March 24, 2015
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THE LAST MEETING
March 28, 2014
No. 12 USC Women Stay Strong In Pac-12 Play With Another Shutout
The No. 12 USC women's tennis team dominated the courts at Marks Stadium today with a comfortable 4-0 sweep of visiting Oregon. The Women of Troy started out with a bang by taking the doubles point, and they kept their momentum going through the rest of the match. The home win improves USC's record to 13-4 overall and 4-0 in Pac-12 play this season.
THE LAST MEETING
March 23, 2014
No. 12 USC Wipes Out Washington 4-0
The No. 12 USC women's tennis team wrapped up another Pac-12 road win with a sweep of No. 42 host Washington today in Seattle. The Trojans pounded out the doubles point for the early advantage and just kept rolling, sweeping up three straight-set singles wins capped by a clincher from Giuliana Olmos on court three. With their third straight win, the Women of Troy improve to 12-4 overall and take a 3-0 start to Pac-12 play.
The USC women's tennis team has moved up to rank as the No. 1 team in the nation this week -- an achievement last earned by the Women of Troy back in 2003. The top-ranked Trojans take that top billing on the road this week as they charge on to more Pac-12 play this week as the team hits the road carrying a four-match win streak that includes two top-10 victories from last weekend. USC (14-2, 3-0 Pac-12) will next go up against No. 56 Oregon in a 1:30 p.m. matchup in Eugene on Friday (March 27). Then, the Trojans will head over to Seattle to take on No. 44 Washington at 12 p.m. on Saturday (March 28) in the push to stay perfect in Pac-12 action.
ITA RANKINGS UPDATES
The Women of Troy opened 2015 ranked No. 14 in the nation in the opening set of team rankings. This week (March 24), USC has catapulted from last week's No. 7 spot to stand as the nation's No. 1 team. The Trojans last stood as the top-ranked team in the land back in 2003. USC's previous best ranking this season had been at No. 3 on March 3. Individually, a full set of six Trojans continue to stand strong in the latest set of rankings (as of March 24). Still in the top-20 for the second time in her career, junior Giuliana Olmos leads the way at #11 for her career-best ranking. Below her are five more Trojans. Senior All-American Sabrina Santamaria now ranks #20 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 #49, with three USC freshmen rounding out the ranked crew: #64 Meredith Xepoleas, #65 Gabby Smith and #73 Madison Westby. In doubles, USC boasts the #15 pair in the land in Olmos/Scandalis, who are joined in the rankings by the freshly ranked #19 team of Zoë Katz and Sabrina Santamaria, while Katz also remains ranked alongside teammate Gabriella DeSimone, now at #30 this week.
The No. 56 Ducks are 8-5 overall and 2-1 in Pac-12 play after losing to Utah 5-2 and beating Colorado 4-3 last week. Oregon has no players nationally ranked in singles or doubles. USC is a perfect 20-0 all-time against the Ducks after a 4-0 victory last season in Los Angeles.
The No. 44 Huskies are 10-5 overall and 2-1 in Pac-12 play after beating Colorado 6-1 and losing to Utah 4-3 last week. Washington has no players nationally ranked in singles or doubles. USC is 21-3 all-time against the Huskies after a 4-0 win last season in Los Angeles.
USC made a powerful home stand last weekend in drumming up an impressive 4-3 upset win over No. 3 California followed by a strong 6-1 victory over No. 10 Stanford to stay perfect in Pac-12 play. In the matchup against Cal, the Bears snagged the first win of the day as Cal's #11 Fabikova/Susanyi beat USC's #17 Olmos/Scandalis 8-4 on court two. One loss was not going to slow down the Trojans, though. Court three finished next as the Trojan freshman duo of Smith/Westby defeated Cal's Chi/Popovic 8-6. On court one, USC's Katz/Santamaria were locked in a battle with Cal's #5 Manasse/Starr. After exchanging games back and forth, the Trojans pulled off the upset, winning 8-6 and claiming the doubles point for USC. The Bears would level it at 1-1 next when USC's #36 Sabrina Santamaria fell to Cal's #4 Maegan Manasse 6-1, 6-1, marking Santamaria's first singles loss of the year, albeit to a highly ranked foe. USC answered back from court five with a quick finish from USC's #88 freshman Gabby Smith, who sprinted through her match to defeat Cal's #61 Karla Popovic 6-1, 6-1 and get USC back in the lead, up 2-1. Cal again answered back with a win of its own as #29 Zsofi Susanyi beat #65 Madison Westby 6-2, 6-4 on court four to tie up the overall score 2-2. The remaining three matches were locked in tight battles. On court three, USC's #39 Zoë Scandalis was putting up a fight, but would fall to Cal's #81 Denise Starr 6-4, 6-2. This win pushed the Bears into their first lead of the day, up at 3-2. It was up to the final two competing Trojans to decide the match for USC. After losing the first set on court two, USC's #18 Giuliana Olmos was determined to keep USC in the match. She came back and won sets two and three in a decisive manner to finish off a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 comeback victory over #27 Klara Fabikova and tie up the overall score 3-3. All eyes were now locked on court six. USC's #83 Meredith Xepoleas was continuing her long battle as she duked it out with Cal's #34 Lynn Chi for the match. The Trojan freshman caught fire in the third set and breezed through to post a 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-3 victory that clinched the match for the Women of Troy. The very next day, USC squared off against No. 10 Stanford. After picking up the doubles point, USC's fearsome freshmen rattled off three swift singles wins to secure a quick decision for the Trojans. Up 4-0 on the Cardinal with the victory in the books, the match played out and saw the Women of Troy ring up two upset wins at the top of the lineup. USC delivered the first blow with a one-two punch in doubles. At the No. 1 spot, USC's Katz/Santamaria served up a solid upset of Stanford's #2 Davidson/Zhao with an 8-4 win. Court two came through next, with USC's #18 Olmos/Scandalis zipping their way to an upset of their own, toppling #13 Doyle/Tsay with an 8-3 win that tacked an important first point on the board for the Women of Troy and left the court three match suspended with USC's Smith/Westby trailing Stanford's Hardebeck/Kostas. That suspended doubles action fueled the fire for USC freshmen Smith and Westby in singles. On court five, #88 Smith won eight straight games en route to her 6-0, 6-2 upset of Stanford's #69 Ellen Tsay to pump the Trojans up to a 2-0 lead. Fellow freshman Xepoleas was in prime form for her No. 6 singles matchup against Stanford's Lindsey Kostas. Having pinned up the clincher in yesterday's upset win over No. 3 California, #83 Xepoleas stayed the course and surrendered just a single game to Kostas in forging her path to a 6-0, 6-1 win that made it 3-0 Trojans. The freshman contingent would complete the sweep when #65 Westby delivered from court four. Westby shrugged off a first-set tie to get the edge on her Stanford opponent #110 Krista Hardebeck. In the second, Westby stayed the course and finished out a 6-4, 6-2 victory that secured the win for USC, up 4-0 on the visiting Cardinal. They'd play out the rest of the match, leaving plenty of dramatic action going strong on the courts of Marks Stadium. Stanford would get on the board when #28 Caroline Doyle held off USC's #39 Scandalis with a 6-3, 6-3 decision on court two to bring the score to 4-1. At the No. 1 spot, an impressive performance from USC's #36 Santamaria saw the senior pull out of a 1-5 hole in the second set to force a deciding third-set tiebreaker against the highly ranked #3 Carol Zhao. Sabrina had turned the tide on Zhao after falling behind, getting a key hold to breathe new life into the second set and then staying in a groove to win six straight games and extend the match. In the 10-point tiebreaker, Santamaria worked out ahead and although she missed out on the first match point opportunity, she made good on the next chance to get the comeback win with a 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (11-9) victory over Zhao. Moments later, USC's #18 Olmos held her ground on court two to finish off #17 Taylor Davidson with one last break and hold to get the 7-5, 6-4 win that put an end to the action on the day.
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. 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 to start on her comeback path. The former top-ranked singles player, four-time ITA All-American, 2013 NCAA Doubles Champion and 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year opened the spring with eight straight singles wins. She'd take her first loss to then-#4 Maegan Manassee of Cal, but rebounded the very next day with an impressive comeback upset win over then-#3 Carol Zhao of Stanford. Santamaria returned to the national rankings for the first time this year on March 10, listed then at #36 in the land in singles. Now, the senior ranks #20 and holds a 9-1 overall record in singles to date. She's also back in the doubles rankings, now at #19 alongside partner Zoë Katz.
USC junior Giuliana Olmos pinned up two powerful performances in the USC women's tennis team's victorious road trip through the Bay Area, 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 was 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 Maegan 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 28-8 overall singles record in her junior season, standing as the team's winningest singles player to date. She's also up to #11 in the nation in singles for the highest ranking of her Trojan career.
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 #73 in the land, the freshman is now 17-7 overall in singles with a 9-3 mark in dual matches.
MEREDITH MAKES HER MARK
Freshman Meredith Xepoleas secured her first career Pac-12 Player of the Week award on March 23 after standing tall for the Women of Troy in huge Pac-12 wins over Cal and Stanford. Xepoleas came up big for the Women of Troy in the two top-10 wins to stay perfect in Pac-12 play. When USC's match against No. 3 California went down to the wire, all the pressure heaped on the freshman's shoulders. #83 Xepoleas was up to the challenge, taking down her Cal opponent Lynn Chi - who was ranked almost 50 places higher than her - with a 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-3 victory that clinched a huge upset win for No. 7 USC. The next day, Xepoleas came through again, this time in a smoother victory as she served up a 6-0, 6-1 win over Stanford's Lindsey Kostas to put USC up 3-0 against No. 10 Stanford en route to the Trojans' 6-1 victory over the Cardinal. Currently ranked #64 in the nation, Xepoleas has now won five straight singles matches to stand at 17-8 overall on the year.
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 a 19-10 overall singles record and is 7-5 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.
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.