Women of Troy Travel to the Desert to Take on Arizona and Arizona State

    Photo credit: Hali Helfgott
    April 12, 2017

    USC Women's Tennis Release Get Acrobat Reader

    THIS WEEK

    The No. 39 Women of Troy will travel to warmer temperatures to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils on Friday (April 14) in Tempe, Ariz. at 1:30 p.m. and then on to Tucson to face the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday (April 15) at noon in their pursuit of more Pac-12 wins.

    ORACLE/ITA RANKINGS UPDATES

    On April 12, the Oracle/ITA team rankings were updated, improving USC’s national ranking as they moved up to No. 39. Three Pac-12 programs are currently in the nation’s Top 25: No. 10 Stanford, No. 16 California and No. 22 UCLA. The singles/doubles rankings were updated on April 12 as well, and three Trojans remain nationally ranked in singles. Junior Gabby Smith remains the highest ranked Trojan in singles at No. 23. Sophomore Jessica Failla is next securing the No. 46 spot, and senior Zoë Katz locks down her position at No. 113. In doubles, USC boasts three duos with national rankings. Katz/Smith dropped to No. 41 (from No. 38), while Kulikov/Westby maintained their position at No. 61. USC’s third nationally ranked pair of Failla/Valdes moved up to No. 71 (from No. 74).

    SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE

    The No. 29 Arizona State Sun Devils are 12-5 overall on the season and 5-2 in conference play. They are coming off a big weekend of victories: defeating Washington State 4-2 (April 7) and Washington 4-1 (April 9). Including those two wins, ASU is currently riding a five-match winning streak which the Trojans hope to snap this weekend. The Sun Devils have three singles players nationally ranked: No. 75 Kassidy Jump, No. 102 Kelly Anderson, No. 109 Sammi Hampton. In addition, ASU’s Fossa Huergo/Osbourne claim the No. 73 national ranking in doubles. The Trojans are 53-22 all-time against the Sun Devils.

    SCOUTING ARIZONA

    The Arizona Wildcats hold an 11-9 overall record on the season and are currently 2-5 in Pac-12 conference play. Last weekend, Arizona fell 7-0 to Washington (April 7), but rebounded with a 4-3 victory over Washington State (April 9). While the Wildcats are not ranked as a team, Arizona’s Lauren Marker is nationally ranked in singles at No. 31. USC is 50-15 all-time against Arizona.

    BY THE NUMBERS

    Two Trojans, No. 23 Gabby Smith and Madison Westby are closing in on the 20-win club. Smith and Westby each have 19 singles wins on the season. No. 46 Jessica Failla isn’t far behind with 17 wins, while No. 113 Zoë Katz has 16 wins. Each of these young women could earn at least 20 wins by the time conference play draws to a close.

    SWEEPING UTAH

    The No. 40 USC women’s tennis team swept the Utah Utes 7-0 on April 7 in Marks Stadium improving the Women of Troy to 2-4 in conference play and 7-8 overall on the season.

    Doubles kicked off the afternoon and the Trojans lit up the courts. The No. 38 Trojan duo of Katz/Smith dominated with their strong 6-0 victory over Ute pair B. Turley/W. Turley. USC’s No. 61 Kulikov/Westby was victorious over Utah’s Da Rosa/Petrovic 6-2 on court three to claim the doubles point for the Trojans. As the doubles point had already been secured, court one’s match featuring USC’s No. 74 Failla/Valdes and Utah’s Calton/Pletcher was suspended with a USC leading score of 5-2.

    The Trojans entered the singles portion of the competition with a 1-0 advantage, and extended USC’s streak of winning the doubles point to three matches in a row. Court four was the first to finish as USC’s No. 110 Zoë Katz blasted through her match to defeat Utah’s Jena Cheng 6-2, 6-2. About 60 seconds after Katz’s win, Trojan No. 20 Gabby Smith closed out her match with a victory over Ute Brianna Turley 6-3, 6-1. Smith’s win increased USC’s lead to 3-0.

    After winning a tight first set 7-6 (3), USC’s Madison Westby came back strong in the second set to swiftly beat Utah’s Whitney Turley 6-1 to clinch the match for Troy.

    Although Westby sealed the deal for the Women of Troy, the remaining matches were played out. USC’s Angela Kulikov whipped up a 7-5, 6-1 win on court six over Ute opponent Luisa Gerstner Da Rosa, and then Trojan Rianna Valdes defeated Utah’s Alexia Petrovic 6-2, 6-2 on court three. Jessica Failla would have the final word for the Women of Troy as she closed out the afternoon with a win over Ute Margo Pletcher 6-3, 6-4 on court one.

    CONQUERING COLORADO

    The No. 40 USC women’s tennis team came out on top for a second day in a row as they conquered the Colorado Buffaloes 7-0 on April 8 at Marks Stadium. This win improve the Women of Troy’s record to 8-8 overall and 3-4 in Pac-12 conference play.

    It was Senior Day at Marks Stadium, and USC’s two seniors Zoë Katz and Ines Guinard were honored with their families before the match began.

    The day kicked off with doubles and the Trojans took to the courts with full force. USC’s No. 74 Failla/Valdes were relentless in their pursuit of a win as they quickly beat Colorado’s Hule/Ronaldson 6-0. Shortly after, Trojan tandem No. 38 Katz/Smith defeated Buffalo duo Andrinopoulos/Beck 6-1 to claim the doubles point. This was the fourth match in a row that USC had won the doubles point.

    The Trojans entered the singles portion of the competition with a 1-0 advantage. No. 110 Zoë Katz was the first singles player to finish as she took down Colorado’s Chloe Hule 6-0, 6-3 on court four. Trojan Rianna Valdes scored the next point for USC on court two as she defeated Buffalo Kyra Wojcik 6-1, 6-2. USC’s No. 20 Gabby Smith would secure the victory for Troy when she beat Annabelle Andrinopoulos 6-3, 6-2 to clinch the match.

    Although Smith had solidified USC’s win, the remaining matches were played out. On court one, No. 44 Jessica Failla defeated Buffalo Nuria Ormeño Ruiz 6-2, 6-2, and Trojan Madison Westby closed out her match with a win over Colorado’s Brigitte Beck 6-2, 6-3. USC’s Sydney Van Alphen would have the final word of the day when she beat Ilana Oleynik 6-2, 6-4 on court 6.

    GALLIEN

    USC women’s tennis head coach Richard Gallien, a 5-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year, announced on Friday, March 24 that he will end his 22-year tenure at the conclusion of the current 2017 season.

    “It has been a privilege to have coached so many brilliant young women in my 22 fantastic years at this remarkable university. All but two student-athletes who played for me received their degrees, something of which I am very proud.

    “I look forward to coaching our team through the postseason and finishing strong. And in the future, I will always be rooting for all the teams at USC.”

    During his USC career, each of Gallien’s teams advanced into the NCAA tourney, with 3 appearing in the semifinals and 5 others making it to the quarterfinals. Under his watch, USC has finished in the national Top 20 rankings 19 times, including 11 Top 10 placings. Four of his teams won the Pac-12 title and 8 others were league runners-up. Four of his players were named conference Player of the Year and 3 of his doubles teams were honored as the league’s Doubles Team of the Year (including 2013 NCAA doubles champs Sabrina Santamaria and Kaitlyn Christian).

    Gallien, who began at USC in 1996, has an overall record of 386-158 (71.0%), not including 8 wins and a loss vacated due to NCAA penalty.

    LAST SEASON

    The USC women’s tennis team had its NCAA path come to a close in Malibu as the No. 20 Trojans fell to No. 8 seeded host Pepperdine 4-2 in the NCAA Second Round. The loss wrapped up the Trojans’ 2016 season with a 13-6 overall record, having reached the NCAA Tournament for the 25th consecutive year and coming off a runner-up finish in the Pac-12 Conference race. The USC women have recorded a 72-33 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament and have made a remarkable 25 straight appearances, including three NCAA Semifinal trips in the last 11 seasons. 2016 senior Giuliana Olmos and her partner former sophomore Gabby Smith finished out their 2016 campaign ranked No. 6 in the nation in doubles, garnering All-American status for the two Women of Troy. They would go on to climb as high as No. 4 in the national doubles rankings, and earned a place in the NCAA Doubles Championships as a 5-8 seed. The duo compiled a 19-9 record together overall, and went 10-5 in dual matches along with a 4-0 mark in Pac-12 play.