March 18, 2014
UP NEXT: The No. 61 University of San Diego men's tennis team (7-5, 3-0 WCC) will co-host the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley Spring Classic with San Diego State University this Thursday, starting at 10:00 a.m. PT. This invitational includes a highly competitive draw: No. 28 Harvard (8-4), No. 73 Denver (6-5), No. 40 Purdue (7-2), No. 43 Drake (11-5), No. 56 Princeton (9-5), San Diego State (7-6), and No. 32 Memphis (6-2).
"This is a really exciting event," Head coach Brett Masi said. "Having teams from all over the country and the tradition that some of these programs have, make it a special tournament. There's going to be some great matches each day!"
No. 61 San Diego (7-5, 3-0 WCC) vs. No. 40 Purdue (7-2)
March 20, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. PT, Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center
No. 61 San Diego (7-5, 3-0 WCC) vs. No. 73 Denver (6-5) or No. 28 Harvard (8-4)
March 21, 2014 at TBA
LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros faced the best team in the country last Sunday against the Oklahoma Sooners (14-1) at the Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center. In a high intensity doubles contest, the Toreros were barely edged out by the Sooners. After No. 2 Oklahoma picked up the first win at the No. 1 spot, Sooners' Axel Alvarez Llamas and Guillermo Alcorta continued to use their momentum, narrowly pulling away from sophomores Uros Petronijevic and Romain Kalaydjian 8-5.
In singles play, the Toreros competed strong on all six courts. While the Sooners extended their lead with a win at the No. 2 and 4 spots, the remaining four matches proved to be extremely tight. Sooners' No 43 Andrew Harris defeated Kalaydjian 7-6(5), 6-3 to clinch the match, while Fitzgerald fell to Nick Papac 6-4, 6-4. The last matches of the day would go to three sets: Sooners' No. 2 Axel Alvarez Llamas defeated No. 59 Spinosa 6-7(4), 6-2, 1-0(0) and Austin Siegel beat freshman Geoffrey Fosso 6-7(3), 6-3, 1-0(6).
SCOUTING THE BOILERMAKERS: The No. 40 Purdue Boilermakers (7-2) are coming off of a 5-2 loss last week against No. 6 Illinois. Before the loss, the Boilermakers were fueled by a six-match win streak that included an upset over No. 24 Northwestern. Purdue's top 40 ranking is the programs' highest ranking since 2003. Head coach Pawel Gajdzik, who is in his fifth year, led his squad to a record 19 wins for the 2012-13 year. Their season ended after a 7-0 lost to top-seeded Ohio State in the Big 10 tournament. The Toreros lead the all-time series against the Boilermakers 5-1.
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS: The No. 73 Denver Pioneers' (6-5) biggest win this season was over No. 49 BYU. Although undefeated at home, the Pioneers have lost their last three matches on the road - their most recent loss coming from No. 56 Princeton 5-2. Denver's roster includes freshman Diogo Rocha, who has the most wins on the team this season with a dual match record of 9-1. Led by head coach Danny Westerman, the Pioneers won the 2013 WAC Championships last season. The win would lead them to their first NCAA Tournament appearance as they stunned No. 15 Florida in the first round. The Toreros lead the all-time series versus the Pioneers 2-0.
SCOUTING THE CRIMSON: The No. 28 Harvard Crimson (8-4) are coming off of two wins in a double header last Saturday. The Crimson defeated Michigan State 5-2 and Bryant 6-1 to extend their three-match winning streak. This season the Crimson took down No. 29 Northwestern 4-3 and finished second in the ECAC Team Championships. Head coach Dave Fish leads a squad that includes No. 37 Denis Nguyen and No. 103 Sebastian Beltrame. Last season, Harvard fell to No. 10 Mississippi in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Toreros lead the all-time series against the Crimson 7-5.
IN THE MIX: Senior captain Clarke Spinosa and freshman Filip Vittek were ranked in the ITA's latest doubles rankings. Spinosa and Vittek, 6-2 in regular season play, moved up to No. 31 in the country. The duo defeated the South Florida Bull's No. 22 Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz and Oliver Pramming 8-2 and UCLA Bruins' No. 10 Marcos Giron and Mackenzie McDonald 8-7(2).
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.
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