Melissa Esmero compiled a 7-13 overall singles record, 3-8 mark in dual matches and 0-3 record against Pac-10 opponents while serving as the No. 7 player in the singles lineup... Played one match at the No. 4 position (0-1), five matches at No. 5 (2-3) and five matches at No. 6 (1-4) throughout the season... Advanced to the Round of 16 at the Pac-10 Invitational... Compiled a 13-11 overall doubles record, 6-7 mark in dual matches and 0-4 record against Pac-10 foes... Played doubles matches with Bernadette Bayani (4-3), Judy DeVera (7-5) and Dianne Matias (2-3)... Competed in the Pac-10 Doubles Invitational with Bayani and the pair advanced to the finals before falling to Stanford's Story Tweedie-Yates and Theresa Logar for the title... Posted a 3-4 singles record during the fall season... In doubles, she and DeVera reached the final of the Palm Springs Fall Desert Classic.
Due to USC's deep roster, Melissa Esmero was No. 7 in the 2003 singles lineup and made 12 appearances at No. 6... She primarily played doubles during the dual match season at No. 3 with partner Carine Vermeulen... Posted a 15-8 overall singles record, 10-3 mark in dual matches and went 2-2 in the Pac-10... Compiled a 26-13 overall doubles record, including a 15-8 mark with Vermeulen... Also played doubles matches with Bernadette Bayani (6-3) and Maureen Diaz (5-2)... Won 10 matches while in the starting lineup, including eight-consecutive in February and March... Paired with Bayani at the Pac-10 Championships and capped off the season by capturing the Pac-10 Invitational Doubles Championship... Entered the singles lineup at the NCAA Tournament against Sacramento State (for the injured Luana Magnani) and won her match at No. 6... Won three of four NCAA doubles matches with Vermeulen against Sacramento State, Georgia Tech and Kansas State... Collected a 3-3 singles record in fall tournaments ... Competed at the Omni ITA Regional Championships and Palm Springs Fall Desert Classic.
Esmero did not compete in the fall of 2001 due to injuries, joining the lineup in February for dual matches ... Compiled a 13-6 overall singles record and 15-12 doubles mark for the year ... Went 9-4 at No. 6 singles and 3-1 at No. 5 for a 12-5 dual match record ... Advanced to the second round of the Pac-10 Invitational ... Paired with Bernadette Bayani, she compiled an 11-7 dual match doubles record at the No. 3 position ... The pair advanced to the second round of the Pac-10 Invitational ... Esmero also played seven doubles matches with Maureen Diaz (3-4) at the No. 3 position.
In her first season, Esmero compiled a 26-10 overall singles record, a 18-8 mark in dual matches and an 8-8 record against Pac-10 opponents... She only competed in one fall tournament before reaching the semifinals of the Pac-10 Indoor Championships in January... Esmero won six of her first seven dual matches at No. 5 despite suffering from sudden symptoms of vertigo (she was officially diagnosed in late January)... In March, Esmero moved to No. 6 in the lineup and posted a 9-4 record... She took a nine-match win streak into the team's final match in the NCAAs but fell to Tina Hojnik of Georgia in the Trojans' loss... She won the Pac-10 Singles Invitational Championship with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over then-teammate Krissy Hamilton-Heinberg... In doubles, Esmero began the season with partner Maureen Diaz and the pair posted a 6-3 record... Esmero then teamed with Anita Loyola for a 12-13 overall record... Despite four-straight losses in the month of April, the duo finished the season with an 8-4 win over Cal's Christina Fusano and Sekita Grant, but was eliminated in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament... She also played one doubles match with Tiffany Brymer (0-1).
Esmero is a 2000 graduate of Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, Calif. ... She played four years of varsity tennis ... Named the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times Player of the Year as a junior and senior ... As a senior, she reached the CIF singles finals - the first Orange County player to do so since 1995 ... As a senior, she posted a 35-1 singles record and won her third consecutive Sierra League title ... Helped lead her team to the CIF Southern Section Division II team title in 1999 and 2000 ... At 16, she won the Southern California sectional finals ... That year, she recorded a 31-4 record and ranked No. 1 in the region ... Ranked No. 45 according to the 2000 USTA Girls' 18 national standings ... In the Southern California region, she ranked 17th.
Melissa Cruz Esmero was born Jan. 26, 1982, in Los Angeles ... The daughter of Del and Luz Esmero, she has one sister, Judy ... She has always wanted to sky dive and hopes to visit Ireland, Scotland and Italy one day ... A kinesiology major.
ESMERO'S CAREER STATISTICS
S - Overall S - Duals D - Overall D - Duals
Year W L Pct. W L Pct. W L Pct. W L Pct.
2001 26 10 .722 18 8 .692 18 17 .514 13 13 .500
2002 13 6 .684 12 5 .706 15 12 .556 14 11 .560
2003 15 8 .652 10 3 .769 26 13 .667 17 9 .654
2004 7 13 .350 3 8 .273 13 11 .542 6 7 .462
Totals 61 37 .622 43 24 .642 72 53 .576 50 40 .556