Women of Troy Fight Back For More NCAA Individual Action|
May 2, 2013
USC women's tennis is sending the usual suspects back into NCAA Singles and Doubles Competition for the 2013 edition of individual postseason play. The Trojans have traded up, too, with sophomore Sabrina Santamaria snagging the No. 2 seed for singles as well as the No. 2 seed for doubles play with teammate Kaitlyn Christian. Senior Danielle Lao has scored a 9-16 seed into the singles scene for a repeat trip to the tourney, and Zoë Scandalis, too, is back in action with an at-large spot in the singles draw. NCAA individual action is set to run May 22-27 in Urbana, Ill.
For back-to-back Pac-12 doubles champs Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria, the No. 2 seed into the 2013 NCAA Doubles draw offers an opportunity for the pair to add another title to their laundry list of awards together. The winners of the last two ITA National Indoor Doubles championships, Christian/Santamaria are currently a perfect 30-0 overall and rank No. 2 in the nation. ITA All-Americans last season as the No. 4 seed into the 2012 NCAA Doubles tourney, the pair has locked in another set of All-American honors with this year's No. 2 seed and are the automatic qualifiers out of the Pac-12.
Sabrina Santamaria -- who was ranked as the nation's No. 1 singles player for a cycle of February ITA rankings -- has won 21 straight singles matches for an overall record of 30-3 to date. She's also tabbed as the automatic singles qualifier out of the Pac-12 as she stands ranked No. 2 in the nation entering NCAA action. Santamaria now has a solid set of four ITA All-American honors to her name, thanks to her run to the NCAA Singles Quarterfinals last season as a freshman.
Making her fourth trip to the NCAA Singles competition in her four years as a Trojan is senior Danielle Lao. An ITA All-American for the first time last year, Lao now has 2013 ITA All-American status as well with this year's pick as a 9-16 seed. The leader of the Women of Troy, who just capped off an undefeated Pac-12 season to win back-to-back conference crowns, Lao has the most dual-match singles wins (18) on the team and holds an overall singles record of 25-5 while standing as the nation's No. 9 ranked singles player. She climbed as high as No. 3 in the nation earlier this season. In her previous three NCAA Singles appearances, Lao has reached the Round of 32 each year as she now looks to break through for a deeper run at the tourney.
Also making a return trip to NCAA action is sophomore Zoë Scandalis, who reached the Round of 16 last season as a freshman and now also looks to better than run in 2013. A 2012 ITA All-American and the ITA National Player to Watch, Scandalis is currently ranked No. 27 in the nation in singles and is 17-8 overall to date.