Women's Tennis
    USC Women's Tennis Opens 2012 With Desert Action

    Senior Alison Ramos enters her final spring with the Women of Troy.

    Jan. 11, 2012

    The USC women's tennis team digs into its first competition of the year this week, opening 2012 with a couple tournaments in a couple different desert cities to tune up skills for upcoming dual matches. Individual action is the name of the game this week at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic in La Quinta, Calif., and the Freeman Memorial in Las Vegas. The Women of Troy will split up for the tourneys, with three Trojans bound for the NCTC and four heading to the Freeman Memorial. Both tournaments will run Jan. 13-15.

    The Trojan trio signed up for competition at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic are senior Alison Ramos, junior Danielle Lao and freshman Gabriella DeSimone. Ranked #42 in the nation to open 2012, Lao is seeded No. 3 in the singles draw for a first-round bye. DeSimone is on Lao's half of the 32-player bracket, opening up against Annat Rabinovich of Texas. Ramos also has a round of 32 matchup against a Longhorn opponent, facing Alex Martin in her first match. The NCTC includes players from USC, Baylor, Fresno State, Virginia, Stanford, UC Irvine and Texas. Lao and Ramos will pull double-duty over the weekend, too, teaming up in doubles as the No. 4 seed for a trip to the Round of 16 and an opening match against Rabinovich/Weigand of Texas. Last year at the NCTC, Ramos went 1-2 in singles play and Lao reached the singles semis.

    The Trojan foursome in Las Vegas will be junior Valeria Pulido, sophomore Kaitlyn Christian and freshmen Sabrina Santamaria and Zoë Scandalis. Christian looks to defend her Freeman Memorial doubles title, which she won in 2011 with teammate Maria Sanchez, by teaming up with Santamaria. That pair has already pinned up a huge title in winning the 2011 National Indoor Doubles Championship. Christian/Santamaria are the No. 2 seeded team in this year's Freeman doubles bracket. Pulido and Scandalis are teamed up on the other side of the bracket, facing top-seeded Burdette/Gibbs of Stanford in the first round. In singles, Santamaria is seeded No. 4 in the field of 32 with a first-round clash against Florida's Caroline Hitimana. Scandalis is No. 5 and lined up against a Pac-12 opponent in ASU's Michelle Brycki. Pulido has No. 8 Zoe DeBruycker of UNC to get through in her opener, and Christian goes up against UNC's Gina Suarez-Malguti for the right to face No. 2 seeded Bruin Robin Anderson in the next round. Last year at the Freeman Memorial, Christian reached the Round of 16 in singles in addition to winning the doubles title with Sanchez. Pulido competed in the NCTC last season.



    The first round of 2012 Campbell/ITA national rankings were unfurled Jan. 3, with the USC women starting out at No. 16 in the land after finishing 2011 at No. 19. Four Women of Troy also pop up in the individual rankings as well. Freshman Sabrina Santamaria (winner of the 2011 ITA Southwest Regional singles crown) tops the singles list at No. 18 just a step ahead of her No. 19 classmate and fellow regional finalist Zoë Scandalis. Junior Danielle Lao is next at No. 42, and sophomore Kaitlyn Christian is No. 99. Christian and Santamaria also own the title of 2011 National Indoor Doubles Champions, and start out 2012 as the No. 3 ranked doubles team in the nation.

    Round of 32 - Jan. 13
    #99 Kaitlyn Christian (USC) vs. Gina Suarez-Malaguti (UNC) -- 12 p.m.
    Valeria Pulido (USC) vs. [8] #44 Zoe DeBruycker (UNC) -- 11 a.m.
    [4] #18 Sabrina Santamaria (USC) vs. Caroline Hitimana (FLA) -- 11 a.m.
    [5] #19 Zoë Scandalis (USC) vs. Michelle Brycki (ASU) -- 11 a.m.

    Round of 16 - Jan. 13
    [2] #3 Kaitlyn Christian / Sabrina Santamaria (USC) vs. Gorny/Turewicz (DUKE) -- 10 a.m.
    Valeria Pulido / Zoë Scandalis (USC) vs. [1] #1 Burdette/Gibbs (STAN) -- 10 a.m.

    Round of 32 - Jan. 13
    Gabriella DeSimone (USC) vs. Annat Rabinovich (TEX)
    [3] #42 Danielle Lao (USC) -- bye
    Alison Ramos (USC) vs. Alex Martin (TEX)

    Round of 16
    [3] #42 Danielle Lao (USC) vs. Marie Boura (FreSt) / Elizabeth Begley (TEX)

    Round of 16 - Jan. 13
    [4] Danielle Lao / Alison Ramos (USC) -- bye

    [4] Danielle Lao / Alison Ramos (USC) vs. Rabinovich/Wiegand (TEX)