Women's Tennis
    No. 7 USC Women Set Up For No. 3 Cal And No. 10 Stanford

    The Women of Troy are home this weekend for two top-10 tangles.
    March 17, 2015

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    THIS WEEK
    The No. 7 Women of Troy are officially entrenched in conference play with two big Pac-12 clashes on the plate this weekend. USC (12-2, 1-0 Pac-12) will get its second look of the year at California, which the Trojans topped 4-3 last month in Berkeley. For this conference clash, USC will host No. 3 Cal (11-2, 2-0) in a 12 p.m. match on Saturday (March 21) at Marks Stadium. The very next day, USC will tangle with No. 10 Stanford (9-2, 2-0) for their first matchup of the year. The Trojans and the Cardinal as set to square off starting with doubles play at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday (March 22). Singles play will begin at 4 p.m. that day, with that action slated to be televised by Pac-12 Networks with Brian Webber and Justin Gimelstob on the call.

    THE LAST MEETING
    USC4
    California3
    February 20, 2015
    Berkeley, Calif.
    No. 11 USC Women Deliver Comeback Upset Of No. 5 California
    The No. 11 USC women's tennis team saw its veteran strength spark a clutch comeback road win as the Trojans were able to clinch an exciting upset over No. 5 California with a 4-3 victory in Berkeley. 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.

    THE LAST MEETING
    USC0
    Stanford4
    April 5, 2014
    Palo Alto, Calif.
    No. 4 Stanford Serves Up 4-0 Win Over No. 13 USC Women
    The No. 13 USC women's tennis team came up empty in today's showdown against No. 4 Stanford in Palo Alto, falling 4-0 to the Cardinal to wrap up its road trip through the Bay Area. Stanford had the upper hand with higher ranked players down the line as it was able to notch the Pac-12 win over the visiting Women of Troy, avenging the loss that USC had served the Cardinal last season during conference competition. USC is now 14-6 overall and 5-2 in Pac-12 play.

    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 17), USC has moved from No. 4 to No. 7 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 CAL
    The No. 3 Golden Bears enter the week at 11-2 overall and 2-0 in Pac-12 play after beating San Diego State 7-0 and Pepperdine 4-3 last week. Cal will face UCLA on Friday before facing USC. Cal has six players nationally ranked in singles: #4 Maegan Manasse, #27 Klara Fabikova, #29 Zsofi Susanyi, #34 Lynn Chi, #61 Karla Popovic and #81 Denise Starr. In doubles, Cal has #5 Manasse/Starr, #11 Fabikova/Susanyi and #76 Chi/Starr. USC is 39-33 all-time against the Bears after snagging a 4-3 win at Cal last month. Last year, the Trojans beat the Bears 6-1 in Los Angeles and then lost 4-0 to Cal in Berkeley.

    SCOUTING STANFORD
    The No. 10 Cardinal enter the week at 9-2 overall and 2-0 in Pac-12 play after beating Utah 7-0 and Colorado 6-1 in its most recent action. Stanford will face UCLA on Saturday before coming to USC. The Cardinal has five players nationally ranked in singles: #3 Carol Zhao, #17 Taylor Davidson, #28 Caroline Doyle, #69 Ellen Tsay and #110 Krista Hardebeck. In doubles, Stanford has #2 Davidson/Zhao and #13 Doyle/Tsay. USC is 21-63 all-time against the Cardinal after a 4-0 loss last season in Palo Alto. USC's last win over Stanford was a 6-1 decision at Mark Stadium en route to the Trojans' undefeated 2013 Pac-12 campaign.

    LAST WEEK
    USC got back in winning mode last week with a powerful 7-0 win over visiting San Diego State and then a Pac-12 road win on a 6-1 victory over Washington State. In the clean sweep of the Aztecs, a smooth sail through doubles play led to a string of strong singles matches. A stretch of straight-set wins saw Gabriella DeSimone emerge with the clincher, but the match would continue on as the remaining courts played out. Stepping into the No. 1 slot for doubles and singles for the first time since her season-ended injury last year, senior Sabrina Santamaria was all business in both realms. The senior paired with junior Zoë Katz in doubles and the duo roared to a 6-1 to set the tone for the Trojans' winning day. Both Santamaria and Katz would stay hot as they divided and conquered in singles action. Katz whipped up the first singles win of the day with a decisive 6-1, 6-0 victory over Paola Diaz de Regules on court six, while #36 Santamaria followed suit with a powerful 6-2, 6-0 win over Kristin Buth at the No. 1 position to tug the Trojans to a 3-0 lead and set up DeSimone for the clincher from court five. DeSimone won the first eight games against Hailey Johnson and held her ground down the stretch to tally a 6-0, 6-3 win that made it a 4-0 USC advantage. The action kept coming as two matches stretched in third sets, while USC #65 freshman Madison Westby sidestepped extra time with a 6-4, 7-5 win at the No. 3 spot over Kennedy Davis to bring USC to a 5-0 lead. Fellow freshman #85 Meredith Xepoleas lost some steam in the second set to go into a 10-point tiebreaker to decide things, but that's where Xepoleas buckled back down to grind out a 6-1, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7) victory that made it 6-0. On court two, USC's #18 Giuliana Olmos had surrendered the first set to Tami Nguyen, but the Trojan junior regained focus as her match extended into a full third set. There, Olmos finished off her comeback for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 final win over Nguyen to put a stop to the day's action as a 7-0 USC win. In its first conference clash of the season, USC breezed through doubles play at WSU and then strung together five straight singles wins to lock in on the victory, which was clinched form court three by freshman Madison Westby. Court three also was the spot where USC snagged its first win of the day. In doubles action, USC's #27 pairing of DeSimone and Katz rattled off an 8-3 win to set the tone for the Trojans. USC's freshman duo of Smith and Westby replicated that effort with an 8-3 decision on court two, and USC was off to singles carrying a strong 1-0 lead over the host Cougars. The Trojans went right down the line in its path to victory. At the No. 1 slot, #39 Scandalis notched a 6-4, 6-3 win over Maria Biryukova to make it 2-0. On court two, #18 Olmos tore her way through to a 6-4, 6-0 win over Elizaveta Luzina to set the table for #65 Westby's clincher from court three. Westby grabbed the first set in a tiebreaker and then took full control in the second for a 7-6 (5), 6-1 win over Lize Leenknecht to pocket the win for USC with a 4-0 advantage. Play continued on, and the trend continued for the Trojans as court four finished up next on #88 Smith's swift 6-3, 6-1 win over Donika Bashota. Katz would preempt things from court six next, inserting her powerful 6-1, 6-1 win over Nastia Vasyukhina into the mix to pump the Trojans to a 6-0 lead over the Cougars. WSU would get the last word of the day, but the match was long decided by the time Victoria Matejevic managed a 7-5, 6-3 win over USC's DeSimone, wrapping the match as a 6-1 final in USC's favor.

    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 8-0 in singles play as she starts her comeback path. She's also back in the national rankings, listed at #36 in the land in singles in the latest round of ITA rankings (March 10). 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 26-8 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. Now ranked #65 in the land, the freshman is now 16-6 overall in singles with a 9-3 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. Currently ranked #36 in the nation, Scandalis now holds an 19-8 overall singles record and is 7-3 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 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. •