No. 11 USC Falls to No. 1 California|
Feb. 19, 2016
LOS ANGELES - USC’s No. 11 women’s tennis team came up short against No. 1 California as they lost 6-1 on Friday (Feb. 19). The Women of Troy christened the newly renovated Marks Stadium as they took on the top-ranked team in the country. The Trojans move to 3-3 overall with the loss.
Marks Stadium, which had its ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday (Feb. 16), was filled with a large crowd of Trojan tennis fans. The Trojans collected the first win of the day as No. 11 Giuliana Olmos and Gabby Smith upset Califorina’s No. 2 Manasse/Starr 6-4. On court three, USC’s Rianna Valdes and Madison Westby put up a fight, but fell short to California’s Chi/Lin 7-5. Doubles concluded with a nailbiter. The Trojan twosome of Jessica Failla and Zoë Katz took an early 3-1 lead on court two, but the Golden Bear duo of Fabikova/Hauger caught up to tie the score at 6-6 to take it to a tiebreak. After exchanging points back and forth, the Bears went on a run to take the tiebreak and the match with a 7-6 (3) score.
The Bears opened up singles play with a 1-0 lead on the Trojans. On court six, California would increase its lead to 2-0 as Bear Karla Popovic defeated USC’s Zoë Katz 6-1, 6-3. California captured another point as Cal’s No. 5 Klara Fabikova beat USC’s No. 62 Madison Westby 6-2, 6-2 on court two.
USC’s No. 38 Giuliana Olmos would provide the Trojans with their only win of the day in singles play as she outlasted Cal’s No. 13 Maegan Manasse 6-3, 6-3 on court one. No. 102 Olivia Hauger would clinch the match for the Golden Bears as she seized a win over Trojan No. 90 Rianna Valdes 6-4, 6-3 on court five.
Though California had already won, the remaining two matches were played out. After winning the first set 6-3, USC’s No. 87 Gabby Smith lost the second set 7-5 to Cal’s Lynn Chi. A tiebreaker to 10-points was played, and Chi prevailed to snag the set and the match with a score of 10-3. Finally, USC’s No. 95 Jessica Failla was locked in a battle against Cal’s No. 121 Denise Starr on court four. After narrowly losing the first set to Starr 7-6 (3), Failla fell to her Bear opponent 6-4 in the second set.
While California is a Pac-12 team, this match did not count towards conference standings as the Women of Troy will have the opportunity to face the Golden Bears again on March 12 in Berkeley, Calif.
USC’s next action takes them across town to take on the UCLA Bruins on Thursday (Feb. 25) at 1:30 p.m. This match will count towards the BMW Crosstown Cup where the Trojans are currently leading 55-35 throughout the 2015-16 athletic season.
#1 Cal 6, #11 USC 1