No. 14 USC Women's Tennis Opens 2015 Season In Manhattan Beach|
Jan. 13, 2015
The No. 14 USC women's tennis team kicks off the 2015 campaign this week with a little trip to Manhattan Beach. The Women of Troy go up against Loyola Marymount in a 5 p.m. match on Wednesday (Jan. 14) at Manhattan Beach Country Club.
It's the first dual match of the new year for the Trojans, who are looking for a winning start to 2015. USC will bring a full set of six ranked singles players to the season opener, while also boasting two ranked doubles duos. The Lions have no players or doubles teams ranked to start the year.
Individually, the USC women are coming off a strong fall campaign in which the Women of Troy swept the titles at the ITA Southwest Regional Championships, with Zoë Scandalis winning the singles crown and Giuliana Olmos and Gabby Smith combining forces for the doubles championship. As a team, the Trojans are looking to build on last year's 18-8 finish and 7-3 mark in Pac-12 play and set their path toward what would be a 24th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.
They'll have plenty of firepower for that bid this year. A full lineup of Trojans are standing strong in the latest national singles rankings. A #41, junior Giuliana Olmos leads the way, having played at the ITA National Indoors, reaching the ITA Southwest Regional semifinals, and wining the Jack Cramer Club singles title in the fall. Just below here are three more Trojans packed into the top-50. Senior All-American Zoë Scandalis -- winner of the Southwest Regional singles title -- ranks #44 in the nation. Also in the fall, Scandalis competed at the ITA National Indoor Championships and reached the Round of 16 at the ITA/Riviera All-American.
Freshman Madison Westby enjoys a #45 national rank as she starts her first spring as a Trojan, while fellow freshman Gabby Smith also stands out at #48 in the land. Senior Gabriella DeSimone ranks #98 in singles, followed by sophomore Zoë Katz at #119.
Westby, Smith and fellow freshman Meredith Xepoleas are in line for what could be their dual-match debuts as Trojans tomorrow as they head to Manhattan Beach for the season opener against LMU. Also finally cleared for duty following a season-ending knee injury endured last year, senior Sabrina Santamaria returns to action this season. The former top-ranked singles player and 2013 NCAA Doubles Champion has fought her way back to compete in her final season at Troy alongside fellow seniors DeSimone and Scandalis.