Men’s tennis | January 20, 2022
The No. 9 Trojans have their first dual-match action of 2022 on tap this week with a three-game run at Marks Stadium. On Friday (Jan. 21), USC will host a doubleheader, taking on UC Davis at 10 a.m. before turning to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 2 p.m. against UC Irvine.
IN THE RANKING
The Trojans opened 2022 as No. 9 in the nation — an upgrade from the No. 10 spot it finished in 2021. As of the final set of ITA National Team Rankings (released January 19), USC remains ranked No. 10.9 in the country. Individual preseason rankings were released on December 8, 2021, featuring five Trojans in singles. For the first time in his career a top-10 player, junior Stefan Dostanic weighs in at #6 in the country. More career records to follow for #35 Peter Makk, #40 Louis Weststrate and #94 Samuel Rubello, while #70 Bradley Frye also ranks high with its pre-season rankings. In doubles, USC has Dostanic and Frye big at #10 in the country, while Dostanic and Rubell are at #12.
In the first league of 2022, USC overcame a rainstorm to storm the Sherwood Cup courts with a solid day of work on Sunday against opponents from Stanford and Texas A&M. Bad weather aborted the mission at USC’s planned clash with UCLA players on Monday. Against Stanford opponents in the morning’s game, USC took three wins in doubles and six wins in singles – including first career wins for newcomers Ryan Colby and Wojtek Marek. Both spring additions, Colby defeated Stanford’s Tomas Kopczynski in straight sets, and Marek defeated Timothy Sah in straight sets as well. USC’s top 10 Trojans — #6 singles player Stefan Dostanic and #10 doubles duo Dostanic and Bradley Frye — also had a winning start to the new year. Dostanic and Frye continued their roles with a 6-4 victory over Texas A&M’s #35 Abbrat/Schachter in the evening session. Wojtek Marek also made it a victorious first day of duplication as Trojans by taking a win with Samuel Rubello against Stanford and then notch another W next to it Ryder Jackson against Texas A&M. Dostanic and Marek both finished the day as winners in both sets of singles action. Dostanic defeated Stanford’s Alexandre Rotsaert 7-6 (3), 6-3 and Texas A&M’s #115 Noah Schachter 6-1, 4-6, 1-0 (10-2). Newcomer Marek continued his win over Stanford’s Sah with a 6-3, 7-6(3) win over Aggie Stefan Storch to write down his first two singles wins as a Trojan.
STEF’S SHERWOOD SUCCESS
USC may have had its last day of action at the Sherwood Cup, but Trojan junior Stefan Dostanic still came out with top honors at the event. After two strong singles wins on USC’s double competition day on Sunday (Jan. 16), the No. 6-ranked Dostanic was named Singles Champion. In USC’s morning matchups against Stanford players, Cardinal’s Dostanic Alexandre Rotsaert dominated 7-6(3), 6-3. Later that night, in the Trojans’ make-up action against Texas A&M players, Dostanic made it a winning day for himself by beating #115 Noah Schachter 6-1, 4-6, 1-0 (10-2 ). After that first round of the spring competition, Dostanic takes an overall record of 20-4 in this 2021-22 campaign.
USC’s most winning player to date is newcomer Stefan Dostanic, who has won 20 singles in his junior campaign so far. He is the only Trojan to date with double-digit single wins, although senior Bradley Frye and sophomore Louis Weststrate are just a breath away with nine each. .In doubles #10 Dostanic/Frye have played the most games together and have the most wins so far with their 8-3 record together.
In Brett MasicIn its second season at the helm of the USC program, the Trojans set an overall record of 23-7 and claimed the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament Championship. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, no fall competition was held, but the action kicked off finally in January 2021. The Trojans were ranked No. 1 in the nation going into 2021 — a nod to the 2020 ITA National Team Indoor Championship the Trojans won before the pandemic brought competition to a halt that year. After a run to the 2021 NCAA quarterfinals where USC fell to Texas in a difficult 4-3 decision, the Trojans finished the season as No. 10 in the country. seniors Daniel Cukierman and Riley Smith both earned ITA All-American singles and doubles status after making a run to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles and finishing in sixth place in the nation. In singles, Cukierman reached the NCAA Singles Round of 16, finishing his USC career at number 24 in the nation. Smith, meanwhile, reached the NCAA Singles Round of 32, finishing at number 53. Sophomore: Stefan Dostanic finished number 98 in the last national singles, and was number 88 in doubles next Bradley Frye. •