Richard Gallien, Gabby Smith, Jessica Failla Earn Pac-12 Tennis Honors|
May 12, 2017
LOS ANGELES--Three Trojans from USC’s women’s tennis team have earned honors from the Pac-12 Conference. Head coach Richard Gallien has been named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year. In addition, junior Gabby Smith has been named to the All-Pac-12 First Team and sophomore Jessica Failla was selected to the All-Pac-12 Second Team.
Head coach Richard Gallien continues to add to his list of accolades with his sixth career selection as the Pac-12 Coach of the Year. Gallien was also an honoree in 2015, 2013, 2009, 2006 and 1999.
On Friday, March 24, Gallien announced that he will end his 22-year tenure at USC at the conclusion of the season. During his career at Troy, each of his teams have advanced to the NCAA Tournament with three appearing in the semifinals and five others making it to the quarterfinals. In addition to being a four-time ITA Region Coach of the Year, USC has finished in the national Top 20 rankings 19 times, including 11 Top 10 placings under his watch. Four of his teams won the Pac-12 title and eight others were league runners-up. Four of his players were named conference Player of the Year and three 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 currently has an overall record of 391-161 (71.0%), not including eight wins and a loss vacated due to NCAA penalty.
Gallien led the 2017 Women of Troy to a 13-11 overall record on the season. After a strong fall season, the Trojans opened up the spring with some exciting wins including a huge 5-2 upset over previously ranked No. 4 Michigan on March 3 in Marks Stadium. After a four-match lull midseason, Gallien helped lead the women back to a strong 7-2 finish of regular-season play. The Trojans entered the Pac-12 Team Championships on an upward swing as they rolled with their positive momentum to defeat Washington State 4-0 and upset Arizona State 4-3. Their run at the conference title ended in the Semifinals where they lost 4-3 to California in a close match. Gallien led the Women of Troy to the 2017 NCAA Tournament where they fell to Denver 4-2 in the First Round.
Junior Gabby Smith has upgraded last year’s honorable mention selection to be named to the 2017 All-Pac-12 First Team. Currently ranked No. 25 in the nation, Smith holds a 23-9 record with a 16-8 mark in dual-match play and went 6-4 in conference matches. At the No. 2 position, she went 11-1. In addition, she went 18-8 with her doubles partner, Zoë Katz and they are ranked No. 57 nationally in doubles. Smith clinched two matches for Troy including an exciting 4-3 upset over crosstown rival UCLA in Westwood, Calif. on April 22. Smith won Pac-12 Player of the Week honors three times this season to make her the most decorated Pac-12 women’s tennis player in regards to this award in 2017.
Sophomore Jessica Failla was selected to the All-Pac-12 Second Team to mark her first All-Conference honor. Failla is 22-7 overall, 13-4 in dual matches and 6-2 in conference. Failla has battled against nine ranked opponents and has victories over seven of them, including over previously ranked No. 3 Ena Shibahara of UCLA.
Both Smith and Failla will compete in the NCAA Singles Individual Championship bracket in Athens, Ga. at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex from May 24-29.