USC Falls to No. 12 California to Open Conference Play

    March 10, 2017

    LOS ANGELES --The Trojans fell in a tough loss to No. 12 California 4-3 on Friday (March 10) at USC’s Marks Stadium. Today's match opened up conference play, so USC is now 0-1 in Pac-12 play and 4-4 overall.

    The Women of Troy earned the first doubles point of the day on court one as No. 75 Failla/Valdes upset Cal’s No. 28 Jansen/Manasse 6-3. Court two was next to finish as Golden Bear duo No. 23 Hauger/Popovic beat USC’s Smith/Westby 6-4. The doubles point came down to the result on court three where Trojan pair Kulikov/Van Alphen were locked in a nail biter of a match with Cal’s #46 Nelson/Starr. At 6-6, the match was taken to a seven-point tiebreak where the Golden Bears made a final push to win 7-6 (3) and claimed the doubles point.

    The Women of Troy entered the singles portion of the competition with a 0-1 deficit. While the Trojans appeared to be in control of the first set on the top courts, USC’s Sydney Van Alphen lost her battle on court six to Cal’s Staphane Lin 6-1, 6-4. This win pushed Cal ahead 2-0 overall.

    Another point went the Golden Bears’ way as USC’s No. 113 Madison Westby fell to Cal’s Maya Jansen 6-4, 6-3 on court four.

    Junior Gabby Smith attempted to reverse USC’s momentum. She easily claimed the first set 6-2 on court one, and was taken to a thrilling tiebreak in the second set. Court one was surrounded by USC tennis fans who chanted and cheered loudly after each tiebreak point. Smith would win the set 7-6 (1) and consequently her match to put the Women of Troy on the board with one point.

    The Trojans continued to fight on. After winning the first set on court five 6-4, USC’s Angela Kulikov lost the second set to Cal’s Maria Smith 6-2. She came back racquet ablaze to decisively win the third set 6-0 to give the Trojans another point to make the overall score 2-3.



    USC would need to win the final two courts in order to clinch the match. On court three, Trojan and Pac-12 Player of the Week Rianna Valdes nabbed a close first set 7-5 over Golden Bear No. 96 Olivia Hauger, but dropped the second set 6-2. Although she battled in the third set, she was overpowered by Hauger who won the third set 6-2 to clinch the match for California.

    Though the match was already clinched, court two was played out. USC’s Jessica Failla concluded an exciting match by defeating Cal’s Denise Starr 6-0, 3-6, 7-6 (7) to close out the afternoon.

    The Women of Troy will return to Marks Stadium tomorrow (March 11) afternoon to take on No. 14 Stanford at 12 p.m. The match will be televised on Pac 12 LA and Pac-12 Bay Area.

    #12 California 4, #21 USC 3
    March 10, 2017 - Marks Tennis Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    (1) #75 Failla/Valdes (USC) def. #28 Jansen/Manasse (Cal) - 6-3
    (2) #23 Hauger/Popovic (Cal) def. Smith/Westby (USC) - 6-4
    (3) #46 Nelson/Starr (Cal) vs. Kulikov/Van Alphen (USC) - 7-6 (3)
    California wins doubles point.
    Order of finish: 1, 2, 3
    (1) #25 Gabby Smith (USC) def. #9 Karla Popovic (Cal) - 6-2, 7-6 (1)
    (2) #38 Jessica Failla (USC) def. Denise Starr (Cal) - 6-0, 3-6, 7-6 (7)
    (3) #96 Olivia Hauger (Cal) def. Rianna Valdes (USC) - 7-5, 2-6, 6-2*
    (4) Maya Jansen (Cal) def. #113 Madison Westby (USC) - 6-4, 6-3
    (5) Angela Kulikov (USC) def. Maria Smith (Cal) - 6-4, 2-6, 6-0
    (6) Stephane Lin (Cal) def. Sydney Van Alphen (USC) - 6-1, 6-4
    Order of finish: 6, 4, 1, 5, 3*, 2