Women's Tennis
    No. 4 USC Women Host SDSU On Wednesday Before Visit To WSU

    The Women of Troy are ready to take on two teams this week.
    March 10, 2015

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    THE LAST MEETING
    USC7
    San Diego State0
    February 18, 2014
    San Diego, Calif.
    No. 9 USC Women Storm San Diego State 7-0
    The No. 9 USC women's tennis team took No. 58 San Diego State by storm today in a mid-week road trip that saw the Women of Troy tack up a smooth 7-0 sweep of the host Aztecs today. On a speedy clincher from freshman Zoë Katz, the Trojans pocketed a road win that improves USC to 6-2 overall.

    THE LAST MEETING
    Washington State1
    USC4
    March 29, 2014
    Marks Stadium
    No. 12 USC Women Wrap Up WSU 4-1
    The No. 12 USC women's tennis team cruised through another conference foe as the Women of Troy wrapped up a 4-1 win over visiting No. 53 Washington State today at Marks Stadium. The Trojans held their ground in doubles and ended the day by stringing together three straight singles wins, capped by a clincher from Gabriella DeSimone on court three for the junior's ninth straight singles win. USC is now 14-4 overall and a perfect 5-0 in Pac-12 play with today's win.

    THIS WEEK
    The No. 4 Women of Troy are lined up for a midweek matchup at home before journeying out of state to kickstart Pac-12 play. USC (10-2) is first set to square off against No. 65 San Diego State in a 1:30 p.m. match on Wednesday (March 11) at Marks Stadium. At week's end, the Trojans will pack up for their first Pac-12 match of the year, heading to Pullman, Wash., to face Washington State in an 11 a.m. match on Sunday (March 15).

    ITA RANKINGS UPDATES
    The Women of Troy opened 2015 ranked No. 14 in the nation in the opening set of team rankings. On March 3, USC had climbed to No. 3 to hold its highest rank since it last stood at No. 3 in the March 20, 2012 team rankings. This week (March 10), USC has moved to No. 4 in the nation. Individually, a full set of six Trojans are standing strong in the latest set of rankings (as of March 10). In the top-20 for the second time in her career, junior Giuliana Olmos leads the way at #18. Below her are five more Trojans. Senior All-American Sabrina Santamaria now ranks #36 in the nation as she continues her comeback path since the former #1 was sidelined by a season-ending injury last year. Fellow senior All-American Zoë Scandalis is now at #39, with three USC freshmen rounding out the ranked crew: #65 Madison Westby, #83 Meredith Xepoleas and #88 Gabby Smith. In doubles, USC boasts the #17 pair in the land in Olmos/Scandalis, who are joined in the rankings by teammates Gabriella DeSimone and Zoë Katz at #27.

    SCOUTING SDSU
    The No. 65 Aztecs are 6-5 overall after beating North Texas 4-3 last week. SDSU has no players nationally ranked in singles or doubles. USC is 42-4 all-time against the Aztecs after a 7-0 win last season in San Diego.

    SCOUTING WSU
    The Cougars enter the week at 10-4 overall after a 4-3 loss to Oregon last week and with a doubleheader against UCLA and Lewis & Clark on Friday before facing the Trojans on Sunday. WSU has no players nationally ranked in singles or doubles. USC is a perfect 21-0 all-time against the Cougars after a 4-1 win last season in their Pac-12 clash at Marks Stadium.

    LAST WEEK
    USC traveled across town to face No. 11 UCLA last week in a thrilling five-hour match that saw the Bruins edge out the visiting Trojans 4-3 to snap a six-match win streak held by the higher ranked No. 3 Trojans. The Trojans snagged the first win of the day as the freshman duo of Madison Westby and Gabby Smith beat Bruins Fleming/Wiley 8-4. Court one finished shortly after with UCLA's #2 Harrison/McPhillips taking down the #15 Trojan pair of Zoë Scandalis and Giuliana Olmos. All the action was now focused on court two. Trojans Zoë Katz and Sabrina Santamaria were locked in a heated battle with Bruin twosome #28 Anderson/Van Nguyen. USC was down 4-5, but the Trojans continued to fight. Both teams exchanged games, and Katz/Santamaria were able to up the set at 7-7. A tiebreak would determine the winner, and the Bruins reached the finish line first with a score of 7-2. This made it an 8-7 final score to take the doubles point. The intensity of doubles rolled over into the singles competition. On court three, USC's #46 Sabrina Santamaria took charge and claimed a quick and decisive 6-2, 6-0 win over #28 Kyle McPhillips. UCLA responded with a win of its own as the 2014 Honda Award recipient, #3 Robin Anderson halted Trojan #17 Giuliana Olmos. The battle on court one was intense, but Anderson took both sets with a score of 6-4, 6-4. UCLA continued to pose a threat as #91 Kaitlin Ray beat USC's #89 Gabby Smith 7-5, 6-2. This win moved pushed the Bruins further ahead with a score of 3-1 and lit a fire under USC as it claimed the next two victories. After losing the first set 6-1, #106 Madison Westby came back and upset UCLA's #72 Catherine Harrison by winning the next two sets 6-4, 6-1. On court six, #94 Meredith Xepoleas collected a win over UCLA's Terri Fleming 6-2, 7-6(6) to up the score at 3-3. All eyes were now on court two. In the last match of the day, #36 Zöe Scandalis was head to head with UCLA's #7 Chanelle Van Nguyen. Van Nguyen claimed the first set with a decisive 6-2 score. During the second set, Van Nguyen began to cramp, and Scandalis used this as an opportunity to make a comeback. She never let up, and took the second set 6-3. Games were exchanged in the third set, and ultimately, it came down to a tiebreaker. After a long fought battle, Van Nguyen won the tie break and clinched the match with a final score of 7-6(4).

    BIG WIN BY THE BAY
    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.

    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 7-0 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. Olmos now holds a 24-8 overall singles record in her junior season, standing as the team's winningest singles player to date.

    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 14-6 overall in singles with a 7-3 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 18-8 overall singles record and is 6-3 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. •