The men’s tennis team sent a host of players to Malibu, Calif., over the weekend for the ITA Southwest Regional Championships at Pepperdine University, and though the Trojans played well, they couldn’t capture any titles at the tournament.
USC started with six singles and three doubles teams: Three singles players advanced through the round of 32, and two of those went even further, into the quarterfinals. On the doubles side, two Trojan duos advanced to the quarterfinals. Juniors Jack Jaede, Logan Smith and Laurens Verboven all advanced in both singles and doubles, with Smith and Verboven tackling doubles together.
Smith and Jaede were the Trojans’ standouts in the singles bracket. Smith earned his spot in the quarterfinals with straight-set wins in all three rounds after receiving a bye in the opening round of 128. Jaede also made easy work of his first two competitors after a first-round bye, but he had to fight back to earn his quarterfinal berth after dropping the opening set.
In the quarterfinals, both Trojans faced opponents from Pac-12 rival Arizona State, but neither was able to prevail. Top-seeded Smith was upset in two sets, 6-4, 6-3, by unseeded Benjamin Hannestad, who went on to win the tournament. Meanwhile,
No. 3 seed Jaede fought to three sets with No. 11 Michael Geerts, but could not finish him off, falling 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.
In the doubles bracket, Jaede and redshirt junior Tanner Smith advanced to the quarterfinals along with Verboven and Logan Smith. There, Verboven and Smith fell to San Diego’s Joel Gamerov and August Holmgren in an 8-5 decision. On the flip side, Jaede and Smith were able to defeat UC Santa Barbara duo Anders Holm and Nicolas Moreno de Alboran to break through into the semifinals.
Jaede and Smith held their own against the top-seeded pair of Benjamin Hannestad and Tim Ruehl of Arizona State, taking them to three sets. The match was decided by a tiebreaker after the third set, but the Men of Troy couldn’t conquer their opponents, falling with a final score of 6-7 (4), 6-4, 1-0 (10-6). Hannestad and Ruehl went on to take home the doubles title.
This Thursday, the Trojans will continue the fall season with their first home tournament of the year, hosting the 61st annual SoCal Intercollegiate Championships. In the 2016 event, Trojan freshman Brandon Holt took home the singles title, and he looks to repeat the feat in his sophomore season. The doubles final went unplayed due to a rain delay, though Holt had also won a spot in that title match. This year’s tournament will run from Thursday to Monday at Marks Stadium.