Tennis

Cayetano wins singles title as tennis programs wrap up fall season

USC men’s and women’s tennis combined for eight titles this fall.

Photo of USC tennis player Eryn Cayetano

USC men’s and women’s tennis wrapped up their fall seasons this past weekend at the ITA National Fall Championships. Several players made deep runs in the tournament and one Trojan brought a trophy back to Los Angeles.

USC junior Eryn Cayetano won the singles title. Currently ranked No. 56 in the country, Cayetano won five matches en route to her title and defeated three ranked opponents. It was her second singles championship of the season after winning the Fall Ranked Spotlight in September.

After winning her first three rounds, Cayetano played No. 12 Alexa Noel from Iowa. She won 7-5, 6-2. Out of the three ranked players she beat, Noel ranked the highest.

Cayetano won her first four rounds in straight sets before facing Princeton’s Daria Frayman in the final. She won the title in three sets, 6-0, 5-7, 7-5. Cayetano said Frayman changed her game after the first set to attack Cayetano’s weaknesses.

Although Cayetano was cramping in the third set, she told herself, “This is what good players do. They adapt and attack whenever they can.”

Senior Salma Ewing and redshirt freshman Snow Han also competed in the tournament. No. 18 Ewing won her first match against No. 67 Kylie Collins from Texas 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. She lost in the next round to South Carolina’s Sarah Hamner 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-2.

Snow Han lost in the first round to Connie Ma from Stanford, 6-3, 6-1.

Ewing and Han played in the doubles draw as well, winning their first round 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3), against Penn’s Iuliia Bryzgalova and Marija Curnic. They lost in the next round to Baylor’s Alicia Herrero Linana and Mel Krywoj, 6-4, 5-7, [10-6].

Cayetano expressed “full confidence” in her team as they head into spring competition.

“I think we are developing well together and pushing each other as much as we can,” she said.

The men’s team competed in the ITA National Fall Championships and the Jack Kramer Classic. At the National Fall Championships, junior No. 68 Stefan Dostanic defeated two ranked opponents before falling in the quarterfinals. In the quarters, he played No. 20 Matej Vocel from Ohio State and lost 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-1. It was Dostanic’s first tournament since the ankle injury he suffered in the semifinals of the ITA Southwest Regional Championships on Oct. 26.

“He played two really good matches against really good opponents,” men’s head coach Brett Masi said of Dostanic. “He has shown a lot of maturity and he is growing a lot through the fall.”

Dostanic and junior Samuel Rubell teamed up in doubles to defeat Montana State’s Matej Panik and Daan Van Dijk, 6-3, 6-2. They lost in the second round to Charlotte’s Stefanos Savva and Coy Simon, 6-4, 6-7 (9), [11-9]. It was the first time the two played together since winning the ITA Southwest Regional Championships.

Masi said he was disappointed that doubles didn’t go their way. Overall, he said it was “a very solid weekend. Just getting ready and happy to start the spring [season].”

At the Jack Kramer Classic, all three Trojans who competed fell in the first round. Junior Ryder Jackson withdrew. Graduate transfer Paul Barretto and freshman Peter Makk both lost in straight sets.

The Trojan tennis programs combined for eight titles this fall. Both teams will resume play in January.