Feb. 22, 2017
USC Men's Tennis Release
The No. 12 Trojans are back on home turf for the next few weeks, marking their return to Marks Stadium by bringing 10 wins into this week’s action. USC (10-2) will play host to No. 33 Cal Poly in a 2 p.m. tilt on Thursday (Feb. 23) before turning to a Friday (Feb. 24) nonconference clash against No. 35 Stanford at 3 p.m.
ORACLE/ITA RANKINGS UPDATES
THE LAST MEETING
January 29, 2013
THE LAST MEETING
April 2, 2016
No. 9 USC Men Surge To 6-1 Win Over Stanford
The No. 9 USC men’s tennis team shrugged off a doubles deficit and forged a path to another Pac-12 victory today, surging out of reach of visiting No. 36 Stanford at Marks Stadium. The Trojans pieced together a singles sweep to lock in on a final 6-1 win with the clincher coming from Thibault Forget’s comeback on court five. USC improves to 13-4 overall and to 3-1 in Pac-12 play with the win.
For the 10th straight season, the USC men’s tennis team kicked off the new year ranked in the nation’s top-10 of the Oracle/ITA rankings. The Trojans opened 2017 ranked No. 10 in the nation. As of the latest set of national team rankings (Feb. 21), USC is at No. 12 in the land after spending previous weeks at No. 8 and No. 9. The latest individual rankings of 2017 (released Feb. 21) has two Trojans ranked in singles and three ranked doubles teams. In that latest round of rankings, freshman Brandon Holt
remains at the top of the list for the Trojans as he’s upgraded his ranking to No. 27 in the nation in singles. Sophomore Logan Smith
is next in line, now slotted at No. 42 in singles. In doubles, USC’s freshman duo of Holt and Riley Smith
sits at No. 29 in the nation. Junior Thibault Forget
and Logan Smith
are paired up at No. 36, and senior Nick Crystal
and sophomore Laurens Verboven
are now locked in at No. 60
SCOUTING CAL POLY
The No. 33 Mustangs are 5-2 overall after beating LMU 7-0 and Pacific 5-2 last week.
Cal Poly has #57 Ben Donovan nationally ranked in singles. In doubles, Cal Poly has #35 Donovan/Pang. USC is 5-0 all-time against the Mustangs after a 7-0 win when the teams last met in 2013.
The No. 35 Cardinal is 6-1 overall after a 6-1 win over San Francisco last week. Stanford has three players nationally ranked in singles: #12 Tom Fawcett, #73 Michael Genender and #77 Jack Barber. In doubles, Stanford has #21 Goldberg/Kumar. USC is 113-77 all-time against the Cardinal after two wins last season, a 5-2 win in Palo Alto and a 6-1 win in LA.
USC made its ninth straight trip to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships last week, and wound up facing off against crosstown rival UCLA in the Round of 16 out in Charlottesville, Va. USC grabbed the opening point with a gutsy win in doubles, but the No. 7 Bruins were able to pull off a 4-3 win over the Trojans with a strong stand in singles. Relegated to consolation play from there, USC continued its success in doubles, and rang up a swift 5-0 win over Utah State the next day. In their final match at the event, the Trojans locked in on another doubles point and would hold off a tough No. 13 Baylor squad to wrap the trip with a 4-2 victory. The biggest winners on the weekend for USC were Jack Jaede, who collected three singles wins from his spot on court five, and the doubles pair of Nick Crystal and Laurens Verboven, who also drummed up three wins in three matches from court two.
BY THE NUMBERS
As dual match play develops, one Trojan has broken ground on the 20-win club to date. Freshman Brandon Holt claimed his 20th singles win in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend championship bout against San Diego, and he now boast 25 singles wins to lead the Trojans to date. Behind Holt’s charge, there are now seven Trojans who have claimed double-digit singles victories so far this season. Rob Bellamy has 17 wins to date, and Thibault Forget holds just grabbed his 17th last week. Next in line it a tangle of 13 wins apiece held by Logan Smith, Riley Smith and Jack Jaede, while Henry Ji and Nick Crystal each hold 11 wins apiece. In doubles, USC’s winningest pair is currently the talented freshman duo of Brandon Holt and Riley Smith with 14 wins together to date.
Brandon 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, and while also winning the Southern California Intercollegiate crown. Logan Smith’s highlight for the fall was a run to the ITA Southwest Regional singles semifinals, while accumulating a 9-6 singles mark. Nick 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. Thibault Forget racked up 11 wins in the fall, going 11-4 while reaching the ITA Southwest Regional singles title match along the way.
2017 TROJANS AT A GLANCE
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. 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 (Brandon Holt), sophomore (Logan Smith), junior (Thibault Forget) and senior (Nick Crystal) nationally ranked to open 2017.
FIRST RANKINGS REPORT
For the 10th straight season, the USC men’s tennis team kicked off the new year ranked in the nation’s top-10 of the Oracle/ITA rankings. The Trojans opened 2017 ranked No. 10 in the nation. The first individual rankings of 2017 (released Jan. 4) saw four Trojans ranked in singles and two ranked doubles teams. In that latest round of rankings, freshman Brandon Holt topped the list for the Trojans as he opens his USC career ranked No. 20 in the nation in singles. Sophomore Logan Smith held his highest career rank, slotted at No. 28 in singles. Senior Nick Crystal weighed in at No. 88, and junior Thibault Forget ranked No. 114 to kick off the new year. In doubles, USC had Forget and Logan Smith listed as the No. 35 doubles pair in the nation, with senior Rob Bellamy also paired with Smith at No. 49 to open the 2017 campaign. •