Men’s Tennis April 12, 2022
No. 15 USC has its final two regular-season matches on tap this week, beginning with a midweek clash at Marks Stadium. On Wednesday (April 13), the Trojans (16-5, 6-1 Pac-12) host No. 20 San Diego (17-2) at 5 pm Prior to that match, USC will hold a Senior Day ceremony to honor its three departing Trojans – Paul Barretto, Mor Bulis and Jake Sands. USC then wraps up conference play with a road trip to Utah, where the Trojans take on the Utes (19-5, 3-3) at 3 pm MT on Friday (April 15) in Salt Lake City.
IN THE RANKINGS
The Trojans opened 2022 ranked No. 9 in the nation – an upgrade from the No. 10 spot it finished up at in 2021. As of the latest set of ITA National Team Rankings (released April 6), USC stands at No. 15 in the land. Individual rankings were also released on April 6, with three Trojans currently ranked in singles. Junior Stefan Dostanic has set a new career best, now standing tall at # 2 in the nation. He is joined by # 52 Peter Makk and # 116 Lodewijk Weststrate on the list. In doubles, USC has Dostanic and Frye now standing at # 6 in the land.
The No. 20 Toreros are 17-2 overall after beating San Francisco 4-0 and Santa Clara 4-1 last week. USD has two players ranked in singles: # 7 Austin Holmgren and # 119 Gui Osorio. In doubles, USD has # 13 Holmgren / Osorio in the rankings. In a series dating back to 1975, USC is 40-3 all-time against the Toreros after a 5-2 win when the teams last met last season in La Jolla.
The No. 32 Utes are 19-5 overall and 3-3 in Pac-12 play after losing 4-0 to Arizona and beating ASU 4-2 last week. Utah has # 93 Geronimo Busleiman ranked in singles. In doubles, Utah has # 15 Busleiman / Capalbo in the rankings. In a dating series back to 1962, USC is 35-1 all-time against the Utes after a 7-0 win when the teams last met last season at Marks Stadium.
USC captured its fifth straight victory over rival UCLA with a comeback effort to beat the Bruins 4-2 last weekend in Westwood. After UCLA took a 2-0 lead, the Trojans rattled off four straight-set singles wins to pocket the road win. In their first matches in Bruin territory, freshmen Peter Makk and Ryan Colby made themselves right at home in tacking up the last two singles victories today for the Trojans. UCLA edged out USC in doubles action with a tiebreaker on court one. The Bruins collected a 6-3 win on court two over Peter Makk and Lodewijk Weststrate for an early leg up, only to have USC’s Ryder Jackson and Samuel Rubell fire back with a 6-4 win on court three. That heaped the pressure on court one, where UCLA’s Hoogmartens / Pereira had pulled even with USC’s # 6 Stefan Dostanic and Bradley Frye. The Bruin duo would push through in the tiebreaker and tack a 1-0 lead on the board for the hosts with that 7-6 (4) decision. UCLA’s doubles point win interrupted a 10-match streak of such wins by the Trojans this season. The Bruins would nudge ahead 2-0 with Bryce Pereira’s win over Samuel Rubell on court six, but the Trojans were undeterred. On court one, # 2 Stefan Dostanic found some vengeance with a 7-5, 6-1 win over # 23 Alexander Hoogmartens to get a point on the board for USC. At the No. 5 spot, # 116 Lodewijk Weststrate found a finishing touch against Eric Hahn for a 6-2, 6-4 win that snarled things up at 2-2. Edging his Trojans into the lead was # 52 Peter Makk, who regrouped and took out Giacomo Revelli 6-3, 7-5 to make it 3-2 USC. That left Bradley Frye in a third set on court two, while Ryan Colby fixed his eyes on a clincher at the No. 4 slot. The freshman closed things out on UCLA’s Karl Lee with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 win that sealed the comeback rivalry win for USC at 4-2 and suspended action on court two.
BY THE NUMBERS
USC’s winningest player to date continues to be junior Stefan Dostanic, who has churned out 33 singles wins while riding a 15-match win streak. Five other Trojans now join him with double-digit wins on the singles side, with freshman Peter Makk holding 20 wins, senior Bradley Fryefreshman Ryan Colby and sophomore Lodewijk Weststrate with 16 each, and junior Ryder Jackson with 11. In doubles, Dostanic / Frye have played the most matches together and boast the most wins with their 19-9 record together to date.
THIS IS 30
After going undefeated in singles and doubles across three dual matches, junior Stefan Dostanic scored his 30th singles win and secured his second career selection as Pac-12 Men’s Tennis Player of the Week. Paired with partner Bradley Frye at the No. 1 position in doubles, Dostanic collected two decisive wins and one tiebreaker victory for a 3-0 effort in doubles. And on court one in singles, the now-No. 6 ranked player in the nation beat two ranked opponents in straight sets and claimed a three-set comeback victory as well to extend his singles win streak out to 12 in a row. Dostanic became the second Trojan to be named Pac-12 Player of the Week this season, joining freshman Peter Makk’s pick on Feb. 22. Dostanic’s first such honor came last season.
MAKK ON THE ATTACK
USC freshman Peter Makk won three singles matches for the Trojans in Seattle last week and secured himself as USC’s first winner of a Pac-12 Player of the Week honor this year with his selection on Feb. 22. Makk’s work helped the No. 11 Trojans to three wins in four matches, 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 cinching victory against Portland. His singles match against No. 10 Kentucky in the opening round of ITA Indoors was suspended, but he’d bounce back with straight-set wins in USC’s next two matches against the Rebels and the 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 court four. Now ranked No. 52 in the nation in singles, Makk boasts the second most singles wins on the team to date with his 20-11 mark.
REVENGE IN SEATTLE
USC avenged an earlier loss to Stanford by turning the tide on the No. 8 Cardinal in Seattle for a 4-1 comeback win in consolation play at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. In doing so, the USC avenged an earlier loss taken to the Cardinal in Palo Alto. To get this one, USC steamrolled its way through singles play, rebounding from losing the doubles point with a string of straight-set singles wins. Lodewijk Weststrate registered the clincher in this one to help USC to an 8-2 overall record with its second win at the ITA event in Seattle. Stanford snagged the doubles point with 6-3 decisions on courts one and three to get the early leg up in this one. USC responded by taking the first sets on five courts in singles. The Trojans would keep their feet on the gas, sparked first by # 46 Peter Makk’s 6-1, 6-4 victory over Stanford’s # 46 Max Basing on court four to snarl things up at 1-1. Senior Bradley Frye came through next with a swift 6-1, 6-4 win of his own over # 74 Axel Geller at the No. 3 spot. Pulling the Trojans into position was freshman Ryan Colby on court six, where his 6-3, 6-2 win over Tomas Kopczynski made it 3-1 USC. Two Trojans were pressing for the clincher, and it would be Lodewijk Weststrate who hit the finish line first with a 6-3, 6-3 win over # 108 Aryan Chaudhary on court five. That gave USC the win and suspended a top-four battle on court one, where USC’s # 4 Stefan Dostanic was leading Stanford’s # 1 Arthur Fery 7-5, 5-2 when action came to a halt.
STEF’S SHERWOOD SUCCESS
USC may have had its final day of action at the Sherwood Cup washed out, but Trojan junior Stefan Dostanic still emerged with top honors at the event. After netting two strong singles wins in USC’s double day of competition 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 evening, in the Trojans’ makeup action against players from Texas A&M, Dostanic made it a winning day for himself in taking down # 115 Noah Schachter 6-1, 4-6, 1-0 (10-2). After that first round of Spring competition, Dostanic boasted a 20-4 overall record in this 2021-22 campaign.
In Brett Masi‘s second season at the helm of the USC program, the Trojans posted a 23-7 overall record and claimed the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament Championship along the way. No fall competition was held due to the coronavirus pandemic, but action eventually got underway in January 2021. The Trojans were ranked No. 1 in the nation entering 2021 – a nod to the 2020 ITA National Team Indoor Championship the Trojans had won before the pandemic brought competition to a halt that year. After a run to the 2021 NCAA Quarterfinals, where the USC fell in a tough 4-3 decision to Texas, the Trojans ended the season ranked No. 10 in the land. Seniors Daniel Cukierman and Riley Smith both earned ITA All-American status for singles and doubles, having made a run to the NCAA Doubles quarterfinals and finishing up ranked No. 6 in the nation. In singles, Cukierman reached the NCAA Singles Round of 16 and wrapped his USC career ranked No. 24 in the nation. Smith, meanwhile, reached the NCAA Singles Round of 32 and ended up ranked No. 53. Sophomore Stefan Dostanic finished up at No. 98 in the final national singles rankings, and was No. 88 in doubles alongside Bradley Frye. •