The post-season awards continue to roll in for USC junior Brandon Holt as the Rolling Hills Estates resident has been named the Pac-12 Player of the Year. Currently the No. 6 nationally ranked singles player in the nation, Holt led USC to its fourth Pac-12 Tournament title and the No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
This Saturday at 2 p.m., USC (22-7) will square off against No. 9 seed North Carolina (20-6) in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Round of 16 won by the Trojans. USC will be looking to stay undefeated all-time against the Tar Heels while seeking a ticket to Orlando, Fla., where the final eight NCAA teams advance to the USTA National Campus for the quarterfinals, semifinals and championship matches (May 16-19).
Holt was USC’s top singles player this year holding down a 19-5 record this season, 11 of those wins coming against ranked opponents, and is currently on a 10-match win streak with the Trojans.
A three-time ITA All-American in singles, Holt is the sixth student-athlete to win both Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer and Singles Player of the Year in their career, and only the second USC student-athlete to claim both honors (Yannick Hanfmann, 2011-15). The business major is the 11th Trojan to be honored with the Singles Player of the Year award.
Holt has earned an automatic qualifier and No. 6 seed in the NCAA singles tournament to be played after the team event in Orlando.
The UCLA doubles team of Max Cressy and Keegan Smith have been named the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year. The 6-foot-7 duo of Cressy and Smith has yet to drop a match since first competing as a team in January. Playing exclusively at the top court, the pair is 16-0 overall and 10-0 against nationally-ranked opponents. In 10 of their 16 victories, the second-ranked doubles tandem in the nation has surrendered just three or fewer games. Cressy and Smith helped the Bruins clinch the No. 11 seed and move on to the super regionals round of the NCAA men’s team tournament. They also clinched the Conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA doubles tournament as the highest-ranked duo.
UCLA will play at Baylor on Friday in the Super Regional for a spot in the NCAA quarterfinals in Orlando.
Holt was named to the first-team All-Pac-12 Conference for the third consecutive year and was joined by UCLA senior Cressy, USC sophomore Daniel Cukierman and UCLA sophomore Keegan Smith. Landing on the second-team All-Conference were UCLA freshman Govind Nanda and USC senior Laurens Verboven, while his USC teammate Tanner Smith was an honorable mention selection.