Women's Tennis
    No. 12 USC Women Play Host to No. 11 Vanderbilt & No. 25 Texas

    The Women of Troy are home at Marks Stadium for two matches this weekend.
    Feb. 12, 2015

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    THIS WEEK
    The No. 12 Women of Troy are back in town to host a couple visitors this weekend. USC (6-1) will first line up against No. 11 Vanderbilt in an 11 a.m. showdown on Saturday (Feb. 14) at Marks Stadium. The next day, the Trojans will take on No. 25 Texas in another 12 p.m. bout on Sunday (Feb. 15).

    THE LAST MEETING
    Vanderbilt (NCAA Second Round)1
    USC4
    May 12, 2012
    Marks Stadium
    USC Advances To NCAA Round Of 16 After Win Over Vanderbilt
    No. 5 seed USC defeated Vanderbilt, 4-1, in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Women's Tennis Championship at USC's Marks Stadium on Saturday (May 12).

    THE LAST MEETING
    USC4
    Texas3
    March 2, 2014
    Austin, Texas
    No. 6 USC Women Bounce Back To Beat Texas
    The No. 6 USC women's tennis team wrapped up a strong road win today, taking out host Texas with a 4-3 comeback that takes the Trojans to 9-2 overall on the year. The match was moved indoors due to inclement weather, and USC opened with some defensive muscle before the Longhorns made a move ahead in singles. The Trojans' response to a 2-3 deficit came in the form of a win at the No. 6 spot by Kaitlyn Christian and a court three victory from Zoë Scandalis with a clinching three-setter to send the Women of Troy home with an important win.

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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 up to No. 12 as of the latest national rankings (Feb. 10). Individually, a set of four Trojans are standing strong in the latest set of rankings (as of Feb. 10). At #22, junior Giuliana Olmos leads the way. Below her are three more Trojans. Senior All-American Zoë Scandalis now ranks #65 in the nation, followed by two USC freshmen: #72 Gabby Smith and #104 Madison Westby. In doubles, USC boasts the #15 pair in the land in Olmos/Scandalis, who are joined in the rankings by teammates Gabriella DeSimone and Zoë Katz at #26.

    SCOUTING VANDERBILT
    The No. 11 Commodores are 4-2 overall after going 1-2 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships last week, losing to Cal 4-3 in the Round of 16 before beating Duke 4-1 and falling to Oklahoma State 4-2 in consolation play. Vanderbilt has four players nationally ranked in singles: #15 Sydney Campbell, #62 Marie Casares, #71 Courtney Colton and #89 Frances Altick. In doubles, Vanderbilt has #18 Campbell/Colton and #32 Antal/Casares. USC is 1-0 all-time against the Commodores after posting a 4-1 win in the 2012 NCAA Second Round.

    SCOUTING TEXAS
    The No. 25 Longhorns are 2-1 overall after beating Rice 4-3 in their last action. Texas has #55 Breaunna Addison nationally ranked in singles and no ranked doubles teams. USC is 17-7 all-time against the Longhorns in a series dating back to 1981. In the teams' last meeting, USC beat Texas 4-3 last year in Austin.

    LAST WEEK
    USC had a tough draw to open the 2015 ITA National Team Indoor Championships last week, starting off with a clash against tournament host No. 10 Virginia. USC would take a 4-2 loss to the Cavaliers to move into consolation play, where the Women of Troy would rebound with a 4-0 sweep of No. 26 Kentucky and a 4-2 come-from-behind win over No. 15 Michigan. Against Virginia, the Cavaliers pulled off the doubles point and then took a 2-0 lead to keep pressure on the Trojans. In the end, Virginia's higher ranked singles players won out. UVA's #42 Danielle Collins got a 2-0 lead for the hosts with a 6-2, 6-1 win over USC's #44 Zoë Scandalis on court two, but USC freshman #45 Madison Westby rang up USC's first point of the match with a strong 6-3, 6-4 win over Cassie Mercer on court six. That's when Virginia's top-ranked Julia Elbaba kicked into gear on court one against USC's #41 Giuliana Olmos, taking the Cavaliers to a 3-1 lead with a 6-4, 6-2 decision. Another USC freshman would pull the Trojans closer once again, as Meredith Xepoleas topped UVA's Maci Epstein 6-4, 7-5 at the No. 5 spot to make it 3-2. Two three-set battles hung in the balance at that point. Freshman #48 Gabby Smith was looking for a third-set comeback on court three against UVA's #16 Stephanie Nauta, while USC senior Sabrina Santamaria was looking to do the same on court four against Skylar Morton. Smith would fend off match point against Nauta to force the issue, but #16 Nauta was able to pull off the three-setter and provide the clincher with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Smith. That suspended Santamaria's No. 4 match with a snarl in the third set, left unfinished at 2-6, 6-2, 5-5. The very next day, USC bounced back from its first loss of the year with a powerful statement in a 4-0 sweep of No. 26 Kentucky. After nabbing the doubles point, USC pinned up a string of straight-set singles wins, with the clincher coming from Westby on court six to round out the shutout. USC's #14 doubles duo of Olmos/Scandalis had another solid day at the office, holding down their court one spot for another 6-2 win -- this one over Kentucky's Adachi/Dieters to give USC a leg up in the match. The Trojans stayed the course from there, with freshman tandem Smith/Westby flexing their muscle for a 6-3 victory that secured the doubles point for the Trojans and suspended play on court two for senior-freshman combo Santamaria/Xepoleas. In the singles realm, #44 Scandalis rallied and tacked up a decisive 6-4, 6-1 win on court two over Kentucky's #124 Kelsey Dieters to make it 2-0 Trojans. At the No. 4 spot, Santamaria sped to the finish line for a 6-4, 6-2 win over Kirsten Lewis to make it 3-0. Freshman Madison Westby sealed the deal. The #45 Westby rang up her second consecutive singles win in Charlottesville with her 6-4, 6-2 clincher over Kentucky's Morin-Kougoucheff to lock in on the 4-0 win for the Women of Troy. Suspended in action with the decision were #48 Smith's No. 3 match and fellow freshman Xepoleas' No. 5 match. In the last match of the trip, USC erased a 2-0 deficit and charged on to a 4-2 win over No. 15 Michigan. The Women of Troy lost the doubles point for just the second time this season after Michigan managed doubles wins on courts two and three, suspending play on court one. In singles, the Wolverines nudged ahead farther when Alex Najarian was able to snap a four-match win streak held by Xepoleas. Playing at the No. 4 spot for this one, Xepoleas took a 6-1, 6-1 loss to Najarian as Michigan stole out to a 2-0 advantage. The Women of Troy remained undeterred. USC's #98 senior Gabriella DeSimone made short work of Michigan's Sara Remynse on court six, punching up USC's first point of the match with her 6-0, 6-3 decision. That win opened the floodgates for the Trojans. USC's #48 Smith answered the call and drummed up a 6-4, 6-4 upset of Michigan's #38 Sarah Lee on court three to pull USC even at 2-2. Staying in upset mode for the Women of Troy was #44 Scandalis, who stepped up to court one to take on Michigan's #18 Emina Bektas. There, Scandalis pulled off a three-set win to lift USC ahead 3-2, tacking up a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 upset of Bektas. The day was done when USC's #45 Westby came through in the clutch, finishing off her own three-setter with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 takedown of Wolverine Mira Ruder-Hook on court five. That put the finishing touches on USC's 4-2 comeback win, leaving #41 Olmos' No. 2 match suspended in the third.

    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. •