USC sends two to ITA National Fall Championships

Senior Bradley Fyre archs back to hit a serve.
Senior Bradley Frye was an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention last season and also was named to the ITA National Team Indoors All-Tournament Team. (Amanda Chou | Daily Trojan)

USC concludes its fall season this weekend with the ITA National Fall Championships in San Diego, Calif., culminating a season of competition with Trojans competing in both the singles and doubles tournaments.

The tournament will be held Nov. 4-7 at Barnes Tennis Center. Juniors Stefan Dostanic and Samuel Rubell will be competing  this weekend. 

Head Coach Brett Masi continues to look for growth and applications from practice every tournament. He said the team still has a long way to go for the NCAA Tournament and that they are continuing to improve. 

Dostanic qualified for the singles tournament after receiving an at-large bid. In October, Dostanic fell to eventual champion Pepperdine graduate Andrew Rogers in the semifinal of the ITA Division I Men’s Southwest Regional Championship in Malibu. 

Dostanic started the season ranked No. 68, according to the ITA National Rankings. As an  at-large bid, Dostanic was granted a spot in the tournament due to declined or duplicate qualifier spots.

“I knew he was an amazing player from day one as a freshman,” Masi said. “It’s just been a matter of time … I knew he was going to be successful.”

Dostanic will play in the doubles tournament with his partner Rubell in addition to playing in the singles tournament. The two qualified for the Fall Championships after winning the Southwest Regional Championship doubles in their first ever tournament together. They beat UCLA’s senior Patrick Zahraj and freshman Giacomo Revelli in the final. 

Rubell also lost in the semifinals of the singles tournament in the Southwest Regional Championship. 

“[Dostanic and Rubell] have good chemistry,” Masi said. “It’s not surprising that they’ve worked off each other well.” 

According to the ITA, the tournament consists of a consolation bracket, so one loss does not eliminate the players. For the doubles tournament, there is a match tiebreak in lieu of the third set in all draws.

Dostanic comes into this weekend ranked as the No. 4 singles player. He is set to play Kentucky graduate student Francois Musitelli Thursday morning. Musitelli finished second in the ITA Division I Men’s Ohio Valley Regional Championship in September, which qualified him for the Fall Championship. He was ranked No. 105 this preseason. 

Dostanic and Rubell are ranked No. 8 in the doubles tournament. They will play Montana State sophomores Matej Panik and Daan Van Dijk Thursday afternoon. 

The  duo of Panik and Van Dijk finished second in the ITA Division I Men’s Mountain Regional Championship back in September. 

This weekend’s tournament will close out the fall season. After this weekend and a short offseason break, the Trojans will take to the court in January 2022 to begin spring season play and compete for a national championship. 

“Obviously, you want to see success and win the tournament or bring home hardware,” Masi said. “But the real goal is to just keep trying to improve … We gotta get stronger in the gym in terms of our training and get our guys so that they can blast and maintain throughout an entire season.”

USC begins play in San Diego with Dostanic in the singles tournament Thursday at 9 a.m. Dostanic and Rubell start at 5:30 p.m. in the doubles tournament.