The USC men’s tennis team rebounded from a disappointing performance at last weekend’s Indoor National Championships with a dominant 4-0 victory over No. 14 Oklahoma State to move to 8-1 on the season.
“I was very pleased with how we responded to three tough losses last week,” head coach Brett Masi said. “We can talk about it all we want, but when you start to play that’s another story. We were ready from the get-go and the guys had good energy.”
The Trojan men started strong, as they secured the doubles point behind two commanding victories. Sophomore Stefan Dostanic and junior Bradley Frye defeated seniors Henrik Korsgaard and Mathieu Scaglia 6-2 and seniors Daniel Cukierman and Riley Smith handled junior Emile Hudd and senior Matej Vocel 6-3, giving USC the 1-0 lead heading into the singles matches.
“When you win that doubles point, then it gives you a security blanket,” Masi said. “If we have our full lineup we think … what team is gonna come in and win four singles from us on a given day?”
That team was certainly not Oklahoma State on Saturday, as the Trojans quickly took care of business in the singles matches to earn the 4-0 victory. On court three, Dostanic got things started for USC defeating Korsgaard 6-1, 6-3. He was followed by a 6-1, 6-3 victory on court six from freshman Lodewijk Weststrate and a 6-2, 6-4 win from Frye on court five. USC also held leads in the three other matches when they clinched the victory.
“We had a dominant performance,” Masi said. “Especially at our bottom of our lineup, we won at 3, 5, and 6. That’s great to see our lower lineup come through and not necessarily have to rely on the upperclassmen at the top.”
The Trojan men host No. 5 TCU on Friday, a potential revenge match for USC who suffered a 3-4 defeat at the hands of the Horned Frogs at the indoor nationals earlier this month.
“Obviously the guys are going to want revenge,” Masi said regarding any extra motivation. “Any time you lose to a team, especially the way we did having match points, you want to come back and prove that you can be worthy of the win.”
The No. 15 Trojan women, on the heels of their second loss to No. 4 Pepperdine this season, also enjoyed a successful week, earning 6-1 victories at home over Hawaii and San Diego.
First on the agenda for USC this week was a match against Hawaii on Thursday. The Trojans won all three doubles matches 6-3 behind redshirt senior Summer Dvorak and junior Danielle Willson; sophomore Eryn Cayetano and freshman Naomi Cheong; and junior Salma Ewing and redshirt senior Clare McKee.
The momentum continued into the singles matches as Dovrak, Ewing, Cayetano and Willson all picked up wins to support redshirt senior Constance Branstine’s 7-5, 6-2 match-clinching victory. That win gave the Trojans a 4-2 record heading into Saturday’s match against San Diego.
San Diego earned the first doubles match win with redshirt sophomore Solymar Colling and redshirt freshman Elizabeth Goldsmith defeating Cayetano and Cheong 6-1. However, the Trojans responded as Ewing and McKee won 6-0 and Dvorak and Wilson clinched the doubles victory with a 6-2 win to give USC the 1-0 edge.
The Trojans once again dominated in singles as well, as Cheong and Dvorak each earned quick 6-4, 6-2 victories putting USC up 3-0. They were followed by McKee, whose 6-2, 6-1 defeat of redshirt senior Kati Kukaras clinched the Trojans’ fifth victory of the season. Cayetano and Ewing were also victorious in their singles matches to extend the margin of victory to 6-1.
USC has two difficult tests next up on the schedule as they host two ranked opponents this coming weekend. Crosstown rivals No. 3 UCLA visit on Friday followed by No. 15 Oklahoma State as the Trojans look to move to 6-2 on the season.