Men's Tennis Team to Compete at NCAA Championships
May 19, 1998
LOS ANGELES - The No. 7 USC men's tennis team (17-6 in 1998) will take part in the NCAA Championships, hosted by Georgia, on May 23-31. After a one-year absence, USC has returned to the team championships for the 21st time in the last 22 years. USC, a Nos. 5-8 seed, drew an automatic berth into the team championships, which will be contested on May 23-26. That will be followed by the individual championships on May 27-31, which features two Trojans in action (George Bastl in singles and Bastl and Kyle Spencer in doubles, while Spencer is also an alternate in singles).
The Trojans were ranked No. 11 in the preseason, but they have been a mainstay in the top 10 since last fall. USC tied for second in the Pac-10 with a record of 5-2. Bastl made the All-Pac-10 first team and Spencer was named honorable mention.
USC IN THE NCAAs - This is USC's 21st appearance in the NCAA men's tennis team championships (dating back to 1977 when the dual-match format was adopted). Troy has won 15 national team titles (tied for most with Stanford and UCLA), including three in the 1990s (1991-93-94). USC has a 38-19 record in the NCAAs since 1977. The Trojans have had 20 NCAA doubles champions, more than any other school, and 13 singles champions, second most to Harvard's 16.
DICK LEACH - One of the most successful coaches in the country, Dick Leach has led the Trojans to three national titles (1991-93-94). He has an overall record of 458-104 (.815) in 19 years and also has seven conference championships to his credit. Two Trojans have won the NCAA singles title under Leach and three teams have won NCAA doubles titles. He played tennis at USC from 1959-61 and was an All-American his final year.
The USC mens tennis program has won 15 NCAA titles: 1946, 1951, 1955, 1958, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1976, 1991, 1993 and 1994.
In 1997, USC lost in the West Regional final to Fresno State and missed out on the NCAA Team Championships for the first time since the dual-match format began in 1977.
On the individual side in 1997, George Bastl reached the NCAA singles championship match before losing to UNLV's Luke Smith, and Bastl and Kyle Spencer made it to the NCAA doubles championship match before falling to UNLV's Smith and Tim Blenkiron. Bastl and Spencer both won All-American honors.
In the current national rankings, George Bastl is No. 28, Kyle Spencer is No. 63 and the Bastl/Spencer doubles team is No. 28.
Fernando Samayoa earned All-American honors as a 1995 freshman in doubles with Brett Hansen.