Richard Gallien and Danielle Lao Earn ITA Southwest Regional Honors
May 17, 2013
As the Women of Troy dig in to the NCAA Round of 16 and beyond in Illinois, the USC women's tennis team has extended its honor roll once again with the release of the ITA regional awards this week. Hauling in honors as the ITA Southwest Region Coach of the Year is USC head coach Richard Gallien, joined by the ITA Southwest Region Senior Player of the Year Danielle Lao as the Trojan representatives on the 2013 awards list.
Now a three-time ITA regional Coach of the Year and a four-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year, USC head coach Richard Gallien led the Women of Troy to a perfect 10-0 finish in the competitive Pac-12 Conference, as no team was able to take more than two points from USC in a Pac-12 dual match. The Trojans carry a 15-match win streak for a 23-2 overall record into the NCAA Round of 16, holding the No. 5 seed in the draw. For the first time since 2006, USC beat crosstown rival UCLA in back-to-back matches. Gallien's Trojans also started the season with its most dominant start to a season in program history, set in 1982 with five straight shutout wins. This season, Gallien has seen his players rank No. 1 in both singles and doubles. Three different Trojans have been ranked in the nation's top-10 in singles during the season, and doubles pair Christian/Santamaria has been at No. 1 and No. 2 throughout the year. Now with his 17th 20-win season with the Women of Troy, Gallien's overall record stands at 332-131 at USC and 402-155 in his career [Due to NCAA penalty, 7 previous wins left undecided and 1 win became a loss; revised USC record: 324-132 and revised career total: 387-156]. Gallien also was awarded the Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors in 1999, 2006 and 2009.
The ITA Southwest Region Senior Player of the Year, Danielle Lao also just made her debut on the All-Pac-12 First Team. As a freshman, Lao was pieced the ITA Southwest Region Rookie of the Year, so this top honor in a senior season is a nice way to round out her Trojan career. 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 in the 2013 NCAA Singles draw for her fourth trip to the NCAA Singles competition in her four years as a Trojan. The leader of the Women of Troy, Lao has the most dual-match singles wins (19) on the team and holds an overall singles record of 26-5 while standing as the nation's No. 9 ranked singles player. She climbed as high as No. 3 in the nation earlier this season. This is Lao's first selection to the All-Pac-12 First Team, having landed Second Team honors as a sophomore and junior and Honorable Mention as a freshman. This year, the senior captain was named to the ITA National Indoor All-Tournament Team at the No. 1 singles spot, and also won the ITA Southwest Regional Doubles Championship.
Full list of ITA award winners here