Women’s and men’s tennis impress in tournament play

Junior Ana Neffa picked up three singles wins at the Women of Troy Invitational last weekend. (Ling Luo | Daily Trojan)

The USC tennis teams continued to demonstrate their talent with impressive results this past weekend at separate tournaments. 

The women’s team hosted the Women of Troy Fall Invitational at Marks Stadium at USC while the men’s team travelled to Tulsa, Okla. for the Saint Francis Health Systems ITA All-American Championships. 

The women’s team’s opponents were the Loyola Marymount Lions, Iowa State Cyclones and New Mexico Lobos. The tournament spanned three days, starting Friday and concluding Sunday. 

On the first day, junior Ana Neffa, senior Sydney Van Alphen, sophomore Estella Jaeger and freshman Payton Saca all won singles matches against New Mexico. 

The opening day was full of exciting contests for the Trojans. Neffa took sophomore Sara Kuuttila-Webbert to a tiebreaker (10-6) before ultimately emerging victorious, and Jaeger also won a tightly-contested tiebreaker (10-8) over sophomore Myu Kageyama. 

On the second day, the same Trojans took on LMU with Neffa, Van Alphen and Jaeger all winning their matches. 

On Sunday, sophomore Salma Ewing joined the singles lineup, and all four Trojans beat their Iowa State opponents. Van Alphen’s match with freshman Christin Hsieh ended with a close tiebreaker round (10-8) before Van Alphen again came out on top.

In doubles play, the Trojans only faced off against New Mexico. Ewing and freshman Eryn Cayetano paired together while Jaeger and Neffa comprised the other Trojan doubles team. Both beat the Lobos Friday.

On the second day, Cayetano and Jaeger played alongside each other and lost, while Ewing and Saca were able to get a win. On the tournament’s final day, the pairs of Neffa and Van Alphen as well as Jaeger and Saca won their matches. 

Overall, USC finished with an 11-1 record in singles play and a 5-1 record in doubles competition, an outstanding result for the Trojans.

The men’s main highlight in Tulsa was a quarterfinal appearance by the elite doubles duo of sophomore Bradley Frye and senior Riley Smith. Frye and Smith are the No. 28 doubles team in the nation according to the Oracle ITA rankings. 

The Duke Blue Devils’ impressive partnership of junior Sean Sculley and senior Nick Stachowiak brought their run to an end. 

“[They had] big and important matches along the way,” said head coach Brett Masi, who acknowledged Frye and Smith’s tough opponents from the ACC. “Overall, both those boys won some key matches and did really well. We are proud of what they did.”

Sophomore Jake Sands and freshmen Ryder Jackson and Stefan Dostanic took part in singles play with Frye and Smith. Smith made it to the Round of 32 before losing to junior Alastair Gray from Texas Christian University in three sets. 

“Riley had a great week in terms of individually, in singles he won four matches, and [he] had a good chance to beat another player [Gray],” Masi said of Smith’s solid singles performance.

The Trojans will look to carry their momentum into the ITA Southwest Regional Championships. The tournament takes place at Pepperdine University for the men’s team and in San Diego for the women’s squad.