Men’s tennis opens season in Athens
Men’s tennis will gear up for the upcoming 55th Southern Intercollegiate Championship to be held in Athens, Georgia, starting Friday. The event, which has taken place each year since 1968, is one of the greatest and longest-running fall tournaments in college tennis history.
The University of Georgia will host this invitation-only event with USC, UVA and Texas as the three teams who have accepted the invitation, with Georgia playing as the home team. The Trojans and Texas Longhorns return to the Southern Intercollegiate Championship for the second year in a row.
“We are hoping that the guys just go out, perform well and get some good experience under their belts, and hopefully win, that’s an added bonus,” said Head Coach Brett Masi. “It is the first event of the year and it’s kind of a test for them.”
Senior Stefan Dostanic, currently in his fourth season at USC, shot up the rankings to hail as number one in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association preseason rankings. Dostanic had a fantastic last season, winning 39 games, the most for a Trojan since 2010, with a winning percentage of 86.7%. Dostanic was named the 2022 Pac-12 Player of the Year, an ITA All-American in both singles and doubles and was selected as the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year along with graduate student Bradley Frye. Having lost just one dual match last season and finishing with a winning percentage of 94.4% — his maximum so far with USC — Dostanic is looking to achieve even higher this season.
Frye and University of Texas’ junior Micah Braswell might clash once again, as the latter defeated Frye with a score of 6-4, 6-4 last year in the same championship. Another interesting pairing will be that of Dostanic and junior Siem Woldeab from Texas, who lost the match in two sets with a score of 7-5,7-5 in Dostanic’s favor last season.
The squad will also utilize the learnings from newly added volunteer assistant coach Bryce Pereira for the 2022-23 season.
“The guys are gonna get a lot better coaching, and they are gonna be more equipped with the things they need to have,” said Masi. “Bryce is a great leader both on and off the court. Our squad will learn a great deal from him. [He] has a lot of knowledge and has played at a really high level at UCLA and we are excited to have him.”
Masi is looking forward to the hours USC has spent in practice paying off on the court.
“We have been working on a few things with our games individually and hopefully, they can use those things when they go out to play the match and hopefully that comes with a W on top of it,” Masi said.
USC will play its first championship game on Friday against the Virginia Cavaliers at 10 a.m. ET. USC will face the Longhorns at 10 a.m. ET the following morning, closing the weekend with the match against the hosts at 10 a.m. ET. All the matches will be played at the University of Georgia, Athens’ Dan Magill Tennis Complex.