Four Women of Troy Named ITA All-Americans
June 7, 2012
In keeping with the USC women's tennis team's run to its winningest season since the mid-80s, the Women of Troy have landed four players with All-American honors for the first time since 1986. USC's 24-4 finish and visit to the NCAA Semifinals marked the most wins by a Trojan team since 1985. Today, the Women of Troy wrap up the year ranked No. 4 in the nation, with three players in the top-20 national singles rankings along with a top-5 doubles pair to secure four honorees as ITA All-Americans. Leading the way is freshman Sabrina Santamaria with All-American accolades for singles and for doubles with All-American partner Kaitlyn Christian. Freshman Zoë Scandalis also opens her USC career with All-American singles honors, and junior Danielle Lao has picked up her first All-American nod in the singles scene.
The last time the USC women had four honorees, the 1986 Women of Troy had reached the NCAA final following a run to a first-place finish in the conference. The 2012 Women of Troy also boast a share of the 2012 Pac-12 championship this season, and wound up the year just one win away from reaching the NCAA title match.
This year's ITA All-American honors are the first for all but Kaitlyn Christian, who was a doubles All-American as a freshman last season. This year, her pairing with Sabrina Santamaria saw the duo win the ITA National Indoor Doubles Championship in the fall, becoming the first USC pair -- male or female -- to win that tournament. Christian and Santamaria went on to win the 2012 Pac-12 Doubles Championship as well, picking up the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Championship draw. The Trojan tandem wrapped up their first year of action together ranked No. 3 in the nation with a powerful 33-13 overall record together in the doubles realm. Christian also finishes up her sophomore season ranked No. 83 in the nation in singles.
Sabrina Santamaria also turned a number of heads in her push to the NCAA Singles Quarterfinals last month. The freshman was unseeded in the draw, but rolled to three straight-set wins to reach the quarterfinals. That effort, combined with a spot at No. 13 in the final national singles rankings, locked Santamaria decisively in as an ITA All-American in singles along with her doubles honors. The ITA Southwest Regional Singles Champion in the fall, Santamaria was undefeated in Pac-12 dual-match play and finished her freshman campaign with a 38-8 overall singles record to boast the most wins among the Women of Troy this season.
USC's highest ranked player this season, freshman Zoë Scandalis, held her ground at the No. 1 singles slot all season long for the Women of Troy. It was her clinching win that helped USC knock out Baylor in the NCAA Round of 16 en route to this year's semifinal run. In the NCAA Singles action, Scandlis posted three-set comeback wins in the first two rounds before falling to the eventual runner-up in the Round of 16 to close down her freshman season with a 36-14 overall record. The ITA National Player to Watch, Scandalis ranks No. 11 in the nation in singles in the final rankings, and is No. 53 in doubles with teammate Valeria Pulido.
USC junior Danielle Lao worked hard to secure her first career ITA All-American status. Lao's gritty three-set win over Mallory Burdette was arguably the landmark win of the tournament for the Trojan crew, as she helped lift USC hand rival Stanford only its fourth loss from the past three years with the Trojans' victory in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Lao had a tough draw in the NCAA Singles tournament, winning her first before coming up against the top seed in the Round of 32. Still, Lao's body of work on the year in gathering a 31-8 overall singles record locked in the junior with a No. 18 final ranking in singles to score ITA All-American honors. Lao also stands at No. 76 in the final national doubles rankings with senior teammate Alison Ramos.
A player must meet any of the following criteria to earn ITA All-America honors: