa, Okla., at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the Tulsa campus, May 22-25. Individual championships, consisting of 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams, will take place May 26-31 following the team championships.
Did You Know? USC has never missed an NCAA Tournament since the NCAA began sponsoring the postseason championship in 1977.
Did You Know? USC is one of only five teams that have won a national title in men's tennis, the others being Stanford, UCLA, Georgia and Illinois, who won its first championship in 2003.
Best Since 1994 -- The last time USC headed into the postseason with only three losses was in 1994. That season, the Trojans were 16-3 at the end of the regular season and eventually captured the 1994 NCAA Championship with a 22-3 record.
Eight-Week Stay In Top 5 -- Ranked No. 4 in the final poll, USC spent eight straight weeks in the top 5, marking the longest stay for the Trojans in over 10 years.
ITA Ranking Updates -- The Trojans finished fourth in the final regular-season ITA rankings. Four of USC's singles players are ranked, including No. 19 Adriano Biasella, No. 82 Johan Berg, No. 86 Jamil Al-Agba and No. 105 Ruben Torres. In doubles, Daniel Langre and Drew Hoskins are ranked No. 18, and Biasella and Berg are ranked 44th.
Last Year at The NCAA Championships -- The Trojans fought through the 2003 season with a depleted roster and completed the year abruptly in the NCAA Second Round. Despite attempting to defend its national championship, USC did not have the manpower to combat UCLA for a third time in one season. Following a 4-0 victory in the opener over UC Santa Barbara, the Trojans suffered a 4-0 loss to the Bruins in Westwood. Prakash Amritraj and the duo of Daniel Langre and Amritraj went on to compete in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships but both were eliminated in the first round.
Trojan History at the NCAA Championships -- USC's history in the current format (dual-match single elimination team championship) NCAA championships spans nearly four decades. Since 1977, the first year the NCAA sponsored a postseason tennis team championship, the Trojans have advanced to the tournament in each of the 28 seasons and have claimed the national championship four times (1991, 1993, 1994, 2002). The Trojans have reached the semifinals nine times and the quarterfinals five times. USC's players have also earned two singles championships (Robert Van't Hof, 1980, and Cecil Mamiit, 1996) and four doubles championships (Bruce Manson/Chris Lewis, 1977, Rick Leach/Tim Pawsat, 1986, Rick Leach/Scott Melville, 1987, Eric Amend/Byron Black, 1989) in the history of the NCAAs.
Prior to 1977, the Trojans prominence on the national scene dates back to 1946 - the year USC won its first national title (the Trojans also went undefeated in 1943 and 1944 without an official tournament title). Dating back to that year, USC has collected a total of 16 national titles, 13 singles championships and 20 doubles titles (most in the nation) in program history.
Trojans Garner Pac-10 Title -- With a 6-1 conference record, the Trojans garnered their first Pac-10 title since 1994. It marks USC's 14th conference championship overall. USC and UCLA split the title with 6-1 records.
One of the Nation's Toughest Conferences -- Once again, the Pacific-10 conference proved to be one of the toughest tennis conferences in the country. All eight Pac-10 universities which sponsor men's tennis are ranked among the top-50 - five of which have consistently remained in the top-25 - and all are competing in the NCAA Championships. The Pac-10 men hold down 21 spots in the Top-125 men's singles list and occupy 11 spots among the Top-60 doubles teams.
Smith Named Pac-10 Coach of the Year -- Highlighting the Trojans' honors, men's coach Peter Smith was named the 2004 Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading USC to a 6-1 conference record and a share of the Pac-10 title. More impressively, Smith's team captured the conference title (its first since 1994) after having posted a 2-5 Pac-10 mark last season. This is Smith's seventh career conference honor and USC's seventh honor overall.
Biasella, Berg, Al-Agba Earn Conference Honors -- The men's and women's teams each had three players named to the 2004 All-Pac-10 teams. Adriano Biasella was honored to the men's All-Pac-10 first team, while teammates Johan Berg and Jamil Al-Agba earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention accolades.
At Pac-10 Championships -- USC's efforts to come away with two championships fell short when the Trojans wrapped up the Pac-10 Individual Tournament and Invitational on April 25 at Ojai. Competing for the men's main draw singles title, Adriano Biasella fell to Stanford's Sam Warburg, and in the women's back draw doubles final, Bernadette Bayani and Melissa Esmero fell to the Cardinal's Story Tweedie-Yates and Theresa Logar. The men's final drew a large Ojai crowd as Warburg, ranked 11th, managed to get past an impressive performance by then 31st-ranked Biasella, 7-6, 6-3. This was Biasella's second trip to the finals at Ojai. In 2002, Biasella captured the Men's Community College Singles Championship at Ojai as a player at College of the Desert.
Key Notes -- USC is 11-3 this season against top 25 teams. *** Jamil Al-Agba finished the conference season with a team-best 10-2 record against Pac-10 opponents. *** USC has utilized 20 different doubles pairings this season (17 in dual matches), but 18th-ranked Daniel Langre and Drew Hoskins boast a team-best 14-5 record and have remained the most consistent.
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, is in 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 the past two years at USC. He boasts a 305-150 (.670) overall record and has now led his teams to 11 NCAA appearances and nine top 25 finishes. He has been honored as conference coach of the year a total of seven times, including this season, and was honored as the 2002 ITA Region VIII Coach of the Year.
Arkansas: Arkansas defeated Oklahoma State, 4-3, and upset 15th-seeded Tennessee, 4-1, to advance to this week's Round of 16. The team owns a 16-9 overall record, finished the season fourth in the Western Division of the SEC and is making its 16th appearance in the NCAA Championships. The 27th-ranked Razorbacks boast two ranked singles players (No. 18 Adrians Zguns, No. 38 Nathan Price) and one ranked doubles team (No. 52 Price/Simpson).
USC vs. Arkansas: USC owns a 10-1 all-time record against Arkansas. The two teams faced each other last season at the ITA Team Indoor Championships, where the Trojans defeated the Razorbacks, 4-2.
Stanford: Ninth-ranked Stanford moves in to the Round of 16 with wins over Pacific, 4-0, and Washington, 4-0, in the first two rounds. The Cardinal owns an 18-7 overall record and finished the conference season in third place with a 5-2 mark. The team boasts three ranked singles players (No. 8 Sam Warburg, No. 65 K.C. Corkery, No. 102 James Wan) and one ranked doubles team (No. 35 Morris/Warburg).
USC vs. Stanford: USC and Stanford have met a total of 161 times since the series began in 1925. The Trojans own an 91-70 (.565) all-time edge against the Cardinal. The two Pac-10 foes split this year's match-ups - USC won 4-3 at home and lost 5-2 on the road.
Florida: Florida advances to the Round of 16 having defeated Central Florida, 4-0, and Arizona, 4-0. With the wins, the eighth-ranked Gators improved to 18-7 overall. This season, Florida won the Eastern Division of the SEC (8-3). The team boasts three ranked singles players (No. 12 Hamid Mirzadeh, No. 76 Janne Holmia, No. 87 Vlad Obradovic) and one ranked doubles team (No. 41 Mirzadeh/Brandi).
USC vs. Florida: USC and Florida have met only four times with each team winning two matches apiece. The teams faced each other last season at the ITA Team Indoor Championships, where the Gators defeated the Trojans, 4-0.
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