The Trojan men’s tennis team heads to Malibu, Calif., on Thursday, when Pepperdine hosts the ITA Southwest Regional Championships. The opening rounds of doubles and singles will take place throughout the day beginning at 9 a.m.
The Men of Troy are expected to have a strong showing at this week’s tournament: Off the bat, the Trojans have more first-round byes than any other team in the singles main draw. Out of eight players sent to Malibu, five have a bye Thursday in the round of 128, including top-seeded junior Logan Smith, No. 3 junior Jack Jaede, No. 4 senior Thibault Forget, No. 12 junior Laurens Verboven and unseeded senior Jens Sweaney. Sophomore Mateusz Smolicki, redshirt sophomore Jake Devine and redshirt junior Tanner Smith round out the remaining Trojans who will compete in the opening round.
Smolicki will get things started for the Trojans, facing off against Chase Masciorini of UC Santa Barbara at 10:45 a.m. Devine and Tanner Smith both play at 12:15 p.m., as Devine takes on Daniel DeLaTorre of SDSU and Smith faces Andrew Whitehouse of Cal Poly.
On the doubles side, all three of the Trojans’ duos received opening-round byes, and they will immediately advance to the round of 32. Verboven and Smolicki come in with the No. 5 seed, Jaede and Tanner Smith received the No. 6 seed and Devine and Forget are unranked. All three matches in the round of 32 will begin at 9:45 a.m.
In last year’s ITA Southwest Regional, Logan Smith reached the semifinal while Forget forged his way to a defeat in the title match. Smith and Forget also paired up to take on the doubles bracket in 2016 and made it to the quarterfinal. This year, the standings are a little shaken up, with Smith surpassing Forget (No. 96) in the national singles rankings at No. 54. Jaede is also up there with them at No. 82.
Both the singles and doubles quarterfinals will be held on Saturday. The semifinal is set for Sunday, and the weekend’s action will conclude with both singles and doubles championships on Monday.