Men’s Tennis | April 6, 2022
Nr. 15 USC turns to a rival clash this weekend as the Trojans visit the cross-border enemy UCLA. Trojan horses (15-5, 5-1 Pac-12) and Bruins (7-9, 2-2) must meet at. 3pm Saturday (April 9) for a Pac-12 match at UCLA’s Los Angeles Tennis Center.
ON THE RANGELING
The Trojans opened in 2022 ranked No. 9 in the nation – an upgrade from the No. 10 spot it finished in 2021. From the latest set of ITA National Team Rankings (released April 6), USC ranks No. 15 in the ground. Individual rankings were also released on April 6, with three Trojan horses currently ranked in singles. Junior Stefan Dostanic has set a new career best, and now ranks high at # 2 in the nation. He’s joined by # 52 Peter Makk and # 116 Lodewijk Weststrate on the list. In doubles, USC Dostanic and Frye now stand as # 6 in the country.
Nr. The 48 Bruins are 7-9 overall and 2-2 in Pac-12 play after a 5-1 loss to Washington and a 4-1 win over Oregon last week. UCLA has # 23 Alexander Hoogmartens ranked in singles. In doubles, UCLA has # 82 Pereira / Zahraj and # 88 Baird / Hoogmartens on the rankings. In a series dating back to 1929, USC is consistently 97-114 against the Bruins after a 4-0 victory when the teams met earlier in the season at Marks Stadium. Last year, USC beat UCLA in all three meetings. The rivals did not meet each other in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The Bruins’ last win over USC was a 4-3 decision on April 5, 2019 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
USC made it a winning roadtrip last week by amassing a 4-0 shutout in Oregon and a 4-1 victory in Washington for two more major Pac-12 victories. When USC competed on the road for the first time since the end of February, USC secured a shutout victory in Oregon with a quick doublepoint, followed by two straight-set singles victories to get in position. In No. 3 place, Peter Makk had the winning streak with a comeback in three sets to secure 4-0 to the Trojans. Two days later in Seattle, USC rattled another Pac-12 road victory with a 4-1 victory over host Washington. Once again, the Trojans claimed the double point with two decisive decisions – this time from courts one and three – and then collected the necessary three single victories to secure the Pac-12 victory. Claiming the clincher for the team’s best fifth time this season was a freshman Ryan Colbyif straight-set victory from court four sealed the deal.
BY THE NUMBERS
USC’s most winning player to date is junior Stefan Dostanic, who has won 32 singles victories while running a winning streak of 14 matches. Five other Trojan horses now join him with double-digit victories on the singles side, with freshman Peter Makk with 19 wins, senior Bradley Frye at 16, first-year student Ryan Colby and other students Lodewijk Weststrate with 15 each, followed by junior Ryder Jackson with 11. In doubles, # 17 Dostanic / Frye have played the most matches together and can boast the most victories with their 19-8 record together to date, thanks in part to the duo’s current seven-match winning streak.
THIS IS 30
After being undefeated in singles and doubles across three doubles, junior Stefan Dostanic scored his 30th singles victory and secured his second career selection as Pac-12 Men’s Tennis Player of the Week. Couple with partner Bradley Frye at No. 1 position in doubles, Dostanic totaled two decisive wins and a tiebreaker victory to a 3-0 effort in doubles. And on the court one in singles, now-No. The 6-ranked player in the nation beat two ranked opponents in straight sets and also claimed a three-set comeback victory to extend his singles winning streak to 12 in a row. Dostanic became the second Trojan to be named Pac-12 Player of the Week of the Week this season, joining freshman Peter Makks choose on February 22nd. Dostanic’s first such honors came last season.
MAKE ON THE ATTACK
USC freshman Peter Makk won three singles matches for Trojan horses in Seattle last week and secured himself as USC’s first winner of a Pac-12 Player of the Week this year with his selection on February 22nd. Makks work helped the Trojans No. 11 to three wins in four games, including 4-1 decisions over No. 15 Mississippi and No. 8 Stanford at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. Makk opened the week with the big win against Portland. His singles match against No. 10, Kentucky in the opening round of ITA Indoors, was suspended, but he would return with wins in straight sets in USC’s next two matches against the Rebels and Cardinal. In the rematch with Stanford, Makk avenged his only dual-match loss of the year with a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 49 Max Basing on lane four. Now ranked No. 46 in the nation in singles, Makk boasts the second most singles victories on the team to date with his 17-8 grade.
REVENGE IN SEATTLE
USC avenged an earlier loss to Stanford by turning the shot at the No. 8 Cardinal in Seattle for a 4-1 comeback victory in consolation games at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. In doing so, USC avenged an earlier loss taken to the Cardinal of the Palo Alto. To get this one, USC steamed its way through singles play and returned from losing the double point with a series of straight-set singles wins. Lodewijk Weststrate registered clincher in this to help USC to an overall record of 8-2 with its second win at the ITA event in Seattle. Stanford got the double point with 6-3 decisions on lanes one and three to get the early leg up in this one. USC responded by taking the first sets on five courses in singles. The Trojans would keep their legs on the gas, triggered first by # 46 Peter Makks 6-1, 6-4 victory over Stanfords # 46 Max Basing on lane four to snag things up to 1-1. Senior Bradley Frye came through as the next with his own quick 6-1, 6-4 victory over # 74 Axel Geller in No. 3 spot. Pulling Trojan horses in place was freshman Ryan Colby on lane six, where his 6-3, 6-2 victory over Tomas Kopczynski made it 3-1 USC. Two Trojan horses pressed on, and that would be it Lodewijk Weststrate who hit the finish line first with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over # 108 Aryan Chaudhary on lane five. It gave USC the victory and suspended a top-4 match on Lane 1, with USC’s # 4 Stefan Dostanic led Stanford’s # 1 Arthur Fery 7-5, 5-2 as the action stalled.
STEF’S SHERWOOD SUCCESS
USC may have washed out its last day in the Sherwood Cup, but Trojan junior Stefan Dostanic still emerged with top honors at the event. After achieving two strong singles victories in USC’s double competition day on Sunday (January 16), the No. 6 ranked Dostanic was named Singles Champion. In USC’s morning games against Stanford players, Dostanic topped Cardinal Alexandre Rotsaert 7-6 (3), 6-3. Later in the evening, in the Trojans makeup action against players from Texas A&M, Dostanic made it a winning day for himself as he beat # 115 Noah Schachter 6-1, 4-6, 1-0 (10-2). After the first round of the spring competition, Dostanic boasted an overall record of 20-4 in this 2021-22 campaign.
IN Brett MasiIn its second season at the helm of the USC program, the Trojans got an overall record of 23-7 and claimed the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament Championship along the way. No fall competition was held due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the campaign finally got underway in January 2021. The Trojans were ranked No. 1 in the nation that entered 2021 – a nod to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in 2020 , which the Trojans had won before the pandemic brought the competition to an end that year. After a race to the 2021 NCAA quarterfinals, where USC fell in a difficult 4-3 decision to Texas, the Trojans finished the season as No. 10 in the country. Seniors Daniel Cukierman and Riley Smith both achieved ITA All-American status for singles and doubles, after making it to the NCAA Doubles quarterfinals and finishing No. 6 in the nation. In singles, Cukierman reached the NCAA Singles Round of 16 and ended his USC career as No. 24 in the nation. Smith, meanwhile, reached the NCAA Singles Round of 32 and finished as No. 53. Sophomore Stefan Dostanic finished as No. 98 in the final national singles placement and became No. 88 in doubles along with Bradley Frye. •