USC Men Open 2017 Ranked No. 10 In the Nation|
Jan. 6, 2017
For the 10th straight season, the USC men’s tennis team kicks off the new year ranked in the nation’s top-10 of the Oracle/ITA rankings. The No. 10 Trojans are on the cusp of the 2017 spring season, where they will be looking to open up another path to the NCAA Tournament. With five national championships claimed in the last eight years, Peter Smith’s Trojans are poised for another successful campaign, boasting four ranked singles players and two ranked doubles teams as action gets underway next week.
Coming off a 2016 journey to the NCAA Round of 16, the 2017 Trojans look to improve on that 17-7 record from last season. With the loss of just one senior from that team, USC has a powerful arrangement of young and experienced talent this year. The 2017 Oracle/ITA singles rankings are a reflection of that balance, as USC has a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior nationally ranked to open 2017. Freshman Brandon Holt leads the pack, sitting at No. 20 in the land on the singles stage. Eight spots behind him is sophomore Logan Smith, tabbed at No. 28 to secure the highest singles rank of his young Trojan career. Senior captain Nick Crystal has logged a place at No. 88 in the nation, while junior Thibault Forget is tabbed at No. 114.
Holt was the star of the fall for the Trojans, posting a 17-3 record out of the gates while snagging the consolation title at the ITA All-American to earn a place at ITA National Indoors in New York while also winning the Southern California Intercollegiate crown. Smith’s highlight for the fall was a run to the ITA Southwest Regional singles semifinals, while accumulating a 9-6 singles mark. Crystal, meanwhile, had faced Holt in that Southern California Intercollegiate semi, and also competed at the ITA Oracle and ITA All-American events en route to a 6-5 fall singles record. Forget racked up 11 wins in the fall, going 11-4 while reaching the ITA Southwest Regional singles title match along the way.
While enjoying his highest singles ranking, Logan Smith also appears at two different spots in the national doubles rankings alongside two different Trojan teammates. Smith and junior Forget stand tall as the nation’s No. 35 pairing, while Smith and senior Rob Bellamy lock in at No. 49. This is the first career ranking of any sort for Bellamy, who went 3-1 with Smith during the fall. Smith and Forget has posted a 3-2 mark together in the fall with appearances in the ITA All-American and a run to the ITA Southwest Regionals.
The Trojans have their first spring tune-up on tap next week with a visit to the Sherwood Collegiate Cup from Jan. 13-16 in Westlake. USC’s first dual matches of the 2017 come up soon after, as the Trojans host a UC Santa Cruz on Jan. 16 at Marks Stadium at 3 p.m.
TROJANS IN THE ORACLE/ITA RANKINGS (Jan. 4, 2017)