No. 14 USC Women Pick Up Tough Win At Pepperdine|
Jan. 30, 2015
MALIBU, CALIF. -- The No. 14 USC women's tennis team was pushed to the brink in Malibu today, but showed its mettle in pulling out a 4-3 comeback win over host No. 30 Pepperdine. Momentum shifted from the Trojans' favor early to the Waves' advantage as USC was in a 3-2 hole with two matches still raging on. After Giuliana Olmos pulled USC even from court one, all eyes turned to court two, where senior Zoë Scandalis was working her way out of a 5-2 deficit in her third set. She'd push it to a tiebreaker, and emerge victorious with an impressive comeback and the clincher to keep the Women of Troy undefeated at 4-0 on the year.
USC was facing Pepperdine for the second time in a week, having beaten the Waves 4-0 during the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at USC the previous weekend. But on Pepperdine's home turf this time, the Trojans had their hands full. USC started things out in solid control, thanks to a clean sweep through doubles action. Gabriella DeSimone and Zoë Katz picked up the first win of the day with a 6-4 decision on court three. Next, the power pairing of #14 Giuliana Olmos and Zoë Scandalis had the first point of the match in hand with a 6-4 win at the No. 1 spot. Court two would round out doubles play with freshmen Gabby Smith and Madison Westby snagging a 7-5 win there, and the Trojans were off to singles action with a 1-0 lead on the board.
Freshman Meredith Xepoleas would get the win on court six when her opponent defaulted after Xepoleas had built a 6-2 advantage in the first set. That punched up USC's lead to 2-0, but the Waves would surge back soon after. Pepperdine's Christine Maddox was ready for USC's DeSimone on court five, notching a 6-0, 6-2 win over the Trojan to stick a point in the Waves' column. Next, the Waves would pull even on a 6-3, 6-3 win by Michaela Capannolo over Westby at the No. 4 position. Pepperdine would heap more pressure on the Trojans when USC freshman Smith stumbled in a 6-2, 6-4 loss on court three to Runglerdkriangkrai. Pepperdine was then gripping a 3-2 lead on the Trojans, with two bigtime battles still raging.
On court one, USC's #41 Giuliana Olmos and Pepperdine's #17 Lorraine Guillermo were knotted up at a set apiece. In the third, Olmos found a groove and was able to tack up a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 victory to level the match at 3-3. On court two, USC's #44 Zoë Scandalis, too, was in a third set. Her Wave opponent Laura Gulbe had moved ahead 5-2 in the third and had Scandalis on the ropes several times. Each time, Scandalis shined through, getting the breaks she needed to force her way into a tiebreaker against Gulbe. The Trojan senior would shove her way through to the heroic win, stealing the tiebreaker and the match for a final 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (4) victory.
USC's next action will take the Women of Troy to Charlottesville, Va., to fight it out as one of 16 teams at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The draws have yet to be announced, but competition is set to open on Feb. 6 and run through the championship match on Feb. 9.
#14 USC 4, #30 Pepperdine 3