No. 11 USC Women Deliver Comeback Upset Of No. 5 California|
Feb. 20, 2015
BERKELEY, CALIF. -- The No. 11 USC women's tennis team saw its veteran strength spark a clutch comeback road win as the Trojans were able to clinch an exciting upset over No. 5 California with a 4-3 victory in Berkeley. After losing the doubles point and then falling into a 3-0 deficit, USC got a senior spark from Zoë Scandalis with a three-set comeback. That set the tone, as fellow senior Gabriella DeSimone did the same, followed by a three-set win from senior Sabrina Santamaria and the capper coming in a valiant comeback from junior Giuliana Olmos. Olmos upended the nation's top-ranked player with her three-set comeback to clinch the win for the Women of Troy.
In the doubles portion of the competition, the Trojans opened up with a strong start as the duo of Zoë Katz and Sabrina Santamaria defeated California's Chi/Popovic 8-1. The Golden Bears came back swinging as they won the next two. California's #8 Manasse/Star beat USC's #15 Olmos/Scandalis 8-4, and then #16 Fabikova/Susanyi closed out their match over the Trojan twosome of Smith/Westby 8-5 to collect the doubles point.
The Golden Bears' strong momentum from doubles rolled over into the singles competition. California's #28 Karla Popovic defeated #104 Madison Westby 6-3, 6-3, and #59 Denise Starr beat #72 Trojan Gabby Smith 6-0, 1-6, 6-1.
At this point, the Women of Troy were trailing 3-0. One more win from Cal would clinch the match. Instead, USC turned the tide. On court three, #65 Zoë Scandalis was able to power through and break the streak for USC by beating #20 Zsofi Susanyi in a clutch victory 3-6, 6-2, 6-0. Scandalis' win switched the momentum back over to the Trojans as Gabriella DeSimone grabbed another USC win over Cal's Cecilia Estlander 2-6, 6-1, 6-3. At the No. 2 spot next, Sabrina Santamaria claimed a crucial win of her own over Cal's #34 Klara Fabikova 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.
With the match tied at 3-3, court one's decision would finalize the outcome. USC's #22 Giuliana Olmos dropped the first set to Cal's #1 Maegan Manasse 6-2. She fought back and won the next two sets 6-2, 6-3 to clinch the match and secure the upset of the Golden Bears.
The competition in the Bay Area continues tomorrow as the Trojans travel to Moraga, Calif. to face No. 41 Saint Mary's at noon.
#11 USC 4, #5 California 3