Second-Ranked Women's Tennis To Host Bruins, Wednesday

March 3, 2003

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This Week -- The No. 2-ranked USC women's tennis team (10-1, 0-0 Pac-10) is looking extend its win streak this week when it hosts No. 8 UCLA (8-4) on Wednesday, March 5, at 1:30 p.m. at Marks Tennis Stadium, then travels to Eugene, Ore., for a Noon match-up with No. 37 Oregon (9-5) on Saturday, March 8. The two matches will mark the official start to the Pac-10 season and will count against conference records.

ITA Ranking Updates -- USC's winning ways have earned it a No. 2 national ranking in the polls released on Feb. 26. This is the highest ranking the Women of Troy have received in nearly 15 years (records are unclear prior to 1988).

The first set of updated individual rankings were also released last week. In singles, Jewel Peterson is ranked No. 4, Luana Magnani is No. 32, Tiffany Brymer is No. 90 and Maureen Diaz ranks 96th. In doubles, Peterson and Brymer are ranked 20th.

USC Puts Streaks On the Line -- The Women of Troy have won their last five consecutive matches *** USC has won its last four straight by 7-0 scores *** Senior Tiffany Brymer has won her last seven matches, Jewel Peterson has won six straight and Melissa Esmero and Carine Vermeulen have won their last five.

USC vs. UCLA -- USC is 34-24 all time against the Bruins. The Women of Troy won the first meeting of 2003, 4-3, on Jan. 31 in Westwood. A Trojan victory on Wednesday would mark the first USC sweep since the 1988 season.

Battle for the Lexus Gauntlet -- Wednesday's match against the Bruins will be the second of two regular season women's tennis meeting for the Lexus Gauntlet Challenge -- a season-long competition between USC and UCLA. Five total points will be awarded in women's tennis this season. This unique program awards points for the winner of each Bruin-Trojan head-to-head contest throughout the year and the Lexus Gauntlet trophy will be awarded to the school with the most points at year's end. USC won the inaugural trophy in 2002 and leads this season, 45-30.

USC vs. Oregon -- USC is 7-0 all-time against Oregon. The Trojans beat the Ducks twice last season: 7-0 in the regular season match-up and 4-0 in the second round of the NCAAs.

Last Week -- USC began the week with a 7-0 victory over San Diego on Feb. 27. The Trojans got past all three doubles matches with ease, allowing San Diego to only collect seven total points in the three sets. Entering singles play ahead 1-0, the Trojans earned quick wins at No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 to seal the victory. At No. 6, Bernadette Bayani beat San Diego's Jennifer Brown in a tiebreaker, 3-6, 6-2, 10-8, to put the Women of Troy's sixth point on the board and Jewel Peterson fought to defeat USD's Emma Murphy, 7-5, 7-5, at center court in the final match of the day.

On Friday, Feb. 28, thanks to the come-from-behind efforts of Tiffany Brymer, Jewel Peterson and Melissa Esmero, USC earned its fourth straight shutout over No. 29 San Diego State. The Women of Troy held the Aztecs to only three total points in doubles, while sweeping all three matches to earn the first point of the afternoon. In the same fashion, USC earned quick two-set victories at No. 5, 3 and 2 singles to go ahead 4-0 and secure the win. Even with the victory in hand, Brymer, Peterson and Esmero were not willing to give up on their matches. Brymer and Peterson came from behind to win in three and Esmero held off a SDSU win in the second set and won the tiebreaker.

Head Coach Richard Gallien -- Richard Gallien is in his eighth season at the helm of the USC women's tennis program. Last season he guided the 2002 Women of Troy to a 19-8 overall record, the NCAA Round of 16 and USC's best-ever Pac-10 finish (a 7-1 record for second place). Gallien began his career at Pepperdine, coaching the men's team for three years, before joining the Trojan family. Over the last 10 years, he has compiled a 189-95 (.665) overall record and his teams have made seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including three appearances in the NCAA quarterfinals (1999-01).

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