No. 5 USC Men Pack Up For More Pac-12 Play In The Bay Area

    April 4, 2017

    USC Men's Tennis Release Get Acrobat Reader

    THIS WEEK
    The No. 5 Trojans hit the road this week for a trip to the Bay Area, looking to pick up a couple more Pac-12 victories as USC continues its conference push. USC (19-3, 2-0 Pac-12) will first pay a visit to No. 19 Stanford for a 3 p.m. clash on Friday (April 7) before heading to Berkeley to take on No. 12 California at 1 p.m. on Sunday (April 8).

    THE LAST MEETING
    Stanford3
    USC4
    February 24, 2017
    Marks Stadium
    No. 12 USC Men Snag 4-3 Win Over No. 35 Stanford
    The No. 12 USC men's tennis team came up against a tough No. 35 Stanford squad at Marks Stadium tonight, forcing the Trojans to fight out of a deficit for another 4-3 win. The Cardinal took the early doubles point, but the Trojans managed to battle back in singles, winning the first three matches and taking the lead 3-1. The clincher came from Logan Smith on court three with a 7-6, 3-6, 6-1 win over Stanford's Michael Genender. USC improves to 12-2 overall with tonight's win.

    THE LAST MEETING
    USC1
    California (Semifinals)4
    April 22, 2016
    Libbey Park / Ojai, Calif.
    No. 8 USC Men Fall To Cal In Pac-12 Tournament Semifinals
    The No. 8 USC men’s tennis team will miss a chance at claiming the Pac-12 title for the first time after taking a 4-1 loss to No. 16 California in today’s Pac-12 Tournament semifinals. The Trojans had reached the conference title match the previous four seasons, winning the tourney twice before. With today’s semifinal loss to the Golden Bears in Ojai, USC goes to 15-6 overall and still is in good position for an NCAA tournament bid.

    ORACLE/ITA RANKINGS UPDATES
    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 (April 4), USC remains at No. 5 in the land after spending previous weeks at No. 8, 9, 12, 10, 14, 7 and 5. The latest individual rankings of 2017 (released April 4) has three Trojans ranked in singles and two ranked doubles teams. In this latest round of rankings, freshman Brandon Holt remains at the top of the list for the Trojans as sits at No. 19 in the nation in singles. Sophomore Logan Smith is next in line, now slotted at No. 65 in singles, followed by senior Nick Crystal, who has popped up at No. 109. In doubles, USC's freshman duo of Holt and Riley Smith sits at No. 11 in the nation. Junior Thibault Forget and Logan Smith are now paired up at No. 64.

    SCOUTING STANFORD
    The No. 19 Cardinal is 12-4 overall and 2-0 in Pac-12 play after beating Arizona and Utah 4-0 last week. Stanford has two players nationally ranked in singles: #17 Tom Fawcett and #110 Michael Genender. In doubles, Stanford has #51 Goldberg/Kumar and #69 Genender/Kumar in the national rankings. USC is 114-77 all-time against the Cardinal after posting a 4-3 win earlier this year in a nonconference match in Los Angeles. Last year, USC posted a 5-2 win over the Cardinal in Palo Alto and notched a 6-1 win in the Pac-12 meeting in LA.

    SCOUTING CAL
    The No. 12 Golden Bears enter the week 15-5 overall and 2-0 in Pac-12 play after beating Utah and Arizona 4-0 last week. Cal has three players nationally ranked in singles: #14 Florian Lakat, #45 Andre Goransson and#85 Billy Griffith. In doubles, Cal has #2 Bergevi/Lakat, #65 Goransson/Griffith in the national rankings. USC is 138-34 all-time against the Bears after a split last season. The Trojans beat Cal 4-2 during the Pac-12 regular season in LA and then lost 4-1 to the Bears in the semifinals of the 2016 Pac-12 Tournament in Ojai.

    SWEET 600
    USC head coach Peter Smith notched his 600th career win as a head coach on March 31. Eager to lock in the historic victory, two Trojans punched up wins almost simultaneously to top off the match as a 5-0 winning finish against visiting No. 23 Oregon at Marks Stadium. In the photo finish, it was sophomore Jack Jaede who clinched it from court for just a half-second before Thibault Forget won his match at the No. 5 spot. Already with five NCAA Championships claimed at the helm of the USC program, Smith's 600th career win puts another indelible mark next to his name in the history books of collegiate tennis. Now in his 15th season at USC, Smith has matched the total time he spent at the helm of the Long Beach State, Fresno State and Pepperdine programs combined. With USC's 19-3 overall record in 2017, Smith's total career record now stands at 601-220.

    LAST WEEK
    USC collected its first two Pac-12 wins of the year as the Trojans beat No. 23 Oregon 5-0 and No. 32 Washington 6-1 at Marks Stadium. Doubles was a tight affair against the Ducks early on before the Trojans got up a break on every court. From there it was an all-out sprint for the USC teams to the finish line, with court three's Rob Bellamy and Jack Jaede coming though first with a 6-2 win. With courts one and two both speeding toward wins, it was Nick Crystal and Laurens Verboven at the No. 2 spot who closed out first, notching a 6-3 win to secure that first point for the Trojans. In singles action, Crystal stayed in high gear as he peeled out to a 6-4, 6-1 win on court two to craft a quick 2-0 lead for the Trojans. On the rest of the courts, however, matches were far tighter, with three-setters coming up on courts one, four, five and six. At the No. 3 spot, #47 Logan Smith had snagged the first set in a tiebreaker, but was down 3-4 in the second before hitting the gas for a 7-6 (2), 6-4 to make it a 3-0 Trojan advantage with four three-setters still raging. Bit by bit, USC began to move into the driver's seats on courts four and five. While Thibault Forget was in position with match point at the No. 5 spot, teammate Jack Jaede maneuvered himself into striking distance as well. Jaede delivered the winning blow on court four just milliseconds before Forget finished off his court five match, giving Jaede the clincher while Forget's win topped off a 5-0 victory for the Trojans over the Ducks. Jaede had claimed a 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 win to get USC the 4-0 lead before Forget finished off his 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 decision. Against the Huskies, the Trojans breezed to the doubles point before taking down five UW players in singles play to maneuver to the victory, with Jack Jaede ringing up his second straight clincher for the Trojan cause. Doubles action saw USC's freshman duo come through with the opening victory of the day. On court one, #20 Brandon Holt and Riley Smith cleaned up a 6-2 win, and then fellow Trojans Nick Crystal and Laurens Verboven came through with another reliable victory. On court two, Crystal/Verboven topped off the doubles point with a 6-2, win over Lam/Sommer, and it was on to singles play with USC gripping a 1-0 lead. In singles, Crystal stayed in winning mode in cruising to a 6-1, 6-4 win at the No. 2 spot. Meanwhile, #21 Holt was clicking off a 6-1, 6-0 win in his home on court one, and USC bounced out to a 3-0 lead. That would hold for a bit as matches stretched on the remaining courts, at least, until Jaede hit his stride and closed out a 6-2, 6-4 win on court four. That clinched the match with USC up 4-0 on the Huskies, but action continued on a sunny day at Marks Stadium. Soon after, Forget made it 5-0 for the Trojans with a 6-3, 6-3 finish at the No. 5 spot. On court six, Riley Smith sidestepped a need for a third set on court six as won his second-set tiebreaker to pin up a 6-3, 7-6 (3) win and make it 6-0 Trojans. Meanwhile, on court three, USC's #47 Logan Smith and Washington's Jake Douglas had their match roll into a 10-point tiebreaker to decide things. Smith had won the first set, only to have Douglas steal the second. In the tiebreaker, Douglas built a lead and fended off his Trojan opponent to close out the match as a 6-1 decision with the Husky's 5-7, 6-1, 1-0 (10-7) win over Smith.

    FRESHMAN FIRST
    It was going to be a season of firsts no matter what for Brandon Holt, who has stepped into a key role for the Trojans as a freshman. Rightly so, Holt was the first Trojan to be named Pac-12 Player of the Week after another winning week. USC leads the conference in all-time Pac-12 Player of the Week awards, having claimed its 49th on the men's side with Holt's selection on Feb. 27. In two tight 4-3 wins, Holt came through in the clutch with singles victories that gave USC a leg up in both matches. Against No. 33 Cal Poly, Holt and fellow freshman Riley Smith scored a win over #35 Donovan/Pang in doubles on court one. In singles, Holt tallied a straight-set victory over #57 Ben Donovan -- again on court one -- to push his Trojans out to a 23-2 lead in an eventual 4-3 victory over the visiting Mustangs. The next day against No. 35 Stanford, Holt was on his game once again. This time, the freshman took down Stanford's #12-ranked Tom Fawcett with another decisive straight-set win, beating the Cardinal's top gun 6-4, 6-2 to get a 2-1 lead for USC in a match that the Trojans would finally wrap as another 4-3 victory. Now ranked #21 in the nation in singles, Holt leads USC in singles and doubles wins this season. He's currently 29-7 overall in singles and has paired with Riley Smith for a #20 national ranking in gathering a 20-4 record together to date.

    NO-FEAR FRESHMAN
    The USC men's tennis team's hottest hand right now belongs to freshman Riley Smith, who has ridden a 10-match singles win streak to his first selection as Pac-12 Player of the Week, earned on March 20. Smith collected four singles wins and four doubles victories during a stretch of five matches last week, including a perfect singles run at the BNP Paribas Collegiate Cup in Indian Wells. Smith's selection as Pac-12 Player of the Week makes him the second Trojan to win the award this season and brings the program its 50th all-time weekly honor from the conference on the men's side -- adding to the record count held by the Trojans. Smith's winning week opened up with a hand in USC's 7-0 sweep of Lehigh, as he and fellow freshman -- and fellow Pac-12 Player of the Week honoree this year -- Brandon Holt whipped up a 6-2 victory at the No. 1 doubles spot. Smith would not play singles in that one, but he'd step up as a crucial cog in the next four contests, winning all four of his singles matches to log either the first or second singles point in each match. In doubles, Smith and Holt took losses in the Texas Tech and Oklahoma matches, but came up with key wins against South Florida and Baylor to help the Trojans claim the doubles point. In singles, Smith continued his winning ways with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Jackson Cobb in USC's 4-3 victory over Texas Tech at Marks Stadium. Out in Indian Wells, Smith captured a 6-0, 6-4 win over Pierre Luquet to anchor a 4-0 shutout of South Florida before snagging a 6-4, 6-3 win over Adrian Oetzbach in a 4-1 win over No. 9 Oklahoma. And in the championship match against No. 6 Baylor, Smith again reigned supreme on court six with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Constantin Frantzen to lock up the freshman's 10th consecutive singles win. Smith is now 20-6 overall in singles play while he and Holt hold a 20-4 record together in doubles play this season.

    BY THE NUMBERS
    As dual match play continues to roll along, two Trojans now have broken ground on the 20-win club to date with several more closing the gap. Freshman Brandon Holt claimed his 20th singles win back in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend championship bout against San Diego, and he now boasts 29 singles wins to lead the Trojans to date. Freshly inked in the 20-win zone is freshman Riley Smith, who now holds a 20-6 singles mark while riding an 11-match win streak. Junior Thibault Forget is already firmly lodged in the club with a 23-12 overall record. Knocking on the door are three Trojans gripping 19 wins apiece -- Rob Bellamy (19-7), Jack Jaede (19-5) and Logan Smith (19-14). Jaede boasts the longest win streak of the season, having posted 13 straight wins from Jan. 15-March 14. In doubles, USC's winningest pair is currently the talented freshman duo of Brandon Holt and Riley Smith with 20 wins together to date. Right behind them in the win column is senior-sophomore combo pack of Nick Crystal and Laurens Verboven, who have claimed 18 wins.

    HOT SHOTS IN INDIAN WELLS
    In mid-March, the Trojans spent their Spring Break out in Indian Wells to take part in the BNP Paribas Open Collegiate Challenge. There, USC opened up in cruise control with a 4-0 win over No. 32 South Florida as the Trojans drummed up the doubles point and got singles wins from Brandon Holt, Riley Smith and then Logan Smith to clinch a quick victory. That put USC in the semifinals the next day against No. 9 Oklahoma, and again USC grabbed the doubles point. Riley Smith picked up the first singles win, but Oklahoma fired back with a win on court four. USC would regroup and net a 3-1 lead from Logan Smith on court three and then the clincher from senior Nick Crystal at the No. 2 spot to tally a 4-1 win that put USC in the title match. Up against No. 6 Baylor for the second time this season, USC looked to be in early control, getting up 3-0 on the Bears before the momentum shifted. Baylor snagged wins on courts two, one and five to level it up at 3-3, and then #35 Max Tchoutakian managed a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 comeback over USC's #45 Logan Smith to clinch a 4-3 championship victory over the Trojans, avenging a 4-2 loss taken back in February at the ITA National Team Indoors.

    ITA INDOORS
    In its ninth straight trip to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, USC 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.

    FALL STARS
    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
    This spring, the USC men are 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 were a reflection of that balance, as USC had 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, USC men's tennis 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.

    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 season, Trojan tennis enjoys its first full season in its revamped and renovated home that is now up-to-date and in line with the impressive accomplishments of both programs. The ribbon-cutting and dedication for the new facility was held on Feb. 16 to 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 welcomes 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 supports direct collaboration between coaches, staff and athletes on a daily basis. The teams also utilize and enjoy brand-new suites with lockers, showers, team meeting rooms and lounges. Both teams 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 have been added and a new elevator to the seating area has been 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.