As the collegiate fall tennis season nears its close this week, one lone Trojan takes to Palm Desert, Calif., for the inaugural Oracle ITA National Fall Championships, which began on Wednesday and will run through Sunday.
Sophomore Brandon Holt entered the singles main draw as the No. 2 seed. He secured the coveted spot (one of 64 total available) by taking home the title at the ITA Oracle Masters Championship in September.
Holt began the tournament against unseeded Mitch Harper of Virginia Tech, rolling past his opponent in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. He will face Florida State’s unseeded Lucas Poullain in the round of 32.
Holt’s win on Wednesday continued the sophomore’s strong fall campaign, which included September’s Oracle ITA Masters win in Malibu, Calif. Holt also entered as the top seed last weekend, when the Trojans hosted the SoCal Intercollegiate Championships at Marks Stadium, entering eight men in the singles draw as well as three doubles pairs.
While Holt was able to battle his way to the final hurdle in the singles bracket, he couldn’t take it all home, falling 6-3, 6-4 in the championship to Oliver Frank of Azusa Pacific. However, it was on the doubles side where the Trojans truly stole the stage. Out of 16 teams in the doubles main draw, USC took both spots in the championship, pitting the duo of redshirt junior Tanner Smith and junior Laurens Verboven against redshirt sophomore Jake DeVine and junior Logan Smith. In the end, Verboven and Tanner Smith overcame their stiff competition in an 8-3 decision.
Once Holt returns from his trip to Palm Desert, USC will head to Palos Verdes, Calif., for its final tournament of the fall season. The Jack Kramer Invitational begins on Nov. 10 and runs through Nov. 13.