Men’s tennis team enjoys a strong start to season

By Timothy Van Tuyle

The USD men’s tennis team’s season is in full swing and features important matches every week. The team is currently ranked No. 36 in the nation with a 6-3 record as of Feb. 28.

March will be a key month for the Toreros as they are set to play at the No. 30 Brigham Young University Cougars where the team will have to deal with high altitude. Other important March events include tough matches against league opponents as well as the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley Spring Classic, which will bring in many other top-ranked teams as they visit San Diego for big matches.

This past week the men’s tennis team defeated the Broncos of Boise State University 5-2, and the Rice University Owls 7-0 in home matches. The Toreros also took on the No. 2 University of Southern California Trojans on Feb. 28 in another home match, but fell to the Trojans 6-1.

The loss to the Trojans was the Torero’s first home loss of the season and broke a three-match winning streak. Head coach Brett Masi served as an assistant coach on the Trojan’s staff before taking his current job at USD. Masi was on the staff when the Trojans won their first of four straight national championships.

Now in his fourth year coaching the Toreros, Masi has high expectations for the team. The Toreros have hopes of winning the West Coast Conference and making it to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Masi wants his team to compete hard and put themselves in winning positions if they want to reach their goals this season.

Masi cites the Feb. 5 match against the No. 3 UCLA Bruins as a defining moment of the season so far. According to Masi, even though they lost the match 5-2, it gave the team a confidence boost and showed the team what they were capable of accomplishing.

The son of a college basketball coach, Masi has coaching in his blood. Even though tennis is a mostly individual sport, he stresses the importance of team chemistry and wants his players to buy into the team concept.

The next home matches for the men’s tennis team will be against league opponents on March 15 versus the Gonzaga Bulldogs and March 16 when the Pilots of the University of Portland visit San Diego.