March 9, 2005
By Roland Hu, USD Media Relations
This Week in Torero Tennis: This week, the University of San Diego (4-3) will play host to two unranked teams. Yale University (2-5) will visit Alcalá Park on Thursday, March 10, while Boston University (4-3) travels to San Diego on Friday, March 11. Both 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 four 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: The Toreros hosted three ranked opponents and soundly beat No. 42 Arizona on Thursday, No. 43 Michigan on Saturday, and No. 14 Washington on Monday by an identical score of 5-2. Against the Wildcats, USD head coach Tom Hagedorn faced off against his former mentor and coach, Bill Wright, and prevailed in a match-up against two ranked teams. Prior to coming to the Linda Vista campus, Hagedorn both played and served as an assistant coach under Wright at the University of Arizona. The contest was highlighted by Nic Beuque's upset over No. 48 Roger Matalonga at No. 2 singles and straight set victories by Pierrick Ysern, Thomas Liversage, and Oscar Plotnik. The Wolverines were up next and San Diego was well prepared. After capturing the doubles point, San Diego won four matches in straight sets (Ysern, Beuque, Liversage, and Robbie Blair) to add another "W" to the Torero's win column. The Toreros saved their best performance for the Huskies, as San Diego dominated their Pacific Northwest rivals from the beginning. The home team picked up the doubles point with two swift victories at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. The No. 1 tandem of Nic Beuque and Mirza Koristovic completed the sweep by beating Alex Vlaski and Daniel Chu 8-6. The intensity and energy carried over to the singles court, as the Toreros won four of the six singles matches to seal the Huskies' fate. Beuque upset No. 28 Alex Slovic 7-6, 6-2 to clinch the team victory.
About Yale: The Bulldogs enter Thursday's match-up with a 2-5 record. They recently traveled to San Diego State on March 7 and lost 5-2. Leading the way for the Ivy League school will be San Diego native Brandon Wai, who plays the No. 1 position. Senior Ryan Murphy and junior Milosz Gudzowski will bolster Yale's depth in singles and doubles. Head coach Alex Dorato is in his 13th year at the helm of the men's program. The 2001 Wilson/ITA Region I Coach of the Year has compiled a respectable 159-120 record during his time in New Haven, Conn.
About Boston University: The Terriers travel to San Diego with a record of 4-3. BU lost to the University of California, Riverside 7-0 on March 7 as their final tune-up before they face USD. Boston University is lead by three underclassmen: sophomore Barrett Wolf and freshmen Jared Kobren and Michael Orden. Seniors Manuel Bulauitan and Nick Ganias have also contributed to the Terrier cause. Rocky Jarvis, a 1969 Harvard graduate, is in his first year as the head coach of Boston University.
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 103-80. 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.
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.