If there has been a constant for the No. 1 USC men’s tennis team — other than non-conference home victories — it has been rain whenever No. 60 University of San Diego was on the schedule.
On Sunday — after two previously scheduled matches were rained out — the Trojans (6-0, 0-0) defeated the Toreros (2-0, 0-0) 7-0 at Marks Tennis Stadium.
This match marked the first time that USC played against Toreros coach Brett Masi — who was an assistant on USC’s staff for the previous four seasons.
The Trojans were excited to show off their talents against coach Masi.
“It was fun to play against [Masi] for the first time. We had a little bit of extra motivation, but it wasn’t a distraction,” senior Robert Farah said.
The fact that the Trojans were not distracted was evident. They won every single match to complete another sweep of a non-conference opponent.
In doubles, the combinations of Farah and No. 65 freshman JT Sundling — at No. 1 — and sophomores Steve Johnson and Daniel Nguyen continued to dominate their foes, winning 8-1 and 8-2, respectively.
Juniors Peter Lucassen and Jaak Poldma continued their solid play winning 8-6 over sophomore Nikola Bubnic and junior Abdullah Hashem.
During the singles portion, USC only dropped one set throughout the six matches.
At the first position, No. 14 Farah displayed an overpowering first serve and an exceptional return of serve, dominating junior Dean Jackson — before he retired from the match in the second set.
Sundling was the only singles player to lose a set but returned to form in the final two sets in his triumph over Hashem 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
The rest of lineup overwhelmed the Toreros, with No. 1 Johnson winning over Bubnic 6-2, 6-3; No. 78 Daniel Nguyen defeating senior Charl Wolmarans 6-3, 6-1; Peter Lucassen finishing off a 7-5, 6-2 victory over freshman Thibaut Visy; and No. 47 sophomore Matt Kecki playing consistently in his defeat of junior Nils Schive 6-2, 6-2.
At the conclusion of this six match home stand to start the season, USC coach Peter Smith has been satisfied with his players getting important match experience and displaying the depth of his team.
“This stretch has been a great experience, especially for our newer guys,” Smith said. “We have a ton of possibilities four our team, we have eight guys to choose from for our doubles lineup.”
The Trojans have displayed their lineup depth, but that depth will surely be tested at the upcoming upcoming ITA National Team Indoor Championships — starting Friday, Feb. 12.
With this positive stretch to begin the season behind them, the team seems ready as the intensity of the season will ratchet up at the Indoor Championships against the best teams in the nation.