Trojan Tennis Sending 10 To NCAA Individual Action
May 2, 2012
The USC men's and women's tennis teams are now officially locked and loaded for their runs in the NCAA Championships this month. With the announcement of the NCAA Singles and Doubles fields today, USC tennis boasts 10 Trojans who are slated to follow up team action with competition in the singles and doubles scenes in Athens, Ga., from May 23-28.
In men's singles, top-seeded Steve Johnson will open up defense of his 2011 NCAA Singles title with four other Trojans in the men's singles draw as well. Johnson is the Pac-12's automatic qualifier as the highest ranked member of the conference, holding strong at No. 2 in the nation while carrying a 60-match singles win streak into the coming NCAA Team Championships beginning next week. USC sophomore Ray Sarmiento -- ranked No. 25 in the nation -- will make his second appearance in the NCAA Singles bracket after picking up All-American honors last year with a run to the NCAA Round of 16 in his freshman season. Senior Daniel Nguyen also is making his second run at the NCAA Singles draw after reaching the Round of 32 last year, standing as USC's second highest ranked player at No. 17. New to the NCAA field, USC sophomore Emilio Gomez and freshman Yannick Hanfmann will make their first journey into NCAA individual play this month. Both have had powerful winning seasons so far for the Trojans. Hanfmann holds at No. 53 ranking, and Gomez is No. 60.
On the women's side of the singles action, there are three Women of Troy lined up to compete in the 2012 NCAA Singles draw. Freshman Zoë Scandalis -- ranked No. 13 in the nation -- has picked up a 9-16 seeding for the competition in her first season with the Trojans, and fellow freshman Sabrina Santamaria will also make her debut in postseason singles for USC. Santamaria stands at No. 28 in the current national rankings. Now a veteran of NCAA action, Danielle Lao is making her third run at NCAA Singles play after reaching the Round of 32 in the past two seasons. This year she'll enter the mix as the nation's No. 17 ranked player.
In NCAA doubles, the USC men have the undefeated pairing of Steve Johnson / Roberto Quiroz weighing in as the automatic qualifiers out of the Pac-12, ranked No. 3 in the nation and taking the No. 2 seed into the 2012 NCAA Doubles Championships. Johnson/Quiroz have gone a perfect 14-0 together on the way into the NCAA Team Championships. Outside of that, USC has two pairings tagged as alternates for the NCAA doubles draw. Johnson and Yannick Hanfmann would be the next duo in, should Quiroz opt not to play in the postseason. USC's Daniel Nguyen / Ray Sarmiento also are listed as an alternate team.
For the Women of Troy, USC's Pac-12 Doubles Champions Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria have claimed the No. 4 seed into the NCAA Doubles draw. The Trojan tandem ranks No. 4 in the nation although they just knocked off Stanford's No. 2 team Burdette/Gibbs last week at the conference championship tournament. Christian/Santamaria also boast national honors as the 2011 ITA National Indoors Doubles Champions from earlier this season. This will be Christian's second run at the NCAA Doubles Championships, having been seeded No. 3 last year with teammate Maria Sanchez and making an impressive run to the 2011 NCAA Semifinals.
The singles and doubles competition will be conducted May 23-28 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., following the conclusion of the team championship (May 18-22). The University of Georgia will serve as host.
Automatic qualification into the Division I singles championships is awarded to any conference with one or more eligible singles players ranked in the ITA Top 125 for eligible/entered singles players. For conferences with more than one singles player within the ITA Top 125 eligible/entered singles players, the subcommittee applies the NCAA selection criteria to determine which student-athlete is the automatic qualifier from those conferences. All singles players must have a minimum of 13 completed singles matches in order to be selected as an automatic qualifier or an at-large selection.
TROJANS IN 2012 NCAA INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS