SAN DIEGO, Calif. - UP NEXT: Double-header - Saturday, Jan. 21st
No. 27 USD vs. No. 47 Cal Poly - 12:30 pm
No. 27 USD vs. UC San Diego - 4:00 pm
Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center
A LOOK AT CAL POLY: The Mustangs enter the season-opener with a No. 47 ITA preseason ranking after posting a 14-7 record in 2010-11. Senior Andre Dome comes into the season ranked 22nd in singles, while Cal Poly's doubles tandem of Jordan Bridge and Marco Comuzzo were ranked 54th. Last season, the Mustangs advanced to the NCAA Championships for the first time in program history at the Division I level. Nick Carless is in his first season as head coach at Cal Poly. The Toreros are 8-1 all-time against the Mustangs, with their last meeting resulting in a 5-2 USD road win in 2010. USD has won the past three contests with Cal Poly.
A LOOK AT UC SAN DIEGO: The Tritons open the season looking to follow up on last year's 20-1 dual match record and No. 10 ITA Division II final ranking. UCSD's 2010-11 season ended with a 5-0 loss to Columbus State in the round of 16 of the Division II NCAA Championships. Head coach Eric Steidlmeyer is in his 14th season at the helm and is 169-98 (.633) over his career at UCSD. USD is a perfect 23-0 all-time against UC San Diego. Last season the Toreros topped UCSD 5-2 in the season-opener at home.
IN THE MIX: The Toreros open the season ranked No. 27 in the preseason ITA polls released on Jan. 3rd. Junior Thibaut Visy earned a No. 61 preseason singles ranking, while senior Patrick Pohlmann came in at No. 92 in the singles rankings.
GETTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: The Toreros have won both season openers under third-year head coach Brett Masi. Last season the Toreros defeated UC San Diego (5-2) and then-No. 38 BYU (6-1) in home double-header, while in 2010 USD opened the spring with a 6-1 home win over UC Riverside. Since they began playing at the Division I level in 1980, the Toreros have never lost a season opener at home, a string of 18 consecutive matches. USD is 4-10 in season openers on the road over that span.
FOLLOW THE LEADER: Senior Nikola Bubnic led the Toreros with a 5-2 singles record during the fall. Bubnic played in two tournaments this fall- the Battle in the Bay (San Francisco, Calif.) and the USTA/ITA Southwestern Regional Championships (Malibu, Calif.). He advanced to the main draw quarterfinals in the regionals before losing to USC's Yannick Hanfmann (6-4, 6-4). Bubnic is expected to anchor the top of the Torero ladder this spring.
RECAPPING 2010-2011: The Toreros are coming off their first West Coast Conference championship since 1990 after going 19-7 overall and 3-1 against West Coast Conference opponents. USD made their sixth trip to the NCAA Championships, and first since the 2006 season, defeating BYU 4-0 in the first round before falling to eventual national champion USC 4-0. The Toreros climbed as high as No. 20 in the Campbell/ITA rankings and finished the season at No. 31, their highest since 1993. Second-year head coach Brett Masi took home the WCC Coach of the Year honor for the first time in program history, while senior Dean Jackson became the first Torero to be named conference Player of the Year after posting a 34-8 overall singles record. Jackson also tied Jose Luis Noriega for USD's career singles wins lead with his 100th victory. Jackson made his third career NCAA singles appearance as he advanced to the second round before losing to Virginia's Michael Shabaz 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. Joining Jackson on the All-WCC singles first-team were juniors Nikola Bubnic and Patrick Pohlmann, while WCC Freshman of the Year Clarke Spinosa took home second-team honors in singles and sophomore Thibaut Visy was named honorable mention. Jackson and Pohlmann, who lost in the first round of NCAAs in doubles, were named first-team All-WCC as a pair and finished the season ranked 16th. USD's doubles tandems of Spinosa and Visy and Bubnic and Nils Schive each earned second-team All-WCC honors as well. In addition to being only the third Torero to ever be named the conference's top freshman, Spinosa established himself in the USD record books by posting the best dual singles mark by a Torero freshman in program history and tied for the most overall singles wins in team history.
FRESH FACES: The Toreros added five freshmen to the roster for the 2011-12 season. Andrew Carlisle (Portola Valley, Calif.) comes to USD from Menlo High School where he earned a No. 8 NorCal singles ranking and No. 1 ranking in doubles as a senior. Ciaran Fitzgerald (Dublin, Ireland) was the Irish Junior Open champion in 2006 and 2007 and the Irish Junior National Indoor champion in 2009. Andrew Raphaelson (Las Vegas, Nev.) was the No. 1 under-18 player in Las Vegas for three straight years while at Bishop Gorman High School. Garrett Taylor (Monte Sereno, Calif.) was a four star recruit who earned a No. 159 national ranking while at Bellarmine College Prep. Finally, Victor Pugliese (Boulogne-Billancourt, France) joined the team in January and looks to add depth to the Torero lineup.
HEAD COACH Brett Masi: Third-year head coach Brett Masi led the Toreros to one of their finest seasons in decades last season as USD defeated Santa Clara 4-1 to claim the Toreros' first West Coast Conference title since 1990. Masi, who has a 31-16 (.660) record in his two seasons at USD, took home WCC Coach of the Year honors, becoming the first USD coach to ever do so. In addition to being named ITA Southwest Region Coach of the Year, Masi guided USD to its first NCAA Championship appearance since the 2006 season.Masi was named USD's new head men's tennis coach on May 21st, 2009. Masi came to USD from the University of Southern California where he had been with the USC men's tennis program since 2005, and had been Peter Smith's top assistant. Masi was a four-year letterwinner at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he remains one of the program's all-time winningest players. In 2001, he earned his bachelor's degree in recreation administration from Cal Poly and earned his master's degree from Azusa Pacific in 2002. In addition to coaching, Masi works as an instructor for Peter Smith at The Long Beach Tennis Academy and the Peter Smith Tennis Camps during the summer. He also spends time coaching and developing junior tennis players throughout Southern California. Masi prepped at Riverside Poly High School, where he was a four-time Ivy League champion in both singles and doubles. Masi was born Nov. 2, 1978 in Riverside, Calif. He and his wife, Desiree, have two young children - a son, Jaxson, and daughter, Devyn.