Junior captain Clarke Spinosa moved up to No. 78 in the singles rankings after winning his last six matches
March 26, 2013
No. 37 San Diego (11-5, 2-1) vs. No. 36 TCU (12-5)
Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 3:30 p.m.
Fort Worth, Texas, Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center
No. 37 San Diego (11-5, 2-1) vs. No. 11 Oklahoma (11-5)
Thursday, March 28, 2013, 3:30 p.m.
Norman, Oklahoma, Gregg Wadley Indoor Pavilion
LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros went 2-1 in the San Diego Invitational and won the consolation championship. After barely losing to No. 44 Memphis 4-3, the Toreros rallied to beat Denver 4-0 and No. 72 Oklahoma State 4-3 in the following days to take 5th place.
On Thursday against No. 44 Memphis, Romain Kalaydjian, Clarke Spinosa, and Victor Pugliese won their singles matches after USD lost the doubles point. With the match tied at 3-3, it came down to the No. 6 spot were the Tigers' David O'Leary outlasted Ciaran Fitzgerald 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 despite a valiant effort.
On Friday, the Toreros snagged the doubles point with dramatic flare. After Ciaran Fitzgerald and Victor Pugliese fell 9-7 at the No. 3, Uros Petronijevic and Romain Kalaydjian won 9-8 (8-6) on a tiebreaker at the No. 2. Just seconds later, Thibaut Visy and Clarke Spinosa won on a tiebreaker of their own at the No. 1 9-8 (7-4) to win the doubles point for the Toreros. Ciaran Fitzgerald, Victor Pugliese, and Clarke Spinosa would all go on to win their singles matches in two sets as the Toreros claimed the 4-0 victory.
On Saturday, the Toreros battled No. 72 Oklahoma State in the consolation championship match. After losing the doubles point, the Toreros would once again have to rally in singles to pick up the W. Clarke Spinosa, Thibaut Visy, and Victor Pugliese made quick work at the No. 2, 1, and 5 spots to give the Toreros a 3-1 lead, but the Cowboys battled back to tie it after wins at No. 2 and 4. With his teammates cheering him on, Victor Pugliese battled back to earn a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 victory at the No. 5 to give the Toreros the consolation championship.
SCOUTING THE HORNED FROGS: TCU enters the week with a 12-5 record and No. 36 ITA team ranking... The Horned Frogs had won five matches in a row before falling to Cal 4-3 at home on Sunday... The Horned Frogs have faced three common opponents of the Toreros: Texas A&M (L, 6-1), Rice (W, 4-3), and Arizona (W, 4-1)... TCU lost to WCC preseason favorite, Pepperdine, 5-2 at home on February 26... TCU's Nick Chappel is ranked No. 103 in singles... The Horned Frogs No. 2 singles player, Arnau Dachs, has won five matches in a row, which landed him in this week's ITA singles rankings at No. 119... TCU has a ranked doubles tandem in Nick Chappel and Will Stein. They are ranked No. 79 by the ITA... TCU Coach David Roditi, who is in his third year, was a three-time doubles All-American at TCU... The Toreros are 1-5 all-time against TCU, but won in their last meeting, beating the Horned Frogs 6-1 at home in 2011... Coach Masi on traveling to TCU, ""TCU will be a tough place to play. They fill the place and I know TCU is going to be gunning for us because we beat them up a couple years ago here on our court. It's totally different being on the road, this is our first real trip since we went to Stanford [in the opening week]."
SCOUTING THE SOONERS: Oklahoma enters the week with an 11-5 record and No. 10 ITA ranking... The Sooners are coming off a 4-3 road loss to WCC preseason favorite Pepperdine... Like the Horned Frogs, the Sooners have faced three common opponents as the Toreros: Memphis (W, 4-0), Texas A&M (W, 5-2), and Arizona (W, 6-1)... The Sooners have three ranked singles players: Costin Paval (No. 30, 10-3 at the No. 1), Guillermo Alcorta (No. 51, 11-2 at the No. 2), and Dane Webb (No. 61, 8-5 at the No. 3)... The Sooners also have two ranked doubles tandems. Paval and Webb are ranked No. 29 and have a 9-3 record at the No. 1. Alcorta and Axel Alvarez Llamas are No. 71 and have an 8-5 record at the No. 2... Sooners Head Coach John Roddick has led the team to a Top 25 ITA ranking and NCAA Tournament appearance in each of his first three seasons. He was a four-time All-American at Georgia... The Toreros lead the all-time series 7-5, although the Sooners won the last time they met 6-1 in 2009 in Norman.
IN THE MIX: After going 2-1 last weekend, the Toreros jumped one spot to No. 37 in the latest ITA team rankings. The No. 37 ranking is the highest the Toreros have had since February 26 when they were No. 36. USD opened the season at No. 27, with their highest ranking coming two weeks later at No. 26.
CLARKE ATTACK: Junior Clarke Spinosa has been on a tear in singles in the month of March. After losing to BYU's Frank Sargeant on March 9, Spinosa has reeled off six straight singles victories at the No. 3. In that span, Spinosa has won all his matches in two sets and is outscoring his opponents by a 73-20 margin. Spinosa's recent hot streak has vaulted him up to No. 78 in the latest ITA singles rankings.
PUTTING WORK IN: The Toreros just finished an eight day stretch where they played six matches. The Toreros were an impressive 5-1 in that span, winning their matches by an aggregate of 30-7.
VICTOR...Y!: Sophomore Victor Pugliese has been a stabilizing force at the No. 5 for the Toreros over the past two months. Pugliese has won four singles matches in a row and nine of his last ten, including the match-clincher last Saturday against Oklahoma State.
GOING AGAINST THE BEST: The Toreros will travel to face two ranked teams this week in No. 36 TCU and No. 11 Oklahoma. Although, the Toreros are no stranger to tough competition. USD has faced nine ranked opponents so far this season, going 4-5 in those matches.
WCC WATCH: The Toreros are one of four WCC teams currently ranked by the ITA. The preseason conference favorite Pepperdine sits at No. 6 with an 14-4, 1-0 record. No. 37 San Diego (11-5, 2-1) is next in the rankings and then No. 40 BYU (14-4, 3-0). Santa Clara (11-6, 0-2), re-entered the rankings this week at No. 67. Saint Mary's (8-7, 3-0), who made an appearance in the rankings a few weeks ago, remains unranked.
PRESEASON PRAISE: USD was picked to finished second in the WCC preseason poll, receiving 57 points and one first place vote. The Toreros came in behind Pepperdine who took home eight first-place votes and 64 overall points. Santa Clara was voted third with 47 points, followed by BYU (45), San Francisco (30), Saint Mary's (29), and Loyola Marymount (23). Rounding out the poll was Portland (19) in eighth place and Gonzaga (10) in ninth.
MEET HEAD COACH Brett Masi: Masi enter his fourth year at USD with a 49-25 record. Masi guided the Toreros to their second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in 2011-12 as USD posted an 18-9 record on the year and advanced to the second round of the NCAAs. The 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 only his second year at USD in 2010-11, 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.
In his first season at the helm, Masi secured a record of 12-9, a final ITA ranking of No. 62, and a third place finish at the WCC Championships in April. The Toreros captured strong wins over UC Santa Barbara (6-1), UNLV (4-2), Cal Poly (5-2), and at the time, 51st-ranked UC Irvine (4-3). San Diego was led by All-WCC First Team selections, junior Dean Jackson and sophomore Nikola Bubnic, who each garnered 10+ singles victories in the dual campaign. Jackson finished the season with a record of 14-2, all at the No. 1 position, while taking home WCC Player of the Month honors for the month of February. Bubnic had more wins than any other Torero in 2010, capturing 30 singles victories for the combined fall and spring campaigns, a feat that has not been achieved since Jose Luis Noriega earned a mark of 31-4 in 1991.
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.
The recently completed 2012 campaign marked his tenth season in collegiate tennis after spending his first two years as an assistant coach to the men 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 letter winner 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.
In addition to coaching, Masi runs tennis camps in the summer with former USD coach Ed Collins.
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.