Women's Tennis
    No. 6 USC Women Host Saint Mary's Before Taking Off For Texas

    Kaitlyn Christian and the Trojans will head to Texas this weekend.

    Feb. 25, 2014

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    THIS WEEK
    The No. 6 USC women's tennis team is rolling along on a three-match win streak as the Women of Troy set up for home and road action this week. The Trojans (7-2) will first square off against No. 47 Saint Mary's for the second time this year with a 1:30 p.m. matchup on Thursday (Feb. 27) at Marks Stadium. From there, USC will hit the road and journey to Austin to take on No. 26 Texas at 12 p.m. CT on Sunday (March 2).

    ITA RANKING UPDATES
    The Women of Troy opened 2014 ranked No. 5 in the nation, and the latest rankings now have USC listed at No. 6 in the land as of Feb. 25. The latest individual rankings of 2014 also went up on Feb. 25, with four Women of Troy locked into the national singles scene and three Trojan doubles duos still on the list. Junior Sabrina Santamaria leads the charge in singles as the No. 17 player in the nation. Also locked into the top-100 for USC are No. 30 Zoë Scandalis, No. 65 Giuliana Olmos and #85 freshman Zoë Katz, who is appearing in the singles rankings for the first time in her Trojan career. USC's doubles teams are a daunting group. The Trojans also boast two top-10 teams as well as the defending NCAA champions. A new Trojan pairing of senior transfer Boren and freshman Zoë Katz now weigh in at No. 8, while junior duo Olmos and Zoë Scandalis are just ahead at No. 6 in the land. And 2013 NCAA champs Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria continue their 2014 campaign now ranked No. 19.

    SCOUTING SMC
    The No. 47 Gaels are 3-4 after dropping matches against No. 3 Stanford and No. 5 Florida last week. The Gaels have three players nationally ranked in singles: #8 Jenny Jullien, #64 Catherin Leduc and #69 Jamie Pawid. SMC has no ranked doubles teams. USC is 3-0 all-time against Saint Mary's in a series that dates back to 2011. The Trojans have already beaten the Gaels 4-0 this season at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend a month ago.

    SCOUTING TEXAS
    The No. 26 Longhorns enter the week with a 3-6 overall record after falling to Northwestern 5-2 and Vanderbilt 4-3 in their last action. Texas will face Houston on Feb. 28 before taking on the Trojans. The Longhorns have three players nationally ranked in singles: #16 Breaunna Addison, #76 Ratnika Batra and #106 Elizabeth Begley. In doubles, Texas has #49 Addison/Horn. USC is 16-7 all-time against Texas in a series dating back to 1981. Last season, the Trojans beat the Longhorns 7-0 at Marks Stadium.

    BEATING THE BEARS
    USC left little doubt in last week's clash against No. 4 California, taking out its Pac-12 foe with a strong 6-1 victory at Marks Stadium, marking a big win into the books as they continue along in 2014 action. The victory over the Golden Bears came with the Trojans snagging a tight doubles point and then rattling off four straight-set singles wins in a row to bring home the win. Freshman Zoë Katz showed no fear against her ranked opponent in coming through with the clincher on her 6-0 6-4 victory over Cal's #84 Klara Fabikova. On court one in doubles, USC's defending NCAA champs Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria were in winning form for an 8-2 victory at the top. The Golden Bears answered back with an 8-6 win over USC's #4 Olmos/Scandalis to even the score, cranking up the tension on court three. The decider would come down to a tiebreaker there, with USC's #8 pair of Brynn Boren and Zoë Katz pulling of the clutch win with a 9-8 (2) decision over Cal's Chi/Duranteau to notch a big 1-0 lead for the host Trojans. That edge was an important momentum boost for the Women of Troy. At the No. 4 spot, #50 Zoë Scandalis rebounded from that doubles defeat and was all business in her singles clash with #15 Denise Starr. Scandalis drummed up a 2-0 lead for the Trojans with her swift 6-1, 6-1 decision. Fellow junior #26 Sabrina Santamaria delivered a 6-2, 6-1 win over Cal's #37 Annet Schutting on court one next, and USC was up 3-0 on the No. 4 Bears. Freshman Zoë Katz came out with guns blazing against #84 Klara Fabikova at the No. 5 spot. Katz shut out her Golden Bear foe in the first set and would roll on to a 6-0, 6-4 victory that got USC ahead 4-0 for the clincher. On court four, junior #99 Giuliana Olmos followed her doubles partner Scandalis to end the day on a win with her 6-3, 7-5 upset of #66 Lynn Chi, and USC was holding a 5-0 lead on the Bears. Cal's only point of the day would come on court two, where #16 Zsofi Susanyi was able to fend off USC's #118 Brynn Boren with a 6-3, 6-2 decision that made it 5-1. The Women of Troy would be sure to have the last word, however, with #123 Gabriella DeSimone finishing off one last upset with her 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (6) victory over Cal's #59 Maegan Manasse on court six to wrap the 6-1 win for USC.

    FEARSOME FRESHMAN
    USC freshman Zoë Katz had match-clinching victories in back-to-back matches for the Trojans last week, while also picking up doubles wins as well as the Trojans topped #58 San Diego State 7-0 and upset #4 California 6-1. For her winning efforts, Katz was named Pac-12 Player of the Week, becoming the first of the Women of Troy to win the award this season. Against Pac-12 power Cal, Katz showed no fear in the No. 9 Trojans' big match against No. 4 Cal. She and doubles teammate Brynn Boren fought back and pulled out the doubles point with a tense 9-8 (2) victory for an important boost against the higher ranked Bears. In singles, Katz stayed in high gear and pulled off the match-clinching upset of #84 Klara Fabikova on court five. Katz silences Fabikova in the first set and continued to roll in the second for a 6-0, 6-4 win that sealed a 4-0 lead for the Trojans to bring home the win. In USC's Tuesday match on the road at San Diego State, Katz teamed with Boren for an 8-5 win at the No. 2 spot before taking in the clincher in singles on her dominating 6-0, 6-1 win over SDSU's Somoracz on court five. While USC improves to 7-2 on the year with the winning week, Katz is now 11-4 overall in singles and 18-5 in doubles with Boren as the nation's #8 ranked pair.

    KICK-OFF SPOTLIGHT
    USC junior Giuliana Olmos was near unstoppable on both the doubles and singles courts at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. She lost no more than two games per set in her two singles wins, and swept up two doubles shutout wins as the Women of Troy punched their ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships with a pair of 4-0 wins at the ITA Kick-Off. Playing at the No. 3 singles spot, Olmos topped Valenzuela of North Texas 6-1, 6-2 on day one and then pounded Saint Mary's Kaur 6-0, 6-1 on the second day for another USC win. And playing with Zoë Scandalis on the doubles courts, Olmos pitched two perfect matches with 6-0 sweeps against both opponents at the No. 2 doubles spot.

    DOMINATING FREEMAN DOUBLES
    The big winners at the 2014 Freeman Memorial were Trojan doubles duo Giuliana Olmos and Zoë Scandalis, who streaked to the title match, where the Women of Troy took down a UCLA pair in the championship bout on Jan. 22. Olmos and Scandalis were the No. 3 seeded pair in the tourney. Ranked #7 in the nation, the Trojans lived up to their billing, registering solid wins in their first two matches before pulling off a 7-5 win in the semis to move into the title match. There, Olmos/Scandalis squared off against UCLA's Harrison/McPhillips, and the Trojans took care of business with a 6-4 victory that planted the championship trophy in the hands of Olmos and Scandalis.

    BACK IN ACTION
    The 2014 Trojans boast a strong group of returning talent, having graduated All-American Danielle Lao as well as Valeria Pulido from last year's squad. Reinforcements have come up big for the Women of Troy, however, with newcomers Brynn Boren and Zoë Katz teamed up as the nation's No. 3 doubles pair for 2014 -- their first season as Trojans. A second USC duo -- Giuliana Olmos and Zoë Scandalis -- also stand tall in the top-10 with a No. 7 doubles ranking to start the year. USC's defending NCAA doubles champions Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria will open their defense of that 2013 title with a No. 33 ranking for 2014. All-American Santamaria also sits atop the USC women's singles ladder as the No. 13 ranked singles player in the nation. Junior Giuliana Olmos is locked in at No. 60 in the singles standings, joined in the top-100 by fellow Women of Troy Gabriella DeSimone at No. 80 and senior newcomer and All-American Brynn Boren at No. 96. Boren and Christian are USC's two standout seniors this season, both holding All-American honors during their careers. This past summer, several Women of Troy teamed up to win a bronze medal for Team USA at the World University Games. Santamaria claimed a silver medal in singles to help her teammates Christian, DeSimone and Ellie Yates bring home hardware from Russia. In all, USC boasts four ITA All-Americans on its 2014 roster in Boren, Christian, Santamaria and Scandalis. USC head coach Richard Gallien has also added transfer Paige Keating to the roster.

    WORLDLY WAYS
    USC junior Sabrina Santamaria played a key role in continuing the USA's winning tradition at the Master'U BNP Paribas Championships in France. The Trojan world traveler, who won silver in singles out at the World University Games in Russia this past summer, teamed up with collegiate players from around the nation for competition in Aix-en-Provence, France, against college-age athletes from Belgium, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and Russia. In the USA's first match against Ireland, Santamaria teamed up with UVA's Mitchell Frank for a mixed-doubles victory that countered a three-set singles loss taken by Santamaria to Ireland's Sinead Lohan. The U.S. squad would take down Ireland 6-1 in that quarterfinal match and move on to play host France in the semifinals the next day. There, Santamaria ripped through Anais Van Cauter with a smooth 6-2, 6-1 win that helped propel the USA to another 6-1 victory. And in the final, Santamaria and her USA teammates shut out Russia 7-0 to claim the United States' third straight championship at the tournament. Santamaria, who ranks as the nation's No. 1 singles player and half of the No. 1 doubles team, was joined by UCLA's Robin Anderson and Georgia's Lauren Herring as the U.S. women on this year's trip to France. On the men's side, UCLA's Marcos Giron, Ohio State's Peter Kobelt and Virginia's Mitchell Frank rounded out the USA contingent for the Master'U competition. Santamaria follows in the footsteps of several other standout Trojans to make the venture to France for Master'U action. USC's Steve Johnson,Daniel Nguyen and Maria Sanchez have also represented Team USA in the past and helped win titles for the United States in past years.

    LAST SEASON
    The Women of Troy finished up the 2013 season as Pac-12 Champions and ranked No. 6 in the nation after a 23-3 mark that saw them reach the NCAA Round of 16, where USC was ousted by eventual national champ Stanford. Dynamic doubles duo Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria finished off a triple crown on the season when they added the 2013 NCAA Doubles Championship to the ITA/Riviera All-American and ITA National Indoor doubles crowns they had also picked up along the way.