No. 2 Women of Troy Open Season With Wednesday Home Match|
Jan. 19, 2016
The USC women's tennis team kicks off its 2016 spring season with its first dual match of the year on the Trojans' home courts. Ranked No. 2 in the nation to start the year, the Women of Troy host UC Santa Barbara this Wednesday (Jan. 20) at Marks Stadium with first serves coming at 1 p.m.
This Wednesday's USC-UCSB clash marks the first dual match of the year on the Trojans' home courts at Marks Stadium. The tennis facility has been under renovation, but the courts have been open for action throughout construction. The ribbon-cutting and dedication for the new facility is set for Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. That day, the Trojan Family will officially unveil the newest additions to the Marks Tennis Stadium -- the Buntmann Family Tennis Center, Fritz B. Burns Center Court, Lisa and Douglas Goldman Family Student-Athlete Learning Center and Michael Uytengsu Tennis Pavilion -- the happy home of the USC men's and women's tennis teams.
Since USC and UC Santa Barbara's first recorded meeting in 1977, the USC women have gone 23-1 against UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos' lone victory came in 1994. USC and UC Santa Barbara last faced in 2012, with the Trojans posting a 7-0 victory over the Gauchos at Marks Stadium that year. This season, UC Santa Barbara enters the year ranked No. 59 in the nation as a team, while boasting the #21 doubles team in the nation in Palina Dubavets and Stefani Stojic.
The 2016 Women of Troy -- NCAA semifinalists in 2015 -- start the new year right where they left off, as the No. 2 team in the land. The women also boast two doubles teams in the nation's top-15, led by the senior-sophomore combo of Giuliana Olmos and Gabby Smith, who stand as the No. 4-ranked doubles pair. On the singles side, there are five USC women standing tall in the national singles rankings.
For Richard Gallien's 2016 Women of Troy, the No. 2 national ranking is a significant upgrade from last season's No. 14 start. It's well deserved, however, as the USC women are coming off a run to the 2015 NCAA Semifinals, and the Women of Troy look strong once again for the season to come. Led by lone senior Giuliana Olmos -- who ranks #42 in the nation in singles and is also ranked at two spots in doubles, including the #4 pairing with sophomore Gabby Smith -- the USC women have two freshmen standing out in the national rankings alongside three ranked returners. Freshman Rianna Valdes is next in line at #48 in the nation, followed by sophomore Madison Westby at #49 and freshman Jessica Failla at #76. Junior Zoë Katz also is locked into the singles rankings at #114.