USC Women Are At Large In NCAA Tennis Action
May 3, 2011
The USC women's tennis team has locked in on its 20th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Women's Tennis Championships, taking a trip to Berkeley, Calif. for the 2011 NCAA First and Second Round. The Trojans (14-7) open up against St. Mary's (13-9) in the first round to vie for a second-round slot against either No. 9 seeded host California (16-6) or Boston University (12-8). USC's matchup with the Gaels is set for 9 a.m. on Saturday (May 14) with the second round match scheduled for 12 p.m. on Sunday (May 15). Two wins on the road in Berkeley would put the Women of Troy in the mix for the Round of 16 and beyond at the NCAA Championships in Palo Alto, Calif., beginning May 20 and running through May 24.
Ranked No. 18 in the nation and holding a 14-7 overall record, the Trojans are in good position to better last year's marks and are focused on making a push back to the NCAA Round of 16 after taking Second Round losses in the last two years. That includes last season's visit to Cal for the first rounds, where the Women of Troy beat Sacramento State before falling to the No. 12 seeded host Bears to finish 2010 with a 14-10 overall record. Overall, this year's NCAA push marks USC's 29th appearance all-time, and the Trojans enter this year's tourney with a 58-27 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play and boast seven national championships. The 1983 and 1985 crowns both were NCAA titles, as the NCAA began its women's tennis championships in 1982.
This season, USC is captained by senior All-American Maria Sanchez, who ranks No. 2 in the nation in singles and No. 4 in doubles with freshman teammate Kaitlyn Christian. After title match appearances in last week's Pac-10 singles and doubles draws, Sanchez leads a Trojan team with a good blend of talent. Sophomore Danielle Lao ranks No. 24 in the nation in singles, and Christian, too, is in the national mix at No. 103 entering her first NCAA action. In addition to the No. 4 duo of Christian/Sanchez, USC has two more ranked doubles teams in No. 31 Valeria Pulido / Alison Ramos and No. 77 Cristala Andrews / Alison Ramos. Altogether, head coach Richard Gallien's Women of Troy are 14-7 overall with five of those losses coming to top-10 teams and a pair to tournament-bound Arizona State.
The seedings and brackets for the 2011 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships are the next postseason pool to be revealed. Those selections will be released tomorrow (May 4) on ncaa.com. NCAA individual action will take place after the conclusion of the NCAA Team Championships in Palo Alto, Calif. Women's team play will run May 20-24, with singles running May 25-30 and doubles going May 26-30 -- all at Stanford's Taube Tennis Center.