Feb. 19, 2014
UP NEXT: The Toreros (2-2) travel east to face a pair of opponents this weekend going up against the South Florida Bulls (5-0) and the South Carolina Gamecocks (5-4).
No. 44 San Diego (2-2) vs. No. 56 South Florida (5-0)
Saturday, February 22nd - 9:00 a.m. EST
Columbia, S.C., Carolina Tennis Center
No. 44 San Diego (2-2) vs. No. 31 South Carolina (5-4)
Sunday, February 23rd - 9:00 a.m. EST
Columbia, S.C., Carolina Tennis Center
LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros cruised past their first home matches of the season, competing in a double-header against the UC San Diego Tritons and the UC Irvine Anteaters. The Toreros defeated the Tritons 5-2, having strong performances from the entire roster. Several Toreros picked up their first wins of the dual season including freshman Aaron Addison who defeated Tritons' Ganesh Alagappan 7-6(3), 6-1 and Clarke Spinosa beating Max Jiganti 6-4, 6-1.
Later in the afternoon, USD continued to play in a dominating fashion defeating the `Eaters 6-1. Not only did the Toreros take the doubles point, juniors Ciaran Fitzgerald and Andrew Raphaelson stayed perfect for the season (3-0). From that point on, the Toreros remained solid in singles - their only loss at the No. 3 spot as UCI's Tyler Pham pulled out the win over Filip Vittek 4-6, 7-5, (10-4). The Toreros were scheduled to play the Cal Poly Mustangs February 8th, but the match was cancelled due to inclement weather.
SCOUTING THE BULLS:
The No. 56 University of South Florida Bulls (5-0) are coming off a win in their last match against No. 60 Miami defeating the Hurricanes 5-2. The Bulls' roster includes ranked players No. 64 Roberto Cid, No. 99 Sasha Gozun, and doubles duo No. 22 Oliver Pramming and Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz. Entering his second year as head coach, Matt Hill led the Bulls to a third place overall finish in the Big East conference and a No. 68 ranking. This will be the Toreros first match-up versus USF.
SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS: The No. 31 South Carolina men's tennis team (5-4) suffered a tough 4-3 loss to No. 32 NC State last time out. Led by head coach Josh Goffi, the Gamecocks include ranked players such as No. 75 Tsvetan Milhov, No. 88 Andrew Schafer, and No. 39 doubles team Tsvetan Milhov and Thiago Pinheiro. Last season the Gamecocks finished 18-11, falling to No. 53 UNC Wilmington in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Their all time series is tied 2-2.
MUSCLE MAN: Junior Ciaran Fitzgerald was named the USD Muscle Milk Student Athlete of the Week for the week of January 27th to February 2nd. Fitzgerald was dominant over the weekend going 4-0 in singles and doubles matches to help the Toreros to two wins. Teaming up with partner Andrew Raphaelson, the doubles duo stay undefeated in the season thus far as well.
IN THE MIX: Senior captain Clarke Spinosa and freshman Filip Vittek were ranked in the ITA's latest doubles rankings, which came out last Tuesday. Spinosa and Vittek, 5-2 in doubles play, were tabbed at No. 48 in the country.
MEET THE FRESHMEN: The USD men's tennis team welcomes five new freshmen from five different countries to the 2013-14 roster including: Alexandros Araouzos, Aaron Addison, Geoffrey Fosso, Patrick Hall, and Filip Vittek.
MEET HEAD COACH BRETT MASI: Masi led the Toreros to their third straight NCAA Tournament appearance during the 2012-13 season, advancing to the second round for the third consecutive year as well. After guiding the team to an 18-10 record, Masi was named ITA Southwest Region Coach of the Year for the second time in his career (2011). Masi's 2012-13 squad finished at No. 40 in the final ITA rankings, marking the third straight year USD has finished among the Top-40 in the nation.
So far, Masi's tenure has been highlighted by the WCC title his team won in 2011, the program's first since 1990. Since Masi took over the program prior to the 2009-10 season, he has boasted two WCC Freshmen of the Year, one WCC Player of the Year, one WCC Coach of the Year honor (2011) and 20 All-WCC honorees, not to mention one ITA Scholar Athlete, three WCC All-Academic selections and 12 WCC Commissioner's Honor Roll recipients.
The 2011-12 season was highlighted by a 4-1 victory over No. 11 Texas on the road that marked the third-highest ranked team USD has ever defeated. Masi's squad climbed as high as No. 16 in the ITA rankings before finishing the year at No. 26, the team's highest final ranking since the 1993 squad finished at No. 21.
In 2010-11, only his second year at USD, Masi led the Toreros to one of their finest seasons in decades as USD defeated Santa Clara 4-1 to claim the Toreros' first West Coast Conference title since 1990, as Masi 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, where the Toreros defeated No. 35 BYU 4-0 in the first round, before falling to eventual national champion USC in the second round. Under Masi, six Toreros earned All-WCC honors in 2011 and three players took home WCC Player of the Month honors, including conference player of the year Dean Jackson and conference freshman of the year Clarke Spinosa. Over the past two years, Masi has coached Jackson, who during the 2010-11 season tied the all-time USD career singles wins record with his 100th victory. Spinosa, one of Masi's first recruits at USD, tied the record for most singles wins by a freshman in Torero history (28) and set a new dual singles record by a freshman (21-3).
Also in 2011, Masi coached the Toreros to their highest Campbell/ITA ranking since 1990, reaching No. 20 and spending four-straight weeks in the Top-25 after opening the season with a No. 58 ranking. The Toreros put together their best team winning percentage (.731) since 1993 and closed out a perfect 10-0 dual match record at home. Masi guided the team to 12-consecutive dual match victories during the season, coming within two of the all-time USD record, while also leading the Toreros to six shutouts on the year, two shy of the USD record. Overall on the year, six of USD's seven losses came against teams ranked in the Campbell/ITA Top-10.
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. The USC men's tennis program won the 2009 NCAA Men's Tennis Championship with a 4-1 win over #3 seed Ohio State. Masi took over for the late Tom Hagedorn who lost his courageous 18-month battle with Leukemia in late March 2009.
Prior to taking over at USD, Masi earned back-to-back honors as the ITA West Region Assistant Coach of the Year. He first won the award in 2007 following the Trojans' run to an 11-0 start and eventual 23-3 overall record with its trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals, and picked up his second accolade in 2008 after another USC run to the NCAA Quarterfinals.
Masi spent his first two years coaching collegiate tennis as an assistant coach to the men's and women's programs at Santa Clara University. Masi shared the responsibilities of individual workouts, strength and conditioning, recruiting and summer camp instruction for both the Bronco men's and women's teams in 2003 and 2004. In addition to his coaching duties, Masi also served as the Club Sports Coordinator and Bronco Kidz All-Sports Camp Director for the Pat Malley Fitness and Recreation Department in Santa Clara during this time.
Masi was a four-year letterwinner at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he remains one of the program's all-time winningest players. He completed his career with a 60-29 singles record, playing among the top three singles positions since his freshman campaign. He earned his highest career singles ranking at No. 38 in 2000 and was named to the All-Big West Conference first team as a senior. 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.
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.