No. 6 USC Women Battle Back To Beat Alabama 4-3|
Feb. 7, 2014
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. -- The No. 6 USC women's tennis team displayed some key early-season fight today, staging a comeback rally that was capped with the clincher by sophomore Ellie Yates to beat No. 12 Alabama 4-3 in the Round of 16 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The victory puts the No. 5 seeded Women of Troy in a quarterfinal clash tomorrow against No. 4 seed UCLA. USC takes a 4-0 record into that crosstown rivalry match, which takes place across the country in Charlottesville, Va.
The Trojans were put back on their heels early in today's Round of 16 matchup with No. 12 Alabama when USC was unable to find a groove in doubles. Alabama took the first lead of the match with doubles wins on court three and court one, where #3 Boren/Katz and #33 Christian/Santamaria were handed respective and uncharacteristic losses. That suspended play on court two, where USC's #7 Olmos/Scandalis were in a tight battle.
In singles play, USC evened the score at 1-1 when #96 senior Brynn Boren bounced back from a 1-6 loss in her first set against Alabama's Danielle Spielman and would go on to post an important victory on her 1-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-8) decision to pull USC level with the Crimson Tide. The Women of Troy would fall into a 1-3 hole next, however, as #80 Gabriella DeSimone stumbled to #69 Emily Zabor on court five and then #13 Sabrina Santamaria took a rare loss at the No. 1 spot in falling 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-5) to Mary Anne Daines.
The Trojans weren't shaken by the deficit, however. Backs against a wall and needing the remaining three singles matches to fall in their favor, USC rose to the occasion. On court three, Zoë Scandalis kept up her pace and topped Maya Jansen in straight sets with a 6-4, 6-3 win to get USC within one, trailing 2-3. At the No. 4 spot, #60 Giuliana Olmos had shrugged off her first-set loss in a tiebreak and posted a strong second set. That late momentum was key, as she would go on to take the match form #68 Erin Routliffe 6-7 (6), 6-3, 1-0 (10-8) to pull USC even once again, locked up at 3-3. That put the deciding battle at court six, where USC sophomore Ellie Yates was plugging away against Natalia Maynetto. Yates was one of just two Trojans to win her first set today, and she'd stay the course to bring home the win. Yates posted a clinching 6-3, 6-4 win over Maynetto, and the Women of Troy had their fourth victory of the year in the books, along with a ticket to tomorrow's quarterfinals.
2014 ITA NATIONAL TEAM INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS (Charlottesville, Va.)
Round of 16