ITA Kick-Off Weekend Comes Back To Troy|
Jan. 21, 2015
The USC men's and women's tennis teams combine forces this week as hosts of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, which will determine spots at next month's ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The top-ranked team in the nation as the defending NCAA Champions, the USC men (1-0) set up to first face off against No. 73 Louisiana at 1 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 23). Women's competition starts up the following day, with the No. 14 Women of Troy (1-0) squaring off against No. 69 Denver at 11 a.m. on Saturday (Jan. 24).
On the women's side, No. 14 USC and No. 69 Denver are joined by No. 27 Pepperdine and No. 57 Wichita State for their ITA Kick-Off Weekend bracket. The Waves and the Shockers will be the first match of the day when they tangle at 8 a.m. on Saturday (Jan. 24). The Trojans will go up against the Pioneers after that, starting up at 11 a.m. For the women, losing teams are set to play in the consolation match at 10 a.m. on Sunday (Jan. 25) followed by the winners squaring off in the championship bout at 1 p.m. that same afternoon. The women are playing for the right to a spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, which will be held Feb. 6-9 in Charlottesville, Va. The Women of Troy made it through to the event last year after a winning push through the 2014 ITA Kick-Off Weekend and are looking to do the same this year.
A full lineup of Women of Troy are standing strong in the first set of 2015 national singles rankings. At #41, junior Giuliana Olmos leads the way, having played at the ITA National Indoors, reaching the ITA Southwest Regional semifinals, and wining the Jack Kramer Club singles title in the fall. Just below Olmos 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. Also, finally cleared for duty following a season-ending knee injury endured last year, senior Sabrina Santamaria returns to action this season and picked up her first win last week in USC's season opener against LMU. 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.
The USC men boast a set of five Trojans in the national singles rankings as well as the top-ranked doubles team in the land. USC seniors Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz are the nation's #1 pair, as 2014 ITA National Indoor doubles champs and finalists at the ITA All-American in the fall. Both All-Americans, the seniors also expectedly appear on the singles list. Hanfmann reigns supreme as the highest rank Trojan of them all, standing out at #3 in the nation. He reached the singles final at the ITA All-American and reached the quarterfinals at the ITA National Indoors. Next in line is another USC senior. Jonny Wang enjoys easily his highest post of his Trojan career, ranking #8 in the nation after a powerful fall campaign. Wang was a finalist at the ITA Southwest Regional Championships and reached the Round of 16 at the ITA All-American and ITA National Indoors. Sophomore Nick Crystal, meanwhile, stands at #58 in the nation. He reached the final of the USTA Clay Court Invitational and swept the titles at the Battle in the Bay in the fall. Senior Roberto Quiroz was limited in his action during the fall but surged to win the Sherwood Collegiate Cup singles championship to kick off the spring while holding a #68 ranking. Rounding out the USC rankings list is junior Max de Vroome -- clincher of the 2014 NCAA Championship victory. The junior reached the ITA Southwest Regional semifinals during the fall.
Complete ITA Kick-Off Weekend schedule at USC's Marks Stadium is below:
FRIDAY, Jan. 23
SATURDAY, Jan. 24
SUNDAY, Jan. 25