No. 7 USC Women Get Home Rematches With No. 1 Stanford and No. 8 Cal|
April 10, 2007
THIS WEEK: The No. 7 Women of Troy have a big weekend ahead when two top-10 squads come to town to continue the Pac-10 battle. Although USC was edged by both teams earlier in the season on the road, the Trojans are riding a streak of 11 wins into this week's matches. First up is No. 8 California for a 1:30 p.m. match on Friday (April 13) at Marks Stadium. Then USC will face top-ranked, defending Pac-10 and NCAA champion Stanford at noon on Saturday (April 14).
ITA RANKING UPDATES: USC (16-2, 5-0 Pac-10) began the season ranked #3 in the nation, and has since moved to #7 in the last two ITA national rankings (most recently released April 10). On the individual side, in rankings as of April 3, Lindsey Nelson sits at #10 in singles, followed by #12 Sarah Fansler, #97 Dianne Matias and #124 Katja Decker-Sadowski. In doubles, Fansler/Matias are #43, ahead of #53 DeVera/Fink.
USC VS. CAL: USC is 28-24 all-time against the Golden Bears, having lost 5-2 to Cal earlier this season in Berkeley -- USC's last loss of the year. #8 Cal is 19-3 overall and 5-0 in Pac-10 play, and has NCAA singles champion #4 Susie Babos, Pac-10 singles champion #13 Zsuzsanna Fodor, #19 Nina Henkel, #82 Stephanie Kusano and #124 Marion Ravelojaona ranked in singles, and #2 Babos/Fodor, #47 Henkel/Moore and #58 Bobusic/Ravelojaona ranked in doubles.
USC VS. STANFORD: USC is 17-54 all-time against the Cardinal, having lost 5-2 to Stanford in USC's first loss of the year. Stanford has won the past 45 matches against the Trojans, who last beat Stanford 6-3 on April 4, 1986. Top-ranked Stanford is 17-1 overall and 5-0 in Pac-10 play, and has #9 Celia Durkin, #15 Jessica Nguyen, #16 Theresa Logar, #21 Anne Yelsey, #73 Lindsay Burdette and #76 Whitney Deason ranked in singles, and #24 Burdette/Yelsey, #25 Durkin/Nguyen and ranked in doubles.
DRIVING FORCE: 2006 Honda Award finalist Lindsey Nelson is back again for the Women of Troy, holding down the fiercely competitive No. 1 singles slot for dual match play. She reached the NCAA singles final last season, and opened her 2007 junior campaign by adding to her list of successes with a win in the championship match of the National Collegiate Tournament, beating UCLA's Yasmin Schnack to claim the title. Nelson is 12-4 in dual matches and 19-5 overall in singles this season, and currently ranks #10 in the ITA rankings.
CHEERS FOR FANSLER: USC freshman Sarah Fansler made a name for herself quickly at Troy. She boasts the the most singles wins (25) on the team, is 14-3 in dual match singles, and is currently ranked #12 in singles. She was #9 as the 2007 season began -- a ranking earned largely from her championship run at the ITA West Regionals, where she became one of a string of Women of Troy to reach the final. Aside from 2003's tournament that was cancelled after the quarterfinals due to area fires, there has been a USC player in every ITA Western Regional singles final since 1998. Current Trojans Amanda Fink and Lindsey Nelson also reached the final in their freshman seasons, with Fink winning the title in 2005 and Nelson coming in second in 2004. Before that, Jewel Peterson won the title all four years (1999-2002), and Ditta Huber won in 1998.
LONE RANGER: 2006 Pac-10 Rookie of the Year Amanda Fink is the only lefty and the only sophomore on the USC roster, but she fits in perfectly on the Trojan ladder. She is locking down the No. 3 singles position, going 15-3 in dual match play so far and 20-8 overall while currently holding the longest win streak on the team with seven straight singles wins.
SENIORITY RULES: USC has four seniors on the roster this year, and each and every one is loaded with experience. Three of them were members of USC's 2006 NCAA Semifinalist squad that finished out the year ranked No. 3 in the nation. This year, Academic All-American Anca Anastasiu (15-3 dual, 22-9 overall) along with Judy DeVera (9-2, 15-6) and Dianne Matias (11-5, 17-10) are joined by senior transfer Julie Smekodub (10-2, 13-6), who comes to USC with a year of eligibility remaining after Tulane closed the doors on its women's tennis program following a season cancelled by Hurricane Katrina. Smekodub and Anastasiu teamed up in the fall for doubles, winning the ITA West Regional Doubles Championship with a final victory over USC teammates Fansler/Matias. Matias is currently ranked #97 in singles.
SWEET FIFTEEN: USC's senior-sophomore combo of Judy DeVera / Amanda Fink have been all-out dominating in doubles play. The pair raged to a 15-match win streak in dual match action and has had a vice grip on the No. 2 position with a 14-1 record in that slot. DeVera/Fink are 23-5 overall and 15-1 in dual match action, and are now ranked #53 in the ITA.
ON GALLIEN'S WATCH: As head coach Richard Gallien's enters his 12th season at Troy, he has strung together 11 straight NCAA appearances for for USC along with 10 top-20 team rankings, six trips to the NCAA Quarterfinals and last season's journey to the NCAA Semifinals. Under Gallien's watch, USC has finished no lower than 11th for the past eight years. He has compiled a 197-91 overall record and .684 win percentage in those eight seasons at USC. In his 14 years as a head coach (also coaching the men at Pepperdine prior to coming to USC), he boasts a 259-115 (.693) career mark. In 2006, Gallien's USC squad rolled to another 7-1 mark in Pac-10 play and worked its way into the NCAA Semifinals, where the Trojans fell to Miami in a match that was interrupted by rain and resumed the next day. USC finished with a 21-4 overall record and wound up ranked No. 3 at season's close.