Several Trojans Open Season With Individual Rankings|
Sept. 15, 2016
As the USC men’s tennis team rolls into the start of the fall tennis season, several Trojans will open this opening stretch with individual rankings. The preseason ITA/Oracle rankings release has four Trojans sitting strong in the top-100 for singles, while USC also boasts a top-10 doubles duo in senior Nick Crystal and sophomore Laurens Verboven.
Crystal and Verboven paired up to great success in their first season of action together last year. They wrapped the 2015-16 campaign ranked No. 30 in the land, but have seriously upgraded that standing as the now-veteran duo enters the 2016-17 season. Crystal and Verboven went 14-11 together last year and won all three of their doubles matches during the NCAA Team Tournament. Their No. 10 national ranking entering this new season is a career-best for both Trojans.
Senior Nick Crystal has also moved up to a career-high singles ranking as he enters his final season at USC. An All-Pac-12 Second Team honoree as a junior last year, Crystal finished up at No. 45 in the nation in singles. Now, Crystal leads the Trojans with his best singles ranking yet — slotted at No. 27 in the land entering this fall stretch of individual action. Crystal went 24-12 overall in singles last season and holds a career singles record of 63-23 on the way into this 2016-17 season.
Next in line for the Trojans on the ITA/Oracle national singles list is sophomore Logan Smith, who weighs in at No. 48 entering the spring. He went 27-13 in singles during his freshman season and picked up accolades as the Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year. Smith is followed by another solid sophomore in Jake DeVine, who locks in on his best career ranking to open his second season at Troy. He’s knocked 20 spots off of his previous career best to rank No. 63 in the nation to open 2016-17. Although sidelined by injury at the close of his freshman season, DeVine is back in action and ready to add to the collection of awards he began last year, which included ITA Southwest Region Rookie of the Year and All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention in going 25-12 overall in singles. Now a true veteran of the group, junior Thibault Forget follows suit with a freshly inked career-high ranking. An All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention recipient, Forget was USC’s winningest player in singles last season with a 31-9 overall record. He finished out his sophomore season ranked No. 100 in the land and now boasts a No. 85 national ranking entering his junior year at Troy.
Also on the ITA/Oracle preseason radar is USC freshman Brandon Holt, who has been tabbed as the nation’s No. 6 newcomer/freshman entering 2016-17.
Fall tennis means lots of individual competition for the Trojans. USC has several smaller tournaments sprinkled around the first few weeks of the fall before taking aim at the first major competition of the season at the ITA All-American Championships, which runs Oct. 1-10. Team competition won’t start up until the spring, when USC hosts its dual-match opener on Jan. 16 at Marks Stadium.
For complete ITA/Oracle national rankings, CLICK HERE