March 31, 2015
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THE LAST MEETING
April 12, 2014
No. 13 USC Women Get In Gear For 4-0 Sweep Of Arizona
The No. 13 USC women's tennis team reigned supreme for another winning weekend at Marks Stadium, finishing off its final regular-season home stand with a 4-0 sweep of visiting No. 25 Arizona today. The clincher once again came from Zoë Scandalis on court one, where the #26 ranked junior manufactured comebacks in both sets en route to a straight-set victory that wrapped up today's action. The win improves USC's overall record to 16-6 overall while pumping up its Pac-12 record to 7-2 with one match to go in the regular season.
THE LAST MEETING
April 11, 2014
No. 13 USC Women Team Up For Key Win Over ASU
The No. 13 USC women's tennis team successfully defended its home turf against a determined No. 19 Arizona State squad today, fending off the Sun Devils to claim an important 4-2 win in Pac-12 action. The victory bumps the Women of Troy ahead of ASU in the conference standings, as USC now holds a 15-6 overall record and a 6-2 Pac-12 mark to hold strong in the No. 4 spot. The Trojans opened the day with a ceremony to honor their two graduating seniors, Brynn Boren and Kaitlyn Christian, both All-Americans and both finishing off their final seasons this year.
The USC women's tennis team stays on the road for more Pac-12 action this week, taking that shining No. 1 national ranking and a six-match win streak to Arizona. The top-ranked Women of Troy (16-2, 5-0 Pac-12) will first pay a visit to No. 41 Arizona for a 1:30 p.m. matchup against the Wildcats on Friday (April 3) in Tucson. Then, the Trojans will travel to Tempe to take on No. 23 Arizona State at 12 p.m. on Saturday (April 4).
ITA RANKINGS UPDATES
The Women of Troy opened 2015 ranked No. 14 in the nation in the opening set of team rankings. On March 24, USC catapulted from its No. 7 spot to stand as the nation's No. 1 team, where it remains in this latest round of rankings (released March 31). 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 individual rankings (released 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.
The No. 41 Wildcats enter the week 13-3 overall and 3-1 in Pac-12 play after falling to No. 3 Cal 6-1 and to No. 13 Stanford 6-1 last week. Arizona has two players nationally ranked in singles: #80 Lauren Marker and #114 Briar Preston. There are no ranked Arizona doubles teams. USC is 49-15 all-time against the Wildcats after a 4-0 victory last season in Los Angeles.
The No. 23 Sun Devils enter the week 12-5 overall and 3-1 in Pac-12 play after falling to No. 13 Stanford 6-1)and to No. 3 Cal 6-1 last week. ASU has #45 Desirae Krawczyk nationally ranked in singles. In doubles, ASU has #36 Krawczyk/Vlad and #77 Smith/Jump in the rankings. USC is 51-22 all-time against the Sun Devils after a 4-2 win last season in Los Angeles.
USC kept its winning Pac-12 momentum rolling right along when the Trojans hit the road last week, drumming up a 6-1 win at Oregon and a 7-0 sweep at Washington to improve to 5-0 in conference play. Against the Ducks, USC rallied right through doubles play and on to a stretch of singles victories, including the match-clincher from freshman Meredith Xepoleas. A new pairing of doubles duo Giuliana Olmos and Meredith Xepoleas proved potent with a quick 8-2 win at the No. 3 spot for the Trojan cause. Up on court one, USC's #19 Zoë Katz and Sabrina Santamaria locked in on the first point of the day with their 8-2 win, suspending action for Trojan freshmen Gabby Smith and Madison Westby at the No. 2 spot and bringing up singles play in Eugene. Senior Gabriella DeSimone kept USC's hot streak going strong when she issued a 6-2, 6-1 win on court six to make it a 2-0 Trojan advantage. At the No. 2 spot, #20 Santamaria clocked in with another speedy win on a 6-4, 6-3 decision to get USC within reach of victory, up 3-0 on the Ducks. That's where #64 Xepoleas stepped in, delivering a 6-1, 6-3 victory on court five, and USC's fourth Pac-12 win was officially inked into the books. Action would continue with the remaining matches stretching into extra time. On court three, #65 Smith tallied a comeback win with a 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 victory, making it 5-0 Trojans with two three-setters raging on. At the No. 4 position, #73 Westby was also making a comeback push, having dropped the first set before forging a path to victory with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 win. The battle on court one wouldn't go as well for the Trojans, however. There, USC's #11 Giuliana Olmos was dealt a rare loss when Nia Rose managed to steal away the third set for a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win over Olmos to end the day as a 6-1 decision in USC's favor. The next day in Seattle, USC tacked up wins down the line to beat the Huskies. Netting the clincher was Smith, who was one of four Trojans to serve up a straight-set singles win in Seattle. The Trojans drummed up the doubles win once again with the fuse lit from Smith/Westby on court three. The duo posted an 8-4 win to get things going, and top guns Katz/Santamaria got that 1-0 lead on the board with their 8-6 victory on court one, suspending play for #15 Olmos/Scandalis at the No. 2 spot. USC forged on in the singles scene with #64 Xepoleas stepping up for a quick 6-1, 6-4 win on court six for the freshman's seventh consecutive victory. Meanwhile, over on court one, #11 Olmos was back on track with a swift 6-4, 6-3 win to tally her 29th singles win of the season. On court four, #65 Smith gave up little ground to her Washington opponent as she drilled out a 6-2, 6-1 win that locked the Trojans in with the dual-match victory. Matches played on, and #20 Santamaria stuck with the trend as she dished out a straight-set victory of her own on a 6-4, 6-1 win at the No. 2 spot. The remaining two matches had wound up with split sets, bringing up 10-point tiebreakers on courts three and five. At the No. 5 spot, DeSimone stood strong in pulling off a 6-2, 5-7, 1-0 (11-9) win to make it 6-0 Trojans. Wrapping the day's action from court three was USC's #49 Scandalis, whose 6-4, 6-7, 1-0 (10-3) win saw the senior post a powerful performance in her 10-point tiebreaker to round out the 7-0 sweep for the Women of Troy.
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 an 11-1 overall record in singles to date. She's also back in the doubles rankings, now at #19 alongside partner Zoë Katz.
USC boasts a trio of freshmen this season, and the three-pack has certainly helped to stack the Trojan roster with success. #65 Gabby Smith, #73 Madison Westby and #64 Meredith Xepoleas are all locked into the national rankings in singles. Smith has grabbed the most wins so far, boasting a 22-10 overall record with a perfect 5-0 mark in Pac-12 matches. Xepoleas and Westby aren't far behind, holding 19 and 18 respective singles wins apiece. They both also weigh in with 11 dual-match singles victories. In all, the Trojan freshmen are 59-25 overall in singles play to date and together they've clinched nine matches from their singles spots this season. In doubles, Smith and Westby have paired up to great success. They're on a five-match win streak and hold an 11-6 overall record together.
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 29-9 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 18-7 overall in singles with an 11-3 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 seven straight singles matches to stand at 19-8 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 #49 in the nation, Scandalis now holds a 20-10 overall singles record and is 8-5 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 Kaitlyn Christian in 2014.