Women's Tennis
    Summer Success: Women of Troy Working Hard On The Pro Circuit

    Danielle Lao captured her first $25,000 USTA title and is one of many Trojans finding success on the circuit.
    June 30, 2015

    Several USC women's tennis players have made themselves right at home on the USTA Pro Circuit. In the past few weeks, playing in tournaments around the globe, Women of Troy have collected six USTA tournament titles. Current Trojan Giuliana Olmos has staked her claim on three singles titles so far; recent grad Zoë Scandalis won back-to-back doubles titles; and the relative veteran of the group, 2013 grad Danielle Lao, grabbed a singles title just this past weekend.

    For Lao, the unique support system that she feels with her fellow Trojans on the circuit and back at home has been instrumental in her growing comfort level on the tour.

    "I am so lucky that my relationship with USC has continued to grow even after my college career," Lao said. "The circuit is not as lonely as people make it out to be, because I know my teammates and coaches from before are behind me every day. Whether it is in practice, text messages, or social media shoutouts, my Trojan Family finds a way to lift me up when I am experiencing low moments. Although I am busy myself, I try to do the same for them when I can. Knowing that we have each other's backs makes us all relentless in any struggle and that makes all the difference."

    Lao's victory in Baton Rouge was her first singles title at the $25,000 level. That same weekend, over in Mexico, Olmos captured her third $10,000 event singles title of the summer -- all claimed in Mexico. Olmos just shipped off to South Korea as a member of Mexico's World University Games team, taking a break from the USTA action in order to play for a WUG medal.

    Scandalis also has found success across the border. Last week, she paired up with Mexico's Camila Fuentes in doubles play to win the title at the USTA's Manzanillo event. That notched back-to-back doubles titles for Scandalis at that Mexican hotspot, as she and partner Renata Zarazua won it all the previous week in another USTA $10,000 event.

     

     

    Also working the pro circuit overseas, USC's 2013 NCAA Doubles Champions Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria are going strong in Europe. That duo have combined forces for doubles play while also flying solo for singles action at various $10-15,000 tournaments in Germany and the Netherlands in recent action. Back in the United States, a former teammate of Christian and Santamaria, Brynn Boren, has been competing in USTA events around the country.

    "West and I are super proud of the girls out there playing, who are still loving to compete," USC head coach Richard Gallien said, including associate head coach West Nott in his enthusiasm for their players' efforts. "Certainly one of our goals is not only that the girls love their tennis at USC and get an amazing degree, but that they can take it out there to the pro tour and love that tennis as well. We have more USC girls competing out there than anyone else, and I credit west for helping foster that attitude. He's always sending notes of support to the girls, and it's been fun to see how the culture is growing. It's really inspirational for our current and future players."

    Meanwhile, over in London, USC's highest ranking player has been in action at Wimbledon. Now a veteran of Grand Slam events, Maria Sanchez is currently ranked #168 in singles and #96 in doubles. She recently fell in Wimbledon singles qualifying rounds, but is lined up for the main draw in doubles alongside partner Johanna Konta.

    Safe to say, Sanchez will be another Trojan getting her share of support from the Trojan tennis family this week, too.

    "Once a Trojan, always a Trojan," Lao says. "Fight on for life!"