Trojans Challenge Pepperdine and Travel to Bruin Territory|
April 18, 2017
The No. 32 Women of Troy take a break from conference play as the No. 13 Pepperdine Waves challenge USC at Marks Stadium on Wednesday (April 19) at 1:30 p.m. USC will then travel to the Westside to take on crosstown rival No. 22 UCLA on Saturday (April 22) at noon in Westwood, Calif. in the regular season finale.
ORACLE/ITA RANKINGS UPDATES
On April 18, the Oracle/ITA team rankings were updated and the Trojans continue to move up in the rankings as they secured the No. 32 spot. The singles/doubles rankings were updated on April 18 as well, and three Women of Troy remain in the national singles rankings. Junior Gabby Smith continues to remain the highest ranked Trojan in singles at the No. 27 spot. Sophomore Jessica Failla held her same rank from last week at No. 46 as she currently has a five-match winning streak, and senior Zoë Katz locked down her position at No. 121. In doubles, USC boasts two nationally ranked tandems. Riding their six-match winning streak, the pair of Katz/Smith holds the No. 37 rank. The Trojan duo of Kulikov/Westby claims the No. 69 spot.
The No. 13 Pepperdine Waves are 16-4 overall on the season and 7-0 in West Coast Conference play. They are coming off a victorious week as they earned three big wins: a 5-2 win over No. 10 Stanford (April 12), a 4-0 victory at BYU (April 14) and wrapped it up with a 4-0 win at San Diego (April 15). The Waves are currently riding an 11-match winning streak that the Trojans hope to snap on Wednesday. Pepperdine is also 6-0 on the road this season. The Waves boast four nationally ranked singles players. Luisa Stefani holds the top spot at No. 12 with Ashley Lahey close behind at No. 13. Lahey is currently holding a 10-match winning streak. Pepperdine’s Mayar Sherif is No. 35, while Laura Gulbe holds the No. 90 spot. In doubles the Waves have two ranked pairs: No. 6 Maddox/Sherif and No. 38 Stefani/Runglerdkriangkrai. USC is 44-14 all-time against Pepperdine.
Head coach Richard Gallien has a close connection with the Pepperdine Waves. He spent 11 years at Pepperdine as a player, assistant coach, and co-head coach. Gallien began his coaching career on the men’s side as an assistant to Pepperdine head coach Allen Fox from 1985-87, where the Waves finished second in the nation in 1986. He then became Pepperdine’s co-head coach with Fox for three seasons (1988-90) and helped guide the Waves to a 62-24 mark. His 1988 and 1990 squads played in the NCAA Tournament and Wave Robby Weiss won the 1988 NCAA singles crown. As a player, he earned All-American honors in 1982-83 and was a member of the 1982 NCAA second place team.
The No. 22 UCLA Bruins are 13-6 overall and 7-2 in Pac-12 Conference play. Over the weekend, the Bruins traveled to Arizona where they defeated the Wildcats 4-1 on April 14, but fell to the Arizona State Sun Devils 4-3 on April 15. This loss to ASU snapped their seven-match winning streak. UCLA has two nationally ranked singles players: No. 3 Ena Shibahara and No. 120 Jada Hart. In doubles, No. 11 Hart/Shibahara and No. 25 Hart/Fleming are the two pairs ranked for the Bruins. USC is 50-45 all-time against UCLA, including a tight 4-3 loss to the Bruins at Marks Stadium in February 2017.
BY THE NUMBERS
Over the weekend, junior Madison Westby hit her 20th win of the season as she defeated Arizona’s Marie Van Aelst 6-4, 6-3. Sophomore No. 46 Jessica Failla and junior No. 27 Gabby Smith each have 19 wins and could enter the 20-win club this week. Close behind is senior No. 121 Zoë Katz with 18 wins on the season.
UPSETTING ARIZONA STATE
The No. 39 USC women’s tennis team upset No. 29 Arizona State in an important Pac-12 Conference match on April 14 in Tempe, Ariz. This win improved USC’s overall record to 9-8 and their conference record to 4-4.
Doubles kicked off the afternoon as USC’s No. 41 duo Katz/Smith defeated Anderson/Slaysman 6-2 to take the first win of the day for Troy. The Sun Devils fired back as Hampton/Jump took down USC’s No. 61 Kulikov/Westby 6-4 to even out the score. Arizona State would go on to win the doubles point when No. 73 Osborne/Fosaa Huergo defeated USC’s No. 71 Failla/Valdes 7-5.
Although the Sun Devils entered the singles portion of the competition with a 1-0 advantage, the Trojans had not stopped fighting. USC’s No. 46 Jessica Failla nabbed a win on court two over Sun Devil No. 109 Sammi Hampton 6-3, 6-0. ASU responded with a win of their own from court five as Savannah Slaysman defeated USC’s Madison Westby 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. On court three, Trojan Rianna Valdes claimed a victory against ASU’s No. 102 Kelley Anderson 6-4 7-6 (4) to even out the overall match score at 2-2.
USC’s No. 23 Gabby Smith fell to ASU’s No. 75 Kassidy Jump 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 on court one, but Trojan Angela Kulikov kept the Women of Troy in the match when she overcame ASU’s Gussie O’Sullivan 6-3, 7-5 to tie up the match at 3-3.
The outcome of the match fell upon the result of court four. After losing the first set 7-6 (5) to Nicole Fossa Huergo, Trojan No. 113 Zoë Katz battled to take the second set 7-5. The third set was just as tight as the first two. After exchanging games, Katz and Fossa Huergo were tied at 5-5 in the decisive third set. Katz powered through the final two games to win the set 7-5 and clinch the match for USC.
The No. 39 Women of Troy defeated the Arizona Wildcats 5-2 in Tucson, Ariz. on April 15 at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. This marks the fourth win in a row for the Trojans. With this victory, USC is now 10-8 overall on the season and 5-4 in conference play.
The afternoon began with doubles and the Trojans came out strong as they rode their momentum from yesterday’s 4-3 upset over Arizona State. USC’s No. 41 Katz/Smith blew through their match as they defeated Arizona’s Thomas/Wesbrooks 6-0. Trojan duo No. 61 Kulikov/Westby then beat Wildcat pair Czarniak/Van Aelst 6-0 to claim the doubles point for USC.
The Women of Troy entered singles with a 1-0 advantage. No. 113 Zoë Katz breezed through her match to nab a win over Wildcat Camila Wesbrooks 6-2, 6-3 on court four. Arizona responded with a win of their own as Paris Corley beat Rianna Valdes 6-2, 6-4 on court four to make the overall score 2-1. USC’s No. 46 Jessica Failla then took down Arizona’s Samantha Czarniak 6-3, 6-1.
With the match score now at 3-1, Trojan Angela Kulikov beat Wildcat Sophia Thomas 6-4, 6-2 on court six to clinch the match for the Women of Troy.
Although the match was already clinched, the remaining courts were played out. On court four, USC’s Madison Westby beat Marie Van Aelst 6-4, 6-3, and Trojan No. 23 Gabby Smith fell to Wildcat No. 31 Lauren Marker 7-5, 6-3.
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 388-158 (71.0%), not including 8 wins and a loss vacated due to NCAA penalty.
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.