Men’s tennis | January 26, 2022
The #8 USC men’s tennis team will host the ITA Kickoff Weekend competition for the 14th year in a row as the Trojans have their eye on a 14th straight spot at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Once again, the journey begins at USC’s very own Marks Stadium, where the Trojan will host three other teams for the two-day event, taking place January 29-30. From nearby Malibu comes Pepperdine, while Denver and Harvard from out of state join in. On Saturday (January 29), the day kicks off with No. 15 Pepperdine and Denver at 10 a.m., while No. 8 USC and No. 24 Harvard will collide at 1 p.m. out in the consolation game on Sunday (Jan. 30) at 10 a.m., with the championship game between the winners on Saturday at 1 p.m. The winner of that game will secure his place at next month’s ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle.
Saturday January 29
10 a.m. PT — Denver vs. #15 Pepperdine
1:00 p.m. PT — #8 USC vs. #24 Harvard
sunday January 30
10 a.m. PT — Consolation Game
1:00 p.m. PT — Championship match
LIVE STRAINS & VIDEO:
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 the ITA National Team Rankings (released January 26), USC has risen to No. 8 in the nation. 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 is also high with his ranking in the preseason. In doubles, USC has Dostanic and Frye big at #10 in the country, while Dostanic and Rubell are at #12.
USC took three wins in the first stretch of dual-match action, beating UC Davis and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps each trailing 7-0 in an opening day doubleheader at Marks Stadium. Two days later, USC took a 6-1 win over a visit to UC Irvine. On the first day, seven Trojans scored two outright singles wins on the day, which also marked the victorious dual-match debut for four freshman Trojans. Handover Paul Barretto was perfect on lane six today, as was freshman #35 Peter Makk on lane four and spring addition Ryan Colby in the No. 5 spot. Freshman Colby also boasted the clincher against UC Davis. Newcomer Wojtek Marek, meanwhile, debuted in the #3 spot for a smooth win before moving on to court two against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The freshman there took another solid win to close out the day for the Trojans. On Sunday, USC took another solid win over the Anteaters. There was no stopping USC’s top doubles duo #10 Stefan Dostanic and Bradley Frye in their first dual-match pairing of the year. They took a 6-1 win on lane one, and then Paul Barretto and Peter Makk netted the double point for USC by tying that deficit to lane three. The transition to singles action saw #6 Dostanic and #35 Makk both hit the gas early and took a 5-0 lead over their respective foes. Makk drove right on and took a 6-0, 6-3 win over Mike Mkrtchian on lane four to count USC’s first singles win of the day. Next up was a quick finish of freshmen Wojtek Marek on lane three, as he sent off Lawee Sherif 6-4, 6-1. A trio of Trojans reached the finish line within a minute of each other. #70 Frye came through with the clincher and took the Trojans 4-0 with his 6-2, 6-2 decision over Riccardo Roberto. freshman Ryan Colby collected the next point on a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Noah Zamora, then Dostanic ended his battle with Emmanuel Coste 6-3, 6-3 to turn it into a 6-0 USC advantage. That left a tight squeeze on lane six. In a competitive 10-point tiebreak to decide things, UC Irvine’s Ali Amiri defeated the USCs Paul Barretto 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (10-7) to end the game as a 6-1 USC win.
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, Dostanic topped the Cardinal’s Alexandre Rotsaert 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 23 singles in his junior campaign to date. Senior just last weekend Bradley Frye joined Dostanic in double digits, now with 12 to his name. And about to enter the double-digit win zone are sophomores Louis Weststrate and freshmen Peter Makk with nine each. In doubles, #10 Dostanic/Frye have played the most matches together and had the most wins so far with their 9-3 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. •