Women's Tennis
    No. 3 USC Women Battle No. 12 Bruins Wednesday In Westwood

    Gabby Smith and the Women of Troy head to Westwood ranked No. 3 in the land.
    March 3, 2015

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    THIS WEEK
    The No. 3 Women of Troy head across town to do battle against rival UCLA this week in a nonconference clash. USC (10-1) will carry a six-match win streak over to Westwood to take some momentum into the matchup with the No. 12 Bruins (8-2) on Wednesday (March 4) at Los Angeles Tennis Center. The showdown will begin with doubles play at 1:30 p.m. Singles competition will start up at 3 p.m., with the action set to be televised by Pac-12 Networks, with Ted Robinson and Justin Gimelstob on the call.

    THE LAST MEETING
    USC1
    UCLA4
    April 18, 2014
    Westwood, Calif.
    No. 2 UCLA Women Claim 4-1 Win Over No. 12 USC
    The No. 12 USC women's tennis team took a 4-1 loss to No. 2 UCLA in the final match of the 2014 regular season today in Westwood. USC's Giuliana Olmos was able to tally a point for the Trojan cause, but the Bruins proved stronger down the line today. UCLA stole away a tight doubles point before managing singles wins on the top three courts to hand USC the loss. The Trojans go to 16-7 overall and finish Pac-12 play in fourth place at 7-3.

    LIVE SCORES

    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. 3 as of the latest national rankings (March 3), holding its highest rank since it last stood at No. 3 in the March 20, 2012 team rankings. Individually, a full set of six Trojans are standing strong in the latest set of rankings (as of Feb. 24). At a career-best ranking of #17, junior Giuliana Olmos leads the way. Below her are five more Trojans. Senior All-American Zoë Scandalis now ranks #36 in the nation, with fellow senior Sabrina Santamaria now at #46 for her first appearance on the scene since the former #1 was sidelined by a season-ending injury last year. Three USC freshmen round out the ranked crew: #89 Gabby Smith, #94 Meredith Xepoleas and #106 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 UCLA
    The No. 12 Bruins are 8-2 overall after a 4-3 win over Pepperdine in their last action. UCLA has six players nationally ranked in singles: #3 Robin Anderson, #7 Chanelle Van Nguyen, #28 Kyle McPhillips, #38 Jennifer Brady, #72 Catherin Harrison and #91 Kaitlin Ray. In doubles, UCLA has two ranked pairs: #2 Harrison/McPhillips and #38 Anderson/Van Nguyen. USC is 48-42 all-time against UCLA after a set of three losses last season. The Bruins beat the Trojans by scores of 4-0, 5-2 and 4-1 last year. The Trojans last beat the Bruins with a 6-1 victory on April 18, 2013 at Marks Stadium to finish off an undefeated Pac-12 season for the Women of Troy.

    LAST ACTION
    USC had a hugely successful trip to the Bay Area in its most recent competition. Ranked No. 11 at the time and paying a visit to No. 5 California in Berkeley, USC saw its veteran strength spark a clutch comeback road win as the Trojans were able to clinch an exciting 4-3 upset victory. After losing the doubles point and then falling into a 3-0 deficit, USC got a senior spark from Zoë Scandalis with a three-set comeback. That set the tone, as fellow senior Gabriella DeSimone did the same, followed by a three-set win from senior Sabrina Santamaria and the capper coming in a valiant comeback from junior Giuliana Olmos. Olmos upended the nation's top-ranked player with her three-set comeback to clinch the win for the Women of Troy. In the doubles portion of the competition, the Trojans opened up with a strong start as the duo of Zoë Katz and Santamaria defeated California's Chi/Popovic 8-1. The Golden Bears came back swinging as they won the next two. California's #8 Manasse/Star beat USC's #15 Olmos/Scandalis 8-4, and then #16 Fabikova/Susanyi closed out their match over the Trojan twosome of Smith/Westby 8-5 to collect the doubles point. The Golden Bears' strong momentum from doubles rolled over into the singles competition. California's #28 Karla Popovic defeated #104 Madison Westby 6-3, 6-3, and #59 Denise Starr beat #72 Trojan Gabby Smith 6-0, 1-6, 6-1. At this point, the Women of Troy were trailing 3-0. One more win from Cal would clinch the match. Instead, USC turned the tide. On court three, #65 Scandalis was able to power through and break the streak for USC by beating #20 Zsofi Susanyi in a clutch victory 3-6, 6-2, 6-0. Scandalis' win switched the momentum back over to the Trojans as DeSimone grabbed another USC win over Cal's Cecilia Estlander 2-6, 6-1, 6-3. At the No. 2 spot next, Santamaria claimed a crucial win of her own over Cal's #34 Klara Fabikova 6-1, 5-7, 6-2. With the match tied at 3-3, court one's decision would finalize the outcome. USC's #22 Olmos dropped the first set to Cal's #1 Maegan Manasse 6-2. She fought back and won the next two sets 6-2, 6-3 to clinch the match and secure the upset of the Golden Bears. The next day, USC rounded out a victorious road trip through the Bay Area by tacking up a 5-2 win over No. 41 host Saint Mary's. Coming off of the emotional comeback upset of No. 5 California, the Women of Troy misfired in doubles play but were quick to recover. Senior DeSimone righted the ship with an equalizing 6-1, 6-1 win over Kareena Manji on court five, and then #22 Olmos delivered the go-ahead punch with a 6-0, 6-4 win over #48 Danielle Flores at the No. 1 spot. Now up 2-1 on the Gaels, the Trojans kept coming. Freshman Meredith Xepoleas knocked USC to a 3-1 advantage with her 6-1, 6-2 win over Jamie Pawid on court four, setting the Trojans up for a clincher. That's where sophomore Katz picked up right where she left on in doubles, staying in winning form for a 6-4, 6-4 win over Emma Critser at the No. 6 position. Katz's win clinched victory for the Trojans, up 4-1, but with matches still going strong. Up on court two for the first time, #104 Westby was upended by #112 Jana McCord when her match went to a 10-point tiebreaker to decide things. A 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (10-7) loss for Westby made the score 4-2, but her fellow freshman #72 Gabby Smith would have the final word for the Trojans. Smith pulled off a win in her 10-point tiebreaker to top Catherine Leduc 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 and make it a 5-2 final in USC's favor.

    SABS FIGHTS BACK
    After seeing her junior season come to a tragically early close with a torn ACL suffered in early March 2014, senior Sabrina Santamaria is finding her winning touch. The former top-ranked singles player, four-time ITA All-American, 2013 NCAA Doubles Champion and 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year is a perfect 6-0 in singles play as she starts her comeback path. She's also back in the national rankings, listed at #46 in the land in singles in the latest round of ITA rankings (Feb. 24). In her first competition of the year, she stepped into the No. 6 singles slot and surrendered only a single game to her LMU opponent.

    HEROIC OLMOS
    USC junior Giuliana Olmos pinned up two powerful performances in the USC women's tennis team's victorious road trip through the Bay Are, and for her winning efforts, Olmos was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Feb. 23. It's the second such selection for Olmos, who is the third Trojan to earn the honor this season. Olmos all but clinched her award when she upset the nation's top-ranked singles player in a three-set comeback effort that clinched a 4-3 win for No. 11 USC over No. 5 California in Berkeley. Olmos' 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Cal's #1 Meagan Manasse secured a huge comeback win for the Trojans. The very next day, #22 Olmos pinned up a 6-0, 6-4 win over Saint Mary's #48 Danielle Flores to help lift USC into position for another comeback victory, taking the Trojans to a 2-1 lead on the Gaels en route to a final 5-2 victory. The wins improved Olmos to a 24-7 overall singles record in her junior season, now on a four-match win streak.

    WESTBY WINS BIG
    Madison Westby had the heroic clincher for the USC women in a 4-3 upset of No. 11 Vanderbilt to help secure her with honors as the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Feb. 17. The freshman pulled out a three-set comeback win over #68 Marie Casares to pull off the win there. She also had a doubles win in that one, helping USC to claim the first point of the match with an 8-6 win to secure that point. The very next day, Westby won in doubles again and then added the first singles win of an eventual 7-0 win over No. 25 Texas, beating Lana Groenvynck 6-0, 6-2. The freshman is now 13-6 overall in singles with a 6-3 mark in dual matches.

    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 an 18-7 overall singles record and is 6-2 in dual matches.

    BREAKING GROUND ON NEW DIGS
    The USC men's and women's tennis teams have called the David X. Marks Tennis Stadium home since its construction in 1971. This year, Trojan tennis will see its home revamped and renovated, bringing the venue up to date and in line with the impressive accomplishments of both programs. A ceremony to kickstart the renovation of Marks Stadium, which includes breaking ground on the Buntmann Family Tennis Center, was held on Tuesday (Feb. 24). Goals for this renovation are to elevate Marks Tennis Stadium to be on par with the best facilities in the country by creating an inviting, elegant, bright and safe training and competition environment. The Buntmann Family Tennis Center entrance and lobby will welcome fans and visitors and put on display the rich history of USC tennis. To improve the building functionality and support the tennis program operations, the new Lisa and Douglas Goldman Family Student-Athlete Learning Studio will support direct collaboration between coaches, staff and athletes on a daily basis. The teams will be able to utilize and enjoy brand-new suites with lockers, showers, team meeting rooms and lounges. Both teams will have access to a new training room, a stringing storage area and a large multi-purpose room. To better accommodate and enhance the spectator experience, new spectator shade canopies will be added, a new elevator to the seating area will be installed. In addition to the lead gift from the Buntmann family, the renovation has been made possible thanks to financial support from the Lisa and Douglas Goldman family, the Fritz B. Burns Foundation, John Shea and Michael Uytengsu. The renovation is expected to be complete for Spring 2016.

    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 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. •