Feb. 10, 2010
Complete Release in PDF Format
USC entered the season secure as one of the top teams in the nation, and this week the No. 8 Women of Troy will get to prove it as they turn to competition at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Wisconsin hosts this year's elite early-season action from Feb. 12-15. USC (5-0) will open up against No. 15 Clemson (8-0) in the first round at 3:30 p.m. CT on Friday (Feb. 12) for a chance to move into the next day's 3:30 p.m. quarterfinals. Semifinals will be held on Sunday (Feb. 14) also at 3:30 p.m., with the championship match time still TBA on Monday (Feb. 15).
ITA NATIONAL TEAM INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS WEB SITE
ITA RANKING UPDATES
The latest ITA national team rankings (as of Feb. 4) have USC up a spot to currently rank No. 8. The latest individual rankings were released Jan. 5. There, #8 Maria Sanchez leads the Women of Troy, with three other teammates well settled in the nation's top-50. Starting their first season asTrojans, freshmen Danielle Lao and Valeria Pulido have captured high rankings, with Lao ranked #18 and Pulido at #37. Sophomore Alison Ramos is just a step behind at #38. In doubles, Pulido/Sanchez rank #19.
Up against No. 40 Pepperdine last week at Marks Stadium, USC grabbed a 6-1 win over the Waves to continue the Trojans' winning start to 2010. USC claimed all three wins in doubles before heading into singles action. There, USC got ahead 2-0 before Pepperdine got a win at the No. 6 position. The Trojans picked it up and won out the rest of the matches, however, clinching things on Cristala Andrews' 6-2, 7-6 win at No. 5.
HOW THEY GOT THERE
To qualify for this year's ITA National Team Indoor Championships, USC played host to the ITA Kick-off Weekend at Marks Stadium at the end of January. The Trojans had LSU, Auburn and San Diego in town for the Kick-off Weekend. #35 Auburn opened with a 4-0 sweep of #28 LSU before the Trojans took the court and delivered a 4-0 win over #60 San Diego. That put San Diego and LSU up against one another in the consolation match the following day, with San Diego getting a 4-1 win there. In the championship match, USC took on Auburn and rolled out to a 4-0 win to lock down a spot at the Indoor championships hosted by Wisconsin later this month. Freshman Valeria Pulido got the clinching singles win in both matches from her No. 4 position, standing as the lone Trojan to finish with four singles victories in the first week of action, as several players had singles matches suspended once the ITA Kick-off competitions were decided.
THIS TIME LAST YEAR
USC was ranked No. 9 on the way into last year's ITA National Team Indoors -- also held in Wisconsin. The Trojans opened up against No. 6 Georgia and fell 4-3 in that match to move into a face-off with No. 10 Florida. USC played out another 4-3 match there, and got the win on a three-setter from Amanda Fink. That earned USC a clash with Clemson in the consolation second round, and the Trojans pulled ahead 4-2 in the match before the Tigers got one last point for a 4-3 USC victory.
Clemson is ranked No. 15 in the nation and is 8-0 overall after upsetting No. 4 Georgia 4-3 and beating Charlotte 7-0 last week. Clemson has three players ranked in singles: #9 Josipa Bek, #61 Nelly Ciolkowski and #113 Ina Hadziselimovic. Bek/Hadziselimovic is ranked #4 in doubles. USC is 7-0 all-time against Clemson after facing the Tigers in last year's ITA Team Indoors and snagging a 4-3 win in the consolation second round.