USC Women Welcome Three Top Tennis Players To Troy|
Nov. 20, 2014
USC women's tennis is locked and loaded with another powerful pack of newcomers signed on to join the Women of Troy in 2015. USC head coach Richard Gallien and associate head coach West Nott are happy to announce the signings of three standout players for the next 2015-16 season, as Jessica Failla, Alex Letzt and Rianna Valdes have all inked national letters of intent to become USC's newest Trojans. All three are considered top-10 recruits in this class of 2015 talent.
"Overall this group is a really important bridge to push us forward," Gallien said. "It's another strong class for us, and it's a terrific time for them to join us, especially since we'll be moving into a new facility in 2016. It's very exciting, and I think they're going to do a great job. This group gets an A+ in the character department and in their maturity. They fit perfectly with what we're trying to do here at USC."
Jessica Failla is the one California product of the bunch, hailing from Ramona High School. She was a the fifth-highest ranked American playing on the WTA tour in the 2015 class of recruits.
"Jessica is ferocious," Gallien said of Failla. "She will fight as hard as any student-athlete at USC. She's fast on the court and she doesn't miss much. Overall, she's a tenacious competitor and loves to play tennis."
"Jessica packs a big punch for her size," Nott added of Failla. "She loves to move into the court and is a relentless competitor. She knows how to win and will bring out the best in her teammates. She consistently makes good decisions on and off the court, and I am excited to help her reach her full potential."
Alex Letzt comes to Troy from Phoeniz, Ariz., as a product of the Connections Academy. A semifinalist at the Girls 18 National Clay Courts, she, too, is a top-10 recruit for the Trojans, and was ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation at the junior level.
"Alex is very athletic and she's also a very smart player," Gallien said of Letzt. "She's also a high-level chess player, and she's a very good thinker on the court. She's good at reading and breaking down her opponents' strengths and weaknesses."
"Alex is a big-time athlete who is very smart upstairs," Nott added of Letzt. "She's a street-smart competitor who finds a way to get the job done whether it be on defense or offense. Her smile is contagious and her energy will elevate those around her. She loves to learn and always asking questions on how to improve. I'm thrilled to get on the court with her next fall."
Rianna Valdes joins the Trojan Family from Boca Raton, Fla., having attended Allendale Academy Private School. She was the highest ranked American player on the WTA tour in the 2015 recruiting class.
"Rianna is extremely athletic and powerful," Gallien said of Valdes. "She has a very good, even-keeled disposition. She doesn't get too high nor too low, but she stays very competitive. She's in tremendous physical condition; nobody wears her down. Along with the other two, she's an excellent doubles player, which is a big help, and she'll be a very good teammate."
"Rianna plays a powerful game with heavy spin and her ability to curve the ball off the court," Nott added of Valdes. "She loves to attack from all parts of the court. She has a big heart and a strong work ethic, and loves to compete day in and day out. She really leads by example, and I can't wait to get on the court and help her chase her dreams."