Women of Troy Face UCLA In NCAA Round of 16

May 14, 2002

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This Week -- The 11th-ranked USC women's tennis team (19-7, 7-1 Pac-10) received its 20th all-time bid to the 2002 NCAA Championships and will be making its sixth-consecutive appearance in the Round of 16. The Trojans will face No. 5 UCLA on Thursday, May 16, at Stanford's West Courts (all other matches we be played at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium) at 11 a.m. Seeded 10th in the entire tourney and first in the region, the Women of Troy defeated Oral Roberts 5-0 in the first round on May 11, then earned a 4-0 victory over No. 39 Oregon on May 12, in the second round for the right to advance.

Junior Jewel Peterson and freshman Luana Magnani were selected to compete in the NCAA Singles Championship. Partners Peterson and Tiffany Brymer and Magnani and Anita Loyola will also compete in the Doubles Championships.

2002 NCAA Team Championships

Thursday, May 16, 11 a.m.*
NCAA Round of 16
USC vs. UCLA

Friday, May 17, 8 a.m.
NCAA Quarterfinals
USC/UCLA vs. California/Georgia

Saturday, May 18, 11 a.m.
NCAA Semifinals

Sunday, May 19, 1 p.m.
NCAA Finals

* To be played at Stanford's West Courts.

NCAA Championships -- The NCAA selected 64 teams to participate in the 2002 NCAA Division I Tennis Championships. First and Second Round matches were played at 16 host sites May 11-13, with the winner of each regional site advancing to the finals. The championships will be held in Stanford, Calif. at the Taube Family Tennis Center, hosted by Stanford University, May 16-29. Individual championships will consist of 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams, and will take place following the team championships. Individual championships will consist of 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams, and will take place May 20-24 following the team championships.

ITA Ranking Updates -- USC remained at No. 11 in the latest rankings released on May 1. In singles, USC's Jewel Peterson dropped to No. 8 and Luana Magnani also fell one spot to No. 28. Maureen Diaz is ranked No. 91. In doubles, Peterson and Tiffany Brymer remain at No. 6 and Magnani and Anita Loyola are now at No. 31.

Last Year At NCAA Championships -- For the third-consecutive year, USC made an outstanding showing at the 2001 NCAA Championships by advancing to the quarterfinals. This time the Women of Troy upset Northwestern in the Round of 16, before falling to eventual runner-up Georgia (for the second straight year). As a sophomore, Jewel Peterson made her second appearance in both the singles and doubles championships. In singles, Peterson advanced to the Round of 16 before falling to ASU's Adria Engel, 7-6, 5-7, 6-3, in an extremely competitive match-up. In doubles, she and partner Tiffany Brymer fell in the first round.

Women of Troy History at NCAA Championships -- With its 11th consecutive (20th overall) bid to the NCAA Tournament, USC has long been a force in collegiate women's tennis. Since the inception of the NCAA postseason in 1982, the Women of Troy have earned two national titles (1983, 1985) to complement five previous AIAW and USTA titles. The Trojans have twice played in the NCAA championship match (runner-up - 1984, 1886) and have reached the quarterfinals six times (1982, 1989, 1990, 1999, 2000, 2001).

Final Pac-10 Standings -- Stanford captured the women's team title for 2002 in a race decided on the final day of competition between the Trojans and Cardinal. Stanford posted an undefeated 8-0 record in Pac-10 play, marking the ninth-straight year that it has won the women's title. USC's second-place finish is its third in the last four years.

The Nation's Toughest Conference -- Once again, the Pacific-10 conference proved to be the toughest tennis conference in the country. For the first time in recent years, all nine Pac-10's universities which sponsor women's tennis are ranked among the top-40 and all were selected to compete at the NCAA Championships - six of which have consistently remained in the top-20. In singles, nine of the top-25 competitors are from the Pac-10, and 10 among the top-25 in doubles. There are 23 total singles players who represent the conference in the top-100, and 14 doubles pairs.

At Ojai Pac-10 Championships -- USC tennis swept both the men's and women's Pac-10 Invitational singles titles, as sophomore Ruben Torres and junior Tiffany Brymer were both victorious on the final day of the Pac-10 Tournament/Invitational in Ojai, Calif., April 25-28. The Trojans were represented in four of the final six matches on Sunday. Brymer won four straight matches en route to winning her first collegiate title at USC. She claimed a two-set win over Cal's Nicole Havlicek for the championship. Junior Jewel Peterson faced Stanford's Gabriela Lastra on Sunday for the Pac-10 Tournament (main draw) singles championship but suffered a 6-3, 6-3 loss to the 10th-ranked senior. Peterson's route to the title match included a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 32 Raquel Kops-Jones of Cal in the semifinal. Throughout the tournament USC also saw top performances from doubles pair Brymer and Peterson, who advanced to the Tournament semifinals. Brymer and Peterson were defeated by eventual champions Kops-Jones and Christina Fusano of Cal, 9-7.

Second-Straight Invite Champions -- Tiffany Brymer's victory at the Pac-10 Championships gave the Trojans their second-straight Pac-10 Invitational Singles Championship. Teammate Melissa Esmero claimed the 2001 title with a 6-2, 6-2 finals victory over then-USC teammate Krissy Hamilton-Heinberg.

Match Recaps -------------------

NCAA First RoundUSC def. Oral Roberts, 5-0: USC defeated unranked Oral Roberts, 5-0, May 11 at Marks Tennis Stadium to advance to the second round of the NCAA Championships. The Trojans held Oral Roberts scoreless as they grabbed the first point of the match with two 8-0 wins at the No. 1 and 3 doubles spots. The two doubles matches were completed in a mere 25 minutes. With a 1-0 lead, USC began singles play by winning the first set at all six positions and only allowing seven total points. Luana Magnani was the first off the court for the Women of Troy as she posted a 6-0, 6-0 win over Oral Roberts's Claire Waltman at No. 2. The Trojans' third, fourth and fifth points were clinched simultaneously as Maureen Diaz defeated the Eagles' Rachel Budd, 6-1, 6-0, at court four, Melissa Esmero beat Barbara Urbaniak, 6-1, 6-0, at court six and Tiffany Brymer earned a 6-0, 6-2 win over Jennifer Helm at five to secure the USC win. All remaining matches were suspended.

NCAA Second RoundUSC def. #39 Oregon, 4-0: USC advanced to NCAA Round of 16 with a 4-0 win over 39th-ranked Oregon in the second round of the championships, May 12 at Marks Tennis Stadium. The Women of Troy earned the first point of the match with wins at No. 1 and 2 doubles. Luana Magnani and Anita Loyola were first off the court with an 8-4 win over the Ducks' Daria Panova and Janice Nyland. Tiffany Brymer and Jewel Peterson followed by defeating Davina Mendiburu and Courtney Nagle, 8-5, at center court. Oregon was not ready to surrender the match and won the first set on courts four and six, but the Women of Troy were already on their way to two-set victories at the No. 1, 2 and 5 positions. Brymer was the first to finish, beating Oregon's Mendiburu, 6-2, 6-3. Peterson notched a 6-3, 6-4 win at center court over Panova and Magnani clinched the USC victory with a 6-2, 6-4 decision against the Ducks' Monika Gieczys.

Opponents-----------------------------------------------

#5 UCLA: The Bruins advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 with a 4-0 win over Southern and a 4-1 victory over Washington. UCLA has compiled an 18-4 overall record and finished third in the Pac-10 with a 6-2 mark. The Bruins are led by No. 3-ranked Megan Bradley, No. 10 Sara Walker and No. 74 Petya Marinova, who play at the No. 1, 2 and 3 positions, respectively. The team has two pairs ranked in the top-10 doubles: No. 4 Walker and Marinova and No. 5 Lauren Fisher and Bradley.

USC vs. UCLA: USC is 33-24 all-time against rival UCLA after dropping the first match-up of the season at home, 5-2, then beating the Bruins in Westwood, 4-3, in the second meeting. This will also be the third all-time meeting between the rivals in the postseason. UCLA has won both previous NCAA matches (1989 & 1982), both of which were in the quarterfinals and both by 5-4 scores.

USC vs. #12 California: The Trojans are 22-19 all-time against California. The two teams split this season - the Golden Bears defeated the Women of Troy, 4-3, in Berkeley, and the Trojans won the second match-up, 5-2, in Los Angeles. USC and Cal have also met three times in the postseason with the Trojans winning all three contests. The last was in 1996 when USC defeated Cal 5-2 in the Round of 16.

USC vs. #3 Georgia: Georgia and USC have become frequent NCAA tournament competitors in recent years. The Trojans have never defeated the Bulldogs (0-6) and have lost three times in the postseason. USC and Georgia faced each other in the Round of 16 in the 2000 and 2001 NCAA Tournament.

Battle For The Lexus Gauntlet Comes Down To Tennis -- As proof of how competitively balanced USC and UCLA are in athletics, the battle for the first annual Lexus Gauntlet trophy-a season-long all-sports competition between USC and UCLA-will come down to the final Trojan-Bruin competitions of the 2001-2002 athletic season, including Thursday's women's tennis match. Currently, USC leads UCLA by a slim 55-52.5 point margin, with the Lexus Gauntlet trophy winner needing 57.5 points to clinch the victory outright. If both schools end up with 55 points, a tiebreaker is implemented based on head-to-head regular season meetings in all sports. In women's tennis, the Trojans and Bruins split the two regular-season meetings this season, earning 2.5 points each. The winner of this week's NCAA match collects another 2.5 points, while the loser forfeits the 2.5 points it already has. If USC wins that NCAA women's tennis match, it clinches the Lexus Gauntlet with 57.5 points.

News 'N Notes -- Jewel Peterson's nine-match win streak came to an end when she fell to Cal's Raquel Kops-Jones on April 19, but she rebounded with an upset victory over Stanford's fourth-ranked Lauren Kalvaria on April 20 for her biggest upset of the season, then avenged the loss by defeating Kops-Jones in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals *** Peterson also owns the team's best singles record with a 35-8 (.814) mark *** Luana Magnani and Anita Loyola boast the team's best doubles record at 26-10 (.722) *** This year's starting lineup features no seniors, four juniors, one sophomore and one freshmen.

Get The Latest Info -- Updated team stats can always be found by logging on to www.usctrojans.com. They are located on the women's tennis page under 'Season Statistics.'

Head Coach Richard Gallien -- Richard Gallien is in his seventh season at the helm of the USC women's tennis program. Last season he guided the 2001 Trojans to a 20-8 overall record, a No. 8 final team ranking and a quarterfinal appearance at the NCAAs. Gallien began his career at Pepperdine, coaching the men's team for three years, before joining the Trojan family. Over the last nine years, he has compiled a 177-93 (.656) overall record and his teams have made six appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including three consecutive appearances in the NCAA quarterfinals.

Player Profiles------------------------------------

Bernadette Bayani
13-9 overall / 7-5 Dual Matches / 2-0 Pac-10 Matches
Due to the depth on this year's squad and her own injuries, sophomore Bernadette Bayani has played a limited amount of matches this season among the lineups top-6. In the fall, she advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA Regional Championships before falling to eventual champion and USC teammate Jewel Peterson, 6-0, 6-4. Bayani had another outstanding tournament performance at the Pac-10 Indoor Championships (Flight III) in January where she advanced to the finals for the first time at USC. Bayani finished second after being defeated by UCLA's Lauren Fisher, 6-1, 6-1. She played 12 dual matches this season (one at No. 5 and 11 at No. 6) and posted a 7-5 record. Bayani lost in the first round of the Pac-10 Invitational. In doubles, with partner Maureen Diaz (7-5), the duo advanced to the finals of the Pac-10 Indoor Championships and the quarterfinals of the ITA Regional Championships. Bayani has played most dual matches with doubles partner Melissa Esmero. Together they boast a 12-8 overall record at the No. 3 position and a 4-2 conference mark. The pair also advanced to the second round of the Pac-10 Invitational.

Tiffany Brymer
25-10 overall / 18-7 Dual Matches / 5-2 Pac-10 Matches

Tiffany Brymer had a short fall season, only playing five matches before January's Pac-10 Indoor Championships. Throughout the dual match season, Brymer played primarily at No. 5 with three outings at the No. 4 position. In the first meeting with UCLA, she upset then-ranked Lauren Fisher for her biggest upset of the season. Brymer won seven consecutive matches at mid-season, never dropping a match in March. She captured her first collegiate title by winning the 2002 Pac-10 Invitational Championship at the end of the regular season. In doubles, she and partner Jewel Peterson have been ranked among the top-25 all season and reached as high as No. 4 on April 3. In the fall, the duo reached the semifinals of the ITA Regionals and the Pac-10 Indoor Championships, and recently advanced to the semifinals of the Pac-10 Tournament. Brymer and Peterson also upset UCLA's then No. 4-ranked Petya Marinova and Sara Walker on March 7. The duo owns a 26-12 overall record and 18-7 mark in dual matches. Brymer also played doubles matches with Caroline Christian (1-0) and Maureen Diaz (1-0).

Brymer, with partner Peterson, was selected to compete in the NCAA Doubles Championships.

Maureen Diaz
26-11 overall / 20-6 Dual Matches / 6-2 Pac-10 Matches

Maureen Diaz has bounced in and out of the top-100 throughout the season and is currently No. 76. With a preseason ranking at No. 46, she advanced to the semifinals of the ITA Regional Championships before falling to eventual champion Sara Walker. Diaz split her time during the dual match season at the No. 3 and 4 positions. She also played one match at No. 2. She won as many as seven consecutive matches during February and upset opponents including UCLA's Petya Marinova, Arizona's Dianne Hollands and Cal's Jieun Jacobs. Diaz fell in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament to eventual-champion Gabriela Lastra of Stanford. In doubles, with partner Bernadette Bayani (7-5), the duo advanced to the finals of the Pac-10 Indoor Championships and the quarterfinals of the ITA Regional Championships. Diaz also played doubles matches with Tiffany Brymer (1-0) and Melissa Esmero (3-4). Esmero and Diaz played seven dual matches all at the No. 3 position.

Melissa Esmero
13-5 overall / 12-4 Dual Matches / 6-2 Pac-10 Matches

Due to injuries, sophomore Melissa Esmero skipped the fall season and joined the lineup in February for dual matches. She played the majority of her matches at the No. 6 spot and four at No. 5, and recorded a 6-2 record in Pac-10 competitions. To end the season, she fell in the second round of the Pac-10 Invitational. Esmero has played most dual matches with doubles partner Bernadette Bayani. Together they boast a 12-8 overall record at the No. 3 position and a 4-2 conference mark. The pair advanced to the second round of the Pac-10 Invitational. Esmero and Maureen Diaz played seven dual matches together (3-4) all at the No. 3 position.

Anita Loyola
19-17 overall / 13-12 Dual Matches / 5-3 Pac-10 Matches

Anita Loyola had a strong fall season, reaching the quarterfinals of the consolation draw at the Riviera Qualifier and the quarterfinals of the ITA Regional Championships and Pac-10 Indoor Championships. Despite her preseason success, Loyola suffered a rough start to the dual match season and won only three of her first nine matches. She quickly turned the season around and won nine-straight from Feb. 27 through March 30, including a win over UCLA's Sarah Gregg which clinched the Trojans' 4-3 victory against the Bruins on March 7. Loyola has played the majority of her matches at the No. 4 position, in addition to one at the No. 1 spot, two at No. 2 and nine at No. 3. She was eliminated in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament. She and doubles partner Luana Magnani have found great success this season and have been ranked from the start. Currently No. 31, the pair has reached as high as No. 19 in the rankings with a 26-10 overall record and 14-12 mark in dual matches at the No. 2 spot.

Loyola, with partner Magnani, was selected to compete in the NCAA Doubles Championships.

Luana Magnani
32-10 overall / 19-7 Dual Matches / 5-2 Pac-10 Matches

Luana Magnani burst onto the collegiate season in her first season with three standout tournament performances in the fall. She reached the main draw of the Riviera Tournament by winning six consecutive matches in the qualifying rounds. At the ITA Regional Championships, Magnani advanced to the semifinals before falling to eventual champion and USC teammate Jewel Peterson. Magnani also reached the finals of the Pac-10 Indoor Championships (Flight II) in January before falling to Cal's Jieun Jacobs. During the dual match season, she has played the majority of her matches at the No. 2 position and one at the No. 1 spot. Her wins include upsets over then No. 4 Sara Walker of UCLA on March 7 and No. 27 Chloe Carlotti of Fresno State on March 20. Magnani won seven consecutive matches from Feb. 27 through March 22 of this season. She and doubles partner Anita Loyola have found great success this season in doubles and have been ranked from the start. Currently No. 31, the pair has reached as high as No. 19 in the rankings with a 26-10 overall record and 14-12 mark in dual matches at the No. 2 spot.

Magnani was selected to compete in the NCAA Singles Championships, as well as the Doubles Championships with Loyola.

Jewel Peterson
35-8 overall / 20-4 Dual Matches / 6-2 Pac-10 Matches

Junior Jewel Peterson recorded her best singles record yet this season, going 35-8 this season and 20-4 in dual matches all at the No. 1 position. In the fall, she advanced to the finals of the ITA Regional Championships but was defeated by Sara Walker of UCLA for the title. She earned a bid to the ITA National Championship where she advanced to the quarterfinals (also her best performance yet at this tournament). In January, Peterson won her first Pac-10 Indoor Championship (Flight I) title by defeating Lauren Barnikow of Stanford. Peterson has won as many as nine consecutive matches this season and notched notable upset victories over Stanford's Lauren Kalvaria and Northwestern's Marine Piriou. At the Pac-10 Tournament, she advanced to the championship match but fell to Gabriela Lastra of Stanford. In doubles, she and partner Tiffany Brymer have been ranked among the top-25 all season and reached as high as No. 4 on April 3. In the fall, the duo reached the semifinals of the ITA Regionals and the Pac-10 Indoor Championships, and recently advanced to the semifinals of the Pac-10 Tournament. Brymer and Peterson also upset UCLA's then No. 4-ranked Petya Marinova and Sara Walker on March 7. The duo owns a 26-12 overall record and 18-7 mark in dual matches.

Peterson was selected to compete in the NCAA Singles Championships, as well as the Doubles Championships with Brymer.

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