USC's Smith Reaches Final in National Collegiate Tennis Classic|
Jan. 16, 2017
RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIF. - Over the weekend, the USC women's tennis team traveled to the Sunrise Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. to compete in the National Collegiate Tennis Classic where junior Gabby Smith was a finalist. Smith battled her way through the competitive singles bracket to secure her place in the championship match.
After defeating Wichita State's Fatima Bizhukova in the first round 6-4, 6-1, Smith swiftly took down the tournament's No. 1 seed Lauren Marker from Arizona with a 6-0, 6-3 score. Smith continued to remain victorious throughout the weekend and defeated Stanford's Caroline Lampl in the semifinals 6-4, 6-1. Although she was scheduled to face off against Texas' Bianci Turati in the final match, it was not played as Texas was scheduled to fly home at that time.
Freshman Angela Kulikov also had a stellar weekend on the courts. After a comeback win against UCLA's Gabby Andrews with scores of 5-7, 6-2, 6-3, Kulikov found her momentum and decisively won her next two matches. Unfortunately, she was forced to retire dur to injury in the semifinal match versus Longhorn Bianca Turati.
Fellow Women of Troy Zoë Katz and Jessica Failla collected wins in the first two rounds, while newcomer Sydney Van Alphen and junior Madison Westby were triumphant in the first round. Sophomore Kristen Venter fell to Baylor's Karina Traxler in the first round of competition.
This week, USC opens the dual match season by traveling to UC Santa Barbara to take on the Gauchos on Friday, Jan. 20 at 1:30 p.m.