No. 8 USC Men Wind Up In Westwood For Pac-12/SEC Showdown

    The Trojans battle Florida and Georgia in Westwood this weekend.
    Jan. 27, 2016

    USC Men's Tennis Release Get Acrobat Reader

    THIS WEEK
    The No. 8 Trojans take a swing at the third edition of the Pac-12/SEC Showdown this week with a trip across town to UCLA’s Los Angeles Tennis Center. USC is lined up for another set of battles against SEC powers Florida and Georgia in an effort to keep its clean slate against the Gators and Bulldogs at the event intact. USC played host to the Showdown in its inaugural year in 2014, and Georgia hosted it last season. This year, USC opens up against No. 20 Florida in a 10 a.m. matchup on Saturday (Jan. 30) in Westwood. On Sunday (Jan. 31), the Trojans will take on No. 6 Georgia in another 10 a.m. bout.

    THE LAST MEETING
    USC5
    Florida2
    January 31, 2015
    Athens, Ga.
    No. 1 USC Men Grab 5-2 Win Over No. 17 Gators
    The No. 1 USC men's tennis team returned to the site of its 2014 NCAA Championship run and got right back to its winning stride in Athens, Ga. Playing at the second installment of the Pac-12/SEC Showdown, the Trojans opened the 2015 event against No. 17 Florida today. The Gators reeled in the Trojans, but USC's Nick Crystal would have the last word as he pulled off the clincher in a final 5-2 USC victory. The defending NCAA champs improve to 4-0 overall with the win and now set up to face host Georgia tomorrow (Feb. 1) at 2 p.m. ET.

    THE LAST MEETING
    USC4
    Georgia (Semifinals)1
    February 15, 2015
    Chicago, Ill.
    No. 1 USC Shoves Through To ITA National Team Indoor Title Match
    The No. 1 USC men's tennis team are lined up for another championship bout against Oklahoma after snagged a 4-1 comeback win over Georgia today in the semifinals at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Chicago. The No. 4 Bulldogs grabbed the doubles point, only to see the Trojans fire off four straight-set singles wins to steal away a 4-1 win and punch a title to the title match for the fourth straight year. Now 9-0 on the year, USC will do battle with Oklahoma in tomorrow's final at 11 a.m. CT. Last year in the NCAA Championship, USC won it all for the fifth time in six years with a 4-2 win over the Sooners in Athens, Ga.

    LIVE SCORING FROM WESTWOOD

    ORACLE/ITA RANKINGS UPDATES
    The Trojans started off the spring as the No. 8 team in the land in the first team rankings of 2016. This week, USC remains locked in at No. 8 in the latest round of national rankings (Jan. 27). The USC men — with Peter Smith at the helm — also have a solid set of newcomers helping to drive the Trojans into 2016. NCAA Quarterfinalists last season, the 2016 Trojans have four players standing out in the opening set of individual rankings (Jan. 5). Junior Nick Crystal leads them all with a career-best singles ranking of #41 after his strong fall efforts. USC’s veteran talent is balanced out with two freshmen also pulling up early singles rankings. USC’s lone senior, Max de Vroome, ranks #115, with two newcomers mixed in among the vets. Freshman Logan Smith is USC’s second-highest ranked player at #69 in the land, and fellow freshman Jake DeVine has secured a spot at #83. The USC men do not have any ranked doubles pairs to start out 2016.

    SCOUTING FLORIDA
    The No. 20 Gators are 3-1 overall after a split in ITA Kick-Off Weekend competition last week, beating No. 20 Texas 4-0 and falling to No. 15 Texas Tech 4-3. Florida has five players nationally ranked in singles: #31 Diego Hidalgo, #49 Elliott Orkin, #62 Chase Perez-Blanco, #91 Alfredo Perez and #97 McClain Kessler. In doubles, Florida has #3 Hidalgo/Watson and #40 Lipman/Orkin. USC is 6-2 all-time against the Gators after a 5-2 win over Florida at last year’s Pac-12/SEC Showdown in Athens, Ga.

    SCOUTING GEORGIA
    The No. 6 Bulldogs are 2-0 overall after beating UC Santa Barbara 4-1 and Memphis 4-1 last week in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Georgia has five players nationally ranked in singles: #20 Wayne Montgomery, #28 Austin Smith, #40 Paul Oosterbaan, #88 Nick Wood and #105 Walker Duncan. In doubles, UGA has #10 Smith/Wagland and #45 Montgomery/Reinberg. USC is 15-11 all-time against Georgia after a two wins last season — a 4-0 win at the Pac-12/SEC Showdown in Athens and a 4-1 in the ITA National Team Indoors semifinals in Charlottesville, Va.

    CRYSTAL KICKS THINGS OFF ON PAC-12 HONOR ROLL
    USC junior Nick Crystal became the first Trojan to pick up Pac-12 Player of the Week honors this season with his selection on Jan. 25 after grabbing two big wins for the Trojans to help USC defend its home court for the eight straight year as host of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. In the championship match against a tough Tulane team, Crystal gave USC its first lead of the match with his comeback push from court two. Crystal shook off a shutout in the first set to give his team a lift to a 3-2 advantage in an eventual 4-3 comeback win for the Trojans. The previous day, Crystal played on court one and served up an upset of UC Davis’ #38-ranked player with a quick and decisive 6-1, 6-0 decision in USC’s sweep of the Aggies.It’s Crystal’s second career selection as Pac-12 Men’s Tennis Player of the Week. He first won the award last season for his work in getting the Trojans to two victories at the 2015 ITA Kick-Off Weekend.

    MARKS STADIUM UPGRADE
    The USC men’s and women’s tennis teams have called the David X. Marks Tennis Stadium home since its construction in 1971. This year, Trojan tennis will move back into a revamped and renovated home that is up-to-date and in line with the impressive accomplishments of both programs. The courts have been open for action throughout construction, and now the ribbon-cutting and dedication for the new facility is set for Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. That day, the Trojan Family will officially unveil the newest additions to the Marks Tennis Stadium -- the Buntmann Family Tennis Center, Fritz B. Burns Center Court, Lisa and Douglas Goldman Family Student-Athlete Learning Center and Michael Uytengsu Tennis Pavilion -- the happy home of the USC men’s and women’s tennis teams. The Buntmann Family Tennis Center entrance and lobby will welcome fans and visitors and put on display the rich history of USC tennis. To improve the building functionality and support the tennis program operations, the new Lisa and Douglas Goldman Family Student-Athlete Learning Studio will support direct collaboration between coaches, staff and athletes on a daily basis. The teams will be able to utilize and enjoy brand-new suites with lockers, showers, team meeting rooms and lounges. Both teams will have access to a new training room, a stringing storage area and a large multi-purpose room. To better accommodate and enhance the spectator experience, new spectator shade canopies will be added, a new elevator to the seating area will be installed. In addition to the lead gift from the Buntmann family, the renovation has been made possible thanks to financial support from the Lisa and Douglas Goldman family, the Fritz B. Burns Foundation, John Shea and Michael Uytengsu.

    LAST WEEK
    USC made a successful stand at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend for the eighth consecutive season, punching another ticket through to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships thanks to a 7-0 sweep of UC Davis and a hard-fought comeback win over Tulane in the championship match. Against the Aggies, the Trojans got out of the gates hot with a speedy push through doubles play. Court one’s fresh pairing of Nick Crystal and Laurens Verboven peeled out to a 6-1 win over their Aggie opponents Adamson/Levie. Court two would promptly wrap up the point with a 6-2 finish from the senior-freshman duo of Max de Vroome and Jack Jaede over UC Davis’ Bacharach/Whittle. That quick clincher left action suspended on court three, where Jake DeVine and Tanner Smith were holding a 4-3 edge over Lam/Wade. Still in his spot on court one, Nick Crystal stayed in efficient form in singles play. The #41 junior whipped up a 6-1, 6-0 victory over UC Davis’ #38 Alec Adamson to make it a 2-0 Trojan lead in the match. Next, in his first dual match as a Trojan, freshman Jack Jaede took USC to a 3-0 advantage with his smooth 6-2, 6-4 win over Everett Maltby on court five. Moments later, it was junior Rob Bellamy snagging the clincher with a 6-2, 6-4 win of his own on court six over Jesse Ross. With that 4-0 lead ensuring victory for the Trojans, the match played on and three new Trojans wrapped up wins in their first dual-match action. Jake DeVine, Laurens Verboven and Logan Smith all tallied wins to end the day’s work. The next day, USC had to fend off a tough Tulane team, as the No. 37 Green Wave snagged the doubles point and later had the match locked up to leave the decider raging on court three. There, USC sophomore Thibault Forget staged an impressive comeback effort, fighting back from down a break in the third to provide the three-set clincher for the Trojans in a 4-3 win over visiting Tulane. USC dropped the doubles point for the second straight match as Tulane came out firing with quick wins on courts one and three. That set up the teams for singles play, which proved to be a dogfight down the line. Freshman Jake DeVine knotted up the score at 1-1 with a steady roll out of reach of Tulane’s Nikolas Tukic on court five, pinning up a 6-3, 6-1 victory to put some wind in the Trojans’ sails. Tulane’s top gun, top-ranked Dominik Koepfer, was able to nudge his squad back out ahead as he fended off USC’s #115 Max de Vroome with a 6-3, 6-3 decision on court one next. USC would turn the tide with help from another freshman victory. On court four, #69 Logan Smith issued a late break in the second set vs. #111 Sebastian Rey to snarl the match back up at 2-2 with his 6-3, 6-4 victory. The comeback tone would be set for the Trojans from court two. There, #62 junior Nick Crystal righted the ship after coming up empty in the first set against Tulane’s #63 Constantin Schmitz. Crystal would dig in in the second and pull of the win to force a third set, where he would get in a groove that carried him to an 0-6, 7-4, 6-2 victory that gave USC its first lead of the day, up 3-2 in the match. On court three, freshman Laurens Verboven was looking to follow in Crystal’s footsteps and force a third set, but Tulane’s Alex Van Cott had other ideas. The Green Wave would pull even again with Van Cott’s 6-3, 7-5 win over Verboven to put all eyes on court six for the championship decider. Sophomore Thibault Forget had also fallen in his first set, but found a steady hand in the second set to bring up a crucial third. There, Forget would find himself down a break, trailing 2-4 to Tulane’s Chi-San Jao. Forget was unfazed. In position to clinch a match for his team for the first time as a Trojan, Forget rattled off the next three games to finish off the Green Wave, posting a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory that tacked up a 4-3 win for USC over Tulane.