USC Women Seeded No. 5 For 2012 NCAA Action|
May 1, 2012
The USC women's tennis team is in the best position it's been in in years for a national championship run, locked in on the No. 5 seed into the coming 2012 NCAA Championship. The Women of Troy are making their 21st consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament this year, and will get to start their journey from the friendly confines of their own Marks Stadium for the NCAA First and Second Rounds.
USC will play host to Fairfield, San Diego and Vanderbilt for the opening rounds. On Friday, May 11, Vanderbilt (16-7) and San Diego (13-9) will face off in first-round action at 11 a.m. at Marks Stadium. At 2 p.m., the fifth-seeded Women of Troy (20-3) will take on Fairfield (14-6). The winners of Friday's play will advance to the second round match, set for 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 12.
Ranked No. 4 in the nation, the 20-3 Trojans have served up five wins over top-10 teams this season, including a 6-1 upset of top-ranked UCLA to lock in USC as 2012 Pac-12 Team Champions. With a decorated load of talent this year, the Women of Troy are looking to shake off second-round losses from the past three seasons to get back to the NCAA Round of 16 and beyond -- held this year in Athens, Ga. After taking a share of the conference title with a 9-1 finish in Pac-12 play, the Trojans continued to make their voices heard in individual action last week. USC's young guns Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria -- winners of the 2011 ITA National Indoor Doubles Championship -- added another big trophy to their collection in their first year together by upsetting the top seeds in the Pac-12 Doubles Championship to lay claim to the conference doubles title. The 2012 Trojans have just one senior on the roster in Alison Ramos, whose power in singles and doubles has paired well with her younger teammates. In all, USC's lineup includes two top-20 singles players -- freshman Zoe Scandalis and junior Danielle Lao -- and a full set of decorated talent in ITA Southwest Regional Singles Champion Sabrina Santamaria, her sophomore doubles power Kaitlyn Christian and 2012 Pac-12 Invitational Singles finalist Gabriella DeSimone and winner Valeria Pulido.
Overall, this year's NCAA agenda marks USC's 30th appearance all-time, as the Trojans enter their 2012 campaign with a 59-28 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play. USC has won seven national championships in all, including NCAA champion titles in 1983 and 1985 after the NCAA began its women's tennis championships in 1982.
The last time USC entered the NCAA Tournament as a top-five seed was in 2006, when the then-second-ranked Women of Troy picked up the No. 3 seed into the 2006 tourney. USC would advance to the NCAA Semifinals that year, falling to Miami 4-1 in a rain-interrupted semifinal clash in Palo Alto that left USC with a 21-4 overall finish.
The seedings and draws for the 2012 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships are the next postseason items to be revealed. Those selections will be released tomorrow (May 2) on ncaa.com. NCAA individual action will take place after the conclusion of the NCAA Team Championships, set for May 22 in Athens, Ga. Women's team play in Athens will begin on May 17 and run through May 22. NCAA singles play will run May 23-28, and doubles action goes May 24-28 -- all at Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens.