Men’s tennis eager for doubles matches

first_imgThe men’s tennis team will head to La Jolla to compete in the Pacific Coast Doubles Championships beginning on Thursday.The Trojans are coming off a 5-2 loss on the road to UCLA on Tuesday.The tournament will kick off at 3 p.m. with the final scheduled to be played on Sunday. It is the 127th edition, making this tournament the second-oldest tennis event in the United States.The field of participants includes top teams in the nation, including UCLA, Stanford, Cal and Rice — all ranked in the top 30. Along with top teams, top coaches and alumni will be present. Coach Peter Smith will be partnering with former Trojan great Kaes Van’t Hof, and they will face freshman Michael Plutt and junior Oliver Welsh, the third doubles from Bryant University in Rhode Island.The Trojans currently don’t have any nationally-seeded pairs, but they have been playing constantly with the same pairs throughout the spring. The first doubles pairing will be junior captain Nick Crystal and freshman Laurens Verboven. The duo was able to upset No. 3 Mackenzie McDonald and Martin Redlicki of UCLA in their last match.“We’re enjoying playing together,” Verboven said. “We needed some time to get to know each other well, but we play a great doubles out there. In practice, we always try to play together, making the situation as realistic as possible.”Crystal shared his previous experience with the newcomer.“We played the whole spring so far,” Crystal said. “Coach has done a really good job putting us together. [Verboven is] a really good doubles player, and we matched really well together.”This tournament will allow the team to work on their doubles skills while still having the competitive stimulus.“It’s a really fun tournament. We’re going to go practice our doubles, which we can definitely work on,” Crystal said. “We can we get some much deeper practice, rest our bodies a little and get ready for the rest of the season.”Seeded fifth in the top half of the draw, Crystal and Verboven will face the third doubles from UC Irvine of seniors Jonathan Hammel and Tyler Pham.The second doubles pairing will be senior Max de Vroome and freshman Jack Jaede. The pair has currently seven wins this season. They are seeded 13th in the top half of the draw and will face junior Thomas Bennett and sophomore Jamie Malik, the second doubles at Rice University.Third doubles junior Rob Bellamy and freshmen Jake DeVine have been playing together throughout the season. They will face another unseeded pair of senior Wyatt Houghton and freshman Gunther Matta of Cal.Junior Thibault Forget and sophomore Tanner Smith are pairing up for this tournament. They will face the 10th seed in the bottom half of the draw, represented by senior Felipe Rios and junior Max Tchoutakian from Baylor. His match will feature two French players, one on each side.Sophomore David Laser teamed up with freshman Logan Smith and they will play freshman Kyle Butters and senior Toby Mitchell of Boise State University’s first doubles pairing.Following the tournament, the Trojans will take on Tulsa on the road on March 12.last_img

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