Women Of Troy Dominate ITA West Regionals|
Oct. 27, 2008
SAN DIEGO, CALIF. - The USC women's tennis team had a powerful showing at this year's ITA West Regional Championships, swamping the singles race with three players in the semifinals - two in the title match - and emerging with the doubles crown as well. USC's junior-sophomore combination of Gabriela Niculescu and Maria Sanchez blasted their way to win the doubles championship on Sunday, taking down the tournament's No. 2 seeded team from ASU in the title match. Meanwhile, Sanchez was one of three Trojans in the singles semifinals that same day and went on to face and beat USC freshman Alison Ramos in the singles championship, grabbing a long and hard-fought 6-7 (4) 7-5, 7-5 victory to win the title.
One of those Trojan semifinalists also took down a top seed along her path, as junior Sarah Fansler knocked out top-seeded Kelcy McKenna of ASU in a three-setter during the Round of 16. Fansler pulled out a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 win to advance to the quarterfinals, where she pounded out another three-set victory in a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 comeback over UCLA's Maya Johansson to push into the semifinals. There, she crossed paths with USC freshman Alison Ramos, whom Fansler forced three sets out of as well. Ramos - who had topped UCLA's Yasmin Schnack 6-1, 6-4 in the quarterfinals - managed to pull out the semifinal win over Fansler with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 decision to meet up with Trojan Maria Sanchez in the final.
Sanchez had strung together straight-set wins during her journey through the singles bracket, beating Long Beach State's Hannah Grady 6-0, 6-2 in the quarters before dishing out a 7-5, 6-1 upset of fifth-seeded Andrea Remynse of UCLA in the semifinals. That put her up against Ramos in the title match. The Trojan freshman edged out Sanchez in the first-set tiebreaker, but Sanchez answered back by capturing the next two set in 7-5 wins, getting the championship crown with the final 6-7 (4), 7-5, 7-5 decision.
Also on Sunday morning, Sanchez teamed up with Niculescu for the doubles semis and final. All in a day's work for the fourth-seeded Trojan pair, who opened the day with an 8-2 upset of the tournament's top-seeded Abdala sisters of ASU. That semifinal win pushed Niculescu/Sanchez into the doubles final against No. 2 seed Hein/McKenna. There, the Trojan pair posted another solid victory, handing out an 8-3 win over the ASU team to claim the ITA West Regional Doubles Championship.
TROJANS AT ITA WEST REGIONAL
(13) Leyla Entekhabi
(15) Sarah Fansler
(2) Amanda Fink
(9) Gabriela Niculescu
(17) Alison Ramos
(8) Maria Sanchez
(4) Gabriela Niculescu / Maria Sanchez