March 15, 2005
No. 33 San Diego Hosts Three Teams This Week
The Toreros will welcome No. 75 Utah, unranked Princeton, and No. 35 Virginia Commonwealth
By Roland Hu, USD Media Relations
This Week in Torero Tennis: The University of San Diego (6-3) will put their six-game winning streak on the line when they host two ranked teams this week. On Tuesday, San Diego will take on No. 75 Utah (10-2) before unranked Princeton (8-2) comes to town on Thursday. On Friday, the Toreros will have an afternoon date with No. 35 Virginia Commonwealth (9-5). All three contests will be held at the USD West Tennis Courts with a 1:30 P.M. start time. One of the hottest teams in the nation, the Toreros have won six straight matches, including three consecutive contests over ranked opponents. San Diego hopes to use this momentum on its way to a third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Recap of Last Week's Matches: After defeating three straight opponents in five days (No. 42 Arizona, No. 43 Michigan, and No. 14 Washington), San Diego head coach Tom Hagedorn rested many of his starters in last week's easy wins over Yale University and Boston University. The Toreros had no trouble disposing of the Bulldogs, taking the contest in a 7-0 decision. Juniors Pierrick Ysern and Oscar Plotnik led the way, as their easy 8-2 doubles win set the tone for the afternoon. The duo also won their singles matches in straight sets. Against the Terriers, Hagedorn rested three starters and his deep bench did not disappoint in San Diego's 7-0 victory. Junior Michael Meschede, sophomore Matt Ozurovich, and freshman Sammy Atri all won their matches in straight sets.
About Utah: The Utes travel to San Diego with a record of 10-2. Ranked No. 72 in the country, Utah last played against Loyola Marymount on March 14, beating the Lions 4-3. Juniors Nick Coutts and Tomasz Grzyb, sophomore Miron Mann and freshman Zach Ganger pace the Utah starting line-up. F.D. Robbins is the head coach and has forged a 239-224 record during his 19 years at Utah.
About Princeton: Coming into this week's match-up with the Toreros, the unranked Tigers have won seven matches in a row. With a record of 8-2, Princeton is lead by senior Josh Burman, juniors Hans Plukas and Andrew Lieu and sophomore Sratha Saengsuwarn. Glenn Michibata is the head coach for the Princeton Tigers. Over his five years at the helm of the tennis program, Michibata has accumulated an overall record of 54-40.
About Virginia Commonwealth: The Rams were ranked in the Top 10 in the preseason and their play early on justified their high ranking, reeling off eight consecutive victories. However, Virginia Commonwealth is only 1-5 in their last six matches and their rankings have slid down to No. 29 in the country. However, the Rams are still a dangerous team, lead by Arnaud Lecloerec, who is ranked No. 11 in the country. No. 92 Sergi Arumi, Marton Off, and Daniel Lohff bolster Virginia Commonwealth's depth in both singles and doubles. The tandem of Lecloerec and Lohff are also ranked No. 25 in the country. Paul Kostin is the head coach of the Rams and has amassed an outstanding record of 310-71 in his 15 years at the helm of the tennis program.
Hagedorn Reaches Coaching Milestone: On Sunday, February 13, the University of San Diego beat Saint Mary's College by a score of 5-2. More importantly, however, was the fact that head coach Tom Hagedorn secured his 100th victory at Alcalá Park. While the ninth-year coach praised his former players for helping him reach this landmark, Hagedorn also cited the athletic department as another reason for his success.
"I am not a guy that likes to focus on me. [My 100 wins] is a tribute to the athletic department," noted Hagedorn. "It's great to work in an athletic department like this. The administration is great."
Looking back, Hagedorn is amazed at what he has been able to accomplish during his tenure at San Diego.
"Every year, I've tweaked and I feel like I've improved. Sometimes, it is just hard to believe that you have been coaching for so long. I've gotten old I guess," joked Hagedorn. "You can't be 32 and have 100 wins. Over the years, it adds up!
Currently, his record sits at 105-80. The Toreros have qualified for the NCAA Tournament twice under Hagedorn's helm and this year, the team is hoping to return to the Big Dance again. Prior to San Diego, Hagedorn was at the University of Arizona, where he was both an assistant coach under Bill Wright (1988-1998) and a four-year member of the tennis team (1984-1987). Hagedorn graduated from the University of Arizona in 1987 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Marketing.
Rankin' the Toreros: In the latest ITA Singles Top-100 Poll, junior Pierrick Ysern found himself near the top of the singles rankings, as his excellent Fall Season results propelled him to No. 7 in the country. Ysern advanced to the semifinals of the Icy Hot/ITA All-American Championships, as well as reaching the quarterfinals of the ITA Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. The previous two years, Ysern earned a place on the All-WCC Singles Team and will look to challenge for WCC Player of the Year. Teammate Nic Beuque makes his first appearance in the Top-100 this season, as his recent victories over No. 48 Roger Matalonga (Arizona) and No. 28 Alex Slovic (Washington) have pushed the senior to No. 60 in the country. In the team rankings, San Diego jumped from No. 43 to No. 33 when the recent poll came out on March 15. This is the highest San Diego has been ranked this season.
International Flavor: The University of San Diego has recruited well internationally over the past few years and this season is no exception. The Toreros have representatives from Australia (Kenneth Prajoga), France (Nic Beuque and Pierrick Ysern), Mexico (Sammy Atri and Oscar Plotnik), Norway (Mirza Koristovic) and South Africa (Robbie Blair, Thomas Liversage and Michael Meschede). The lone American is Matt Ozurovich, who hails from Mission Viejo, Calif.
Coach's Corner: San Diego will be led by a quartet of upperclassmen: seniors Nic Beuque and Robbie Blair and juniors Pierrick Ysern and Mirza Koristovic. Head coach Tom Hagedorn could not be more pleased with the effort and intensity they put out on a daily basis and is impressed with their hunger to be challenged by the best:
"This group of guys believes in themselves. Ysern, Beuque, Blair, and Koristovic, when they got here, they wanted to be challenged, as any successful athlete does. We could fly in Cupcake City Division I teams and be 20-2 every year, but we made it a goal, as a team, to be challenged. We might be under .500 or slightly over .500, but we know that if we play well, we'll be Top 25."
Did You Know: Junior Pierrick Ysern is a worldly traveler. The International Relations major has visited North America, Europe, and Africa, but has never been to the Far East. He would like the chance to experience the different culture that the Oriental will offer. Out of all the places where he has vacationed, Ysern cites Morocco as his favorite destination. Another interesting fact about the 5-9 lefty is that while he began playing tennis at an early age, he did not really get serious about the sport until he was 15. For more information about Ysern, please click here.