No. 7 USC Women Stand Tall In 6-1 Win Over No. 10 Stanford

    Sabrina Santamaria pinned up an impressive comeback win over the nation's #3 singles player.
    March 22, 2015

    LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 7 USC women's tennis team stood tall in its Pac-12 clash against No. 10 Stanford in knocking out a 6-1 win over the visiting Cardinal today at Marks Stadium. After picking up the doubles point, USC's fearsome freshmen rattled off three swift singles wins to secure a quick decision for the Trojans. Up 4-0 on the Cardinal with the victory in the books, the match played out and saw the Women of Troy ring up two upset wins at the top of the lineup. The final 6-1 decision improved USC to 14-2 overall and to 3-0 in Pac-12 play.

    USC delivered the first blow with a one-two punch in doubles. At the No. 1 spot, USC's Zoë Katz and Sabrina Santamaria served up a solid upset of Stanford's #2 Davidson/Zhao with an 8-4 win. Court two came through next, with USC's #18 Giuliana Olmos and Zoë Scandalis zipping their way to an upset of their own, toppling #13 Doyle/Tsay with an 8-3 win that tacked an important first point on the board for the Women of Troy and left the court three match suspended with USC's Smith/Westby trailing Stanford's Hardebeck/Kostas.

    That suspended doubles action fueled the fire for USC freshmen Smith and Westby in singles. On court five, #88 Gabby Smith won eight straight games en route to her 6-0, 6-2 upset of Stanford's #69 Ellen Tsay to pump the Trojans up to a 2-0 lead. Fellow freshman Meredith Xepoleas was in prime form for her No. 6 singles matchup against Stanford's Lindsey Kostas. Having pinned up the clincher in yesterday's upset win over No. 3 California, #83 Xepoleas stayed the course and surrendered just a single game to Kostas in forging her path to a 6-0, 6-1 win that made it 3-0 Trojans. The freshman contingent would complete the sweep when #65 Madison Westby delivered from court four. Westby shrugged off a first-set tie to get the edge on her Stanford opponent #110 Krista Hardebeck. In the second, Westby stayed the course and finished out a 6-4, 6-2 victory that secured the win for USC, up 4-0 on the visiting Cardinal.



    They'd play out the rest of the match, leaving plenty of dramatic action going strong on the courts of Marks Stadium. Stanford would get on the board when #28 Caroline Doyle held off USC's #39 Zoë Scandalis with a 6-3, 6-3 decision on court two to bring the score to 4-1. At the No. 1 spot, an impressive performance from USC's #36 Sabrina Santamaria saw the senior pull out of a 1-5 hole in the second set to force a deciding third-set tiebreaker against the highly ranked #3 Carol Zhao. Sabrina had turned the tide on Zhao after falling behind, getting a key hold to breathe new life into the second set and then staying in a groove to win six straight games and extend the match. In the 10-point tiebreaker, Santamaria worked out ahead and although she missed out on the first match point opportunity, she made good on the next chance to get the comeback win with a 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (11-9) victory over Zhao. Moments later, USC's #18 Giuliana Olmos held her ground on court two to finish off #17 Taylor Davidson with one last break and hold to get the 7-5, 6-4 win that put an end to the action on the day.

    The USC women continue their Pac-12 push next week with a road trip. The Trojans will visit Oregon for a 1:30 p.m. match on Friday (March 27) in Eugene before heading to Seattle to face Washington at 12 p.m. on Saturday (March 28).

    #7 USC 6, #10 Stanford 1
    March 22, 2015 - Marks Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    (1) Katz/Santamaria (USC) def. #2 Davidson/Zhao (STAN) - 8-4
    (2) #18 Olmos/Scandalis (USC) def. #13 Doyle/Tsay (STAN) - 8-3
    (3) Smith/Westby (USC) vs. Hardebeck/Kostas (STAN) - 4-7 susp.
    USC wins doubles point.
    Order of finish: 1, 2
    (1) #36 Sabrina Santamaria (USC) def. #3 Carol Zhao (STAN) - 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (11-9)
    (2) #18 Giuliana Olmos (USC) def. #17 Taylor Davidson (STAN) - 7-5, 6-4
    (3) #28 Caroline Doyle (STAN) def. #39 Zoë Scandalis (USC) - 6-3, 6-3
    (4) #65 Madison Westby (USC) def. #110 Krista Hardebeck (STAN) - 6-4, 6-2*
    (5) #88 Gabby Smith (USC) def. #69 Ellen Tsay (STAN) - 6-0, 6-2
    (6) #83 Meredith Xepoleas (USC) def. Lindsey Kostas (STAN) - 6-0, 6-1
    Order of finish: 5, 6, 4*, 3, 1, 2