No. 4 USC Women Fight Back To Beat ITA National Indoor Host Virginia
Feb. 8, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. -- The No. 4 USC women's tennis team surrendered its first point of the season in dual-match play, but regrouped and made a determined and successful push to victory in fighting back for a 4-1 win over #12 Virginia today in the Round of 16 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The host Cavaliers heaped pressure on the Women of Troy only to see USC make a winning push to the finish line. Gabriella DeSimone's comeback efforts on court four locked in the win, putting USC in the quarterfinals tomorrow (Feb. 9) at 3:30 p.m. ET against North Carolina, presenting a rematch of last year's Round of 16 match. USC improves to 6-0 overall with today's win as the Trojans aim to improve on last year's semifinal appearance at the tourney.
The doubles point got away from the Trojans despite a power shot from USC's top-ranked pair Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria. The two Trojans silenced UVA's #10 Nauta/Xi 8-0, replicating a shutout win of that same pair in the ITA National Indoor Doubles Championship match back in November. But that would be the only doubles match in USC's favor. Epstein/Vierra topped USC's DeSimone/Scandalis 8-2 on court two next, and UVA's Elbaba/Tomljanovic came through in the clutch with an 8-3 win over USC's Lao/Olmos, and host Virginia had the 1-0 advantage on the board.
The Trojans seemed to stabilize in singles, though. #17 Sabrina Santamaria stayed in high gear for her No. 2 singles bout with #44 Li Xi in taking down the Cavalier 6-2, 6-1. With battles raging on courts 3-6, USC senior Danielle Lao delivered a solid upset of UVA's #4 Julia Elbaba with a decisive 6-4, 6-1 win that gave the #14 Trojan senior a win over a top-10 opponent while also taking the Trojans ahead 2-1 in the match.
On court three, USC's #19 sophomore Zoë Scandalis was putting forth a gutsy effort against #43 Stephanie Nauta, fighting off two set points to eventually grab the first set in a heated tiebreaker, 11-9. That performance seemed to be a lift for all her Trojan teammates down the line. On court five, Giuliana Olmos shrugged off a stumble in the second set by pounding out a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 win over Erin Vierra, and USC was within striking distance with a 3-1 advantage. Junior Kaitlyn Christian had slipped in her first-set tiebreaker with Hana Tomaljanovic, but was still battling in the second while Gabriella DeSimone remained resolved on court four.
#56 DeSimone had ignored a slump in the first set and moved on to take a lead on Maci Epstein. Epstein would force a tiebreaker in the third, but DeSimone was ready and drilled a 7-4 win in the tiebreaker to come through with the big time clincher on a 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4) comeback effort to win the match for USC. Scandalis and Christian would both have their matches suspended at that point, as the Trojans now turn for a rematch with UNC tomorrow in the Quarterfinals.
2013 ITA NATIONAL TEAM INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
#4 USC 4, #12 Virginia 1