Women's Tennis
    No. 14 USC Women Head East For ITA National Team Indoor Action

    The Women of Troy will team up in Virginia this weekend for some top competition.
    Feb. 4, 2015

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    THE LAST MEETING
    USC4
    Virginia (Round of 16)1
    February 8, 2013
    Charlottesville, Va.
    No. 4 USC Women Fight Back To Beat ITA National Indoor Host Virginia
    The No. 4 USC women's tennis team surrendered its first point of the season in dual-match play, but regrouped and made a determined and successful push to victory in fighting back for a 4-1 win over #12 Virginia today in the Round of 16 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The host Cavaliers heaped pressure on the Women of Troy only to see USC make a winning push to the finish line. Gabriella DeSimone's comeback efforts on court four locked in the win, putting USC in the quarterfinals tomorrow (Feb. 9) at 3:30 p.m. ET against North Carolina, presenting a rematch of last year's Round of 16 match. USC improves to 6-0 overall with today's win as the Trojans aim to improve on last year's semifinal appearance at the tourney.

    THIS WEEK
    The No. 14 USC women's tennis team is loading up for its fourth straight trip to the competitive ITA National Team Indoor Championships this week. The Women of Troy (4-0) have locked in as one of 16 teams bound for Charlottesville, Va., for action running Feb. 6-9 at Boar's Head tennis Club. USC will open up with a Round of 16 matchup against host Virginia, which stands as the draw's No. 7 seeded team and ranked No. 10 in the nation. The Trojans and the Cavaliers will clash at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday (Feb. 6). A win there would put USC into the quarterfinals against either No. 2 Florida or No. 13 Clemson at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday (Feb. 7). The semifinals will be held Sunday (Feb. 8), and the championship match is set for 11 a.m. ET on Monday (Feb. 9).

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    ITA RANKINGS UPDATES
    The Women of Troy opened 2015 ranked No. 14 in the nation in the opening set of team rankings. Now, USC is still at No. 14 as of the latest national rankings (Jan. 28). Individually, a full lineup of Trojans are standing strong in the latest set of rankings (as of Jan. 6). At #41, junior Giuliana Olmos leads the way. Just below her are three more Trojans packed into the top-50. Senior All-American Zoë Scandalis ranks #44 in the nation. 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. In doubles, USC boasts the #14 pair in the land in Olmos/Scandalis. Olmos also stands ranked with another partner, as Olmos/Smith settle in at #31.

    ITA INDOOR LINEUP
    The 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships boasts a field of 16 of the top-26 teams in the nation. Defending champion Duke enters as the No. 4 seeded team in the draw (and No. 4 in the nation), following top-seeded UCLA (No. 1), No. 2 Florida (2) and No. 3 North Carolina (3). Cal (5)picks up the No. 5 seed, followed by No. 6 Alabama (7), No. 7 Virginia (10) and No. 8 Georgia (9). The rest of the field all weigh in with strong rankings, including Vanderbilt (11), Miami (12), Clemson (13), USC (14), Michigan (15), Oklahoma State (16), TCU (20) and Kentucky (26).

    AT LAST YEAR'S TOURNEY
    USC went 1-2 at the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va. The Trojans opened the competition with an impressive comeback win, beating No. 12 Alabama 4-3 in the Round of 16. That moved USC into the quarterfinals the next day, where the Women of Troy had a face-off against crosstown rival UCLA in a battle of the fourth- and fifth-seeded teams. The No. 4 seeded Bruins would prove stronger on that day, beating USC 4-0 to move on while the Trojans went to a consolation match against top seeded Florida. USC got the doubles point in that one -- having dropped the first point of the previous two matches in the tourney -- but the highly ranked Gators singles players held their ground and wrapped up a 4-1 win over the Trojans.

    LAST WEEK
    USC was pushed to the brink in Malibu last week but showed its mettle in pulling out a 4-3 comeback win over host No. 30 Pepperdine. Momentum shifted from the Trojans' favor early to the Waves' advantage as USC was in a 3-2 hole with two matches still raging on. After Giuliana Olmos pulled USC even from court one, all eyes turned to court two, where senior Zoë Scandalis was working her way out of a 5-2 deficit in her third set. She'd push it to a tiebreaker, and emerge victorious with an impressive comeback and the clincher to keep the Women of Troy undefeated at 4-0 on the year.USC was facing Pepperdine for the second time in a week, having beaten the Waves 4-0 during the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at USC the previous weekend. But on Pepperdine's home turf this time, the Trojans had their hands full. USC started things out in solid control, thanks to a clean sweep through doubles action. Gabriella DeSimone and Zoë Katz picked up the first win of the day with a 6-4 decision on court three. Next, the power pairing of #14 Giuliana Olmos and Zoë Scandalis had the first point of the match in hand with a 6-4 win at the No. 1 spot. Court two would round out doubles play with freshmen Gabby Smith and Madison Westby snagging a 7-5 win there, and the Trojans were off to singles action with a 1-0 lead on the board. Freshman Meredith Xepoleas would get the win on court six when her opponent defaulted after Xepoleas had built a 6-2 advantage in the first set. That punched up USC's lead to 2-0, but the Waves would surge back soon after. Pepperdine's Christine Maddox was ready for USC's DeSimone on court five, notching a 6-0, 6-2 win over the Trojan to stick a point in the Waves' column. Next, the Waves would pull even on a 6-3, 6-3 win by Michaela Capannolo over Westby at the No. 4 position. Pepperdine would heap more pressure on the Trojans when USC freshman Smith stumbled in a 6-2, 6-4 loss on court three to Runglerdkriangkrai. Pepperdine was then gripping a 3-2 lead on the Trojans, with two bigtime battles still raging.On court one, USC's #41 Giuliana Olmos and Pepperdine's #17 Lorraine Guillermo were knotted up at a set apiece. In the third, Olmos found a groove and was able to tack up a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 victory to level the match at 3-3. On court two, USC's #44 Zoë Scandalis, too, was in a third set. Her Wave opponent Laura Gulbe had moved ahead 5-2 in the third and had Scandalis on the ropes several times. Each time, Scandalis shined through, getting the breaks she needed to force her way into a tiebreaker against Gulbe. The Trojan senior would shove her way through to the heroic win, stealing the tiebreaker and the match for a final 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (4) victory.

    SCANDALIS SETS RECORD
    After a clutch performance at Pepperdine, Zoë Scandalis was been selected as the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Feb. 2. Now with six career selections as Pac-12 Player of the Week, she sets the conference record for most wins by a women's tennis player. Scandalis was the hero of the day in a true road battle. After combining forces with teammate Giuliana Olmos for a 6-4 doubles win that secured a 1-0 lead for the Trojans, Scandalis came through in the clutch with the clincher in singles. USC had trailed the host Waves 2-3 in the match before it locked up a 3-3 and all eyes turned to Scandalis' No. 2 singles match. Scandalis would fight off three match points - which would have handed the Trojans the team loss - and wound up digging out of a 2-5 hole to force a tiebreaker. In the breaker, Scandalis fought through to victory and won it all for her team in posting a 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (4) win over Pepperdine's Laura Gulbe. Scandalis now holds a 14-5 overall singles record and is 2-0 in dual matches. The USC women are now 4-0 after the tense win at Pepperdine.

    ITA KICK-OFF WEEKEND RECAP
    The Women of Troy zapped their way through to a spot at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships with a dominating effort at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend last week. As hosts, USC had Denver, Wichita State and Pepperdine in town for the weekend's action, and the Trojans opened up against No. 69 Denver on Saturday. Against the Pioneers, USC got right to work in its first action at Marks Stadium this season, whipping up a smooth 4-0 win to advance to Sunday's championship match. USC's three freshmen -- Gabby Smith, Madison Westby and Meredith Xepoleas -- got to notch their first dual-match play on home courts in the win, and all three made their presence known. USC would snag the early advantage with a strong performance in the doubles realm. A senior-freshman combo pack of Gabriella DeSimone and Meredith Xepoleas grabbed the first win of the day with a 6-2 victory from the No. 3 spot. Court two was still tangled up while USC's experienced #14 pair of Giuliana Olmos and Zoë Scandalis shoved through for the decider on a 6-4 win on court one to pocket the first point for USC. The Women of Troy would win first sets down the line in singles action, with #41 Giuliana Olmos cruising to the finish line first with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Denver's Gracia Mboko on court two to make it 2-0 Trojans. Playing in her first-ever dual match as a Trojan, Meredith Xepoleas was ready to go. From her spot on court five, the freshman rolled to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Charlotte Derbyshire to pull her team within reach of victory, up 3-0 on the Pioneers. That set up fellow freshman #48 Gabby Smith for the clincher. She'd replicated Xepoleas' score in a win over Denver's Evy Van Genechten on court three, and that was a wrap for USC with the 4-0 win in the books. The clincher suspended the remaining singles matches with Women of Troy #44 Zoë Scandalis, #45 Madison Westby and #119 Zoë Katz all leading in their respective matches. The next day, USC punched up a third consecutive shutout win and in doing so punched its ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. A swift 4-0 takedown of No. 27 Pepperdine registered the Women of Troy as the champs at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend to qualify for the national event taking place next month in Charlottesville, Va. USC made a quick push to the lead with two strong wins in the doubles realm. USC's #14 pair of Giuliana Olmos and Zoë Scandalis tacked up the opening win with a 6-1 victory on court one. On court two, USC's Zoë Katz and Sabrina Santamaria secured a 1-0 lead for the Trojans with a 6-3 victory there, and the teams were on to singles action. Senior Sabrina Santamaria hit her stride in singles with a dominating 6-1, 6-0 win over Michaela Capannolo on court four to take USC ahead 2-0. Next, it was freshman Meredith Xepoleas who rang up her second dual-match win on a similarly powerful 6-1, 6-1 decision over Pepperdine's Danielle Feneridis at the No. 6 spot, making it 3-0 USC with the finish line on the horizon. Coming in with the clincher from court five was senior #98 Gabriella DeSimone. She'd put an end to the day's action with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Christine Maddox to lock in the Trojans with the victory. That win suspended action on the remaining courts.

    FALL FLASHBACK
    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. Olmos played at the ITA National Indoors, reached the ITA Southwest Regional semifinals and won the Jack Kramer Club singles title in the fall. Also in the fall, Scandalis competed at the ITA National Indoor Championships and reached the Round of 16 at the ITA/Riviera All-American. In doubles, Olmos and Scandalis reached the semifinals of the ITA/Riviera All-American in the fall. Olmos also paired up powerfully with freshman Gabby Smith to win the ITA Southwest Regional and Jack Kramer Club championships.

    2015 TROJANS AT A GLANCE
    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. Looking to build on last year's 18-8 finish and 7-3 mark in Pac-12 play, the USC women are looking to set their path toward what would be a 24th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2015. Last year, USC reached the NCAA Round of 16. The Trojans were without the services of former singles #1 and NCAA Doubles Champion Sabrina Santamaria for the majority of 2014 after the junior was sidelined by a knee injury. Now back in action for 2015, she and fellow senior Zoë Scandalis are USC's two ITA All-Americans on the roster. Scandalis reached the Pac-12 singles title match last year, while Giuliana Olmos won the Pac-12 doubles championship alongside now-graduated Kaitlin Christian in 2014.