The men’s tennis team returns to its home courts this week to host two of their final three matches of the season. With their No. 6 ranking under their belts, the Trojans will first take on Arizona (9-13, 0-4) on Friday and Utah (15-7, 1-3) on Saturday.
Arizona has yet to notch a conference win this season, taking losses to both Washington and Oregon. None of the Wildcats are ranked in singles and doubles, and the Trojans have only lost two matches to them since 1932. With three matches left in conference play, Friday’s matchups should give the Trojans an opportunity to notch an important victory.
Utah have also faced struggles this season, finding their only conference victory of the year in a 4-2 win over Washington last week. Similarly, the Utes do not have any ranked players in singles or doubles, providing the Trojans with a solid chance to add another match to their win column.
So far this season, the Trojans have only built on their original ranking of No. 10, climbing closer this week to the nation’s top five. This week’s individual rankings also place two Trojans in the top rankings for singles along with three doubles teams. Freshman Brandon Holt sits at the top for the team with a No. 23 national ranking for singles, while sophomore Logan Smith follows at No. 72. In doubles, Holt and fellow freshman Riley Smith are ranked No. 11, while senior Nick Crystal and sophomore Laurens Verboven sit at No. 76. Junior Thibault Forget and sophomore Logan Smith follow close behind at No. 80.
Head coach Peter Smith is looking to extend his career wins after recording his 600th at the end of march. The Trojans took down No. 23 Oregon to clinch the victory and hauled in a win against Cal and Stanford last week. Smith has already brought five national championships to the Trojans, and in his 15th season, he is continuing to make an impact in the program.
The next challenge for Smith’s team will be to close out the regular season in order to secure a top seed for the Pac-12 championships. After that, the Trojans will turn their attention toward the national playoffs and another trip to the title match.