No. 1 USC To Face No. 2 Stanford and No. 2 Cal, Back-To-Back
April 3, 2003
This Week -- The USC women's tennis team (17-1, 4-0 Pac-10) reclaimed the No. 1 ranking this week and faces its toughest challenge of the season as it hosts two No. 2 teams. Stanford (13-1, 3-0 Pac-10) and California (15-2, 3-0 Pac-10) are tied for No. 2 this week and travel to Los Angeles. The Women of Troy face the Cardinal on Friday, April 4, at 1:30 p.m. and host the Bears on Saturday, April 5, at noon. Both matches will be played at Marks Tennis Stadium. The Trojans are coming off a 6-1 victory over No. 8 Arizona State and 4-3 win over No. 46 Arizona last week.
* This week's matches against Stanford and Cal will not count against conference records. Only the second of two meetings against Pac-10 teams during the season (except Oregon, which USC faces only once) count against Pac-10 records.
** Earlier schedules incorrectly listed Cal as the USC opponent on Friday, April 4, and Stanford on Saturday, April 5. Dates and opponents are correct as listed above.
No. 1 vs. 2, Twice -- A likely first-ever occurrence in college tennis, this week's matches will feature No. 1 versus No. 2 on consecutive days as USC faces both Stanford and California, who currently share the No. 2 spot in the polls. It will showcase undeniably the best in college tennis on back-to-back days.
ITA Ranking Updates -- USC, which briefly dropped to No. 3 last week, reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in this week's Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Poll released on March 31. In singles, Jewel Peterson is ranked No. 6, Luana Magnani is No. 34, Maureen Diaz jumped to No. 84, Melissa Esmero entered the rankings at No. 99 and Carine Vermeulen is No. 116. In doubles, Peterson and Tiffany Brymer are ranked 18th. Individual and team rankings will be updated on April 9.
USC On Top -- USC took over the No. 1 ranking in the ITA poll on March 19, marking the first time the Women of Troy earned the top position in 17 years. After capturing the 1985 NCAA Championship, USC entered the 1986 season ranked No. 1, but eventually lost the position to Stanford during the season. Until this season, the Women of Troy had not been ranked higher than No. 3.
Pac-10 Takes Over -- The Pac-10 has five of the top 10 teams in this week's poll, including three of the top five (No. 1 USC, No. 2 Stanford, No. 2 California, No. 7 UCLA and No. 9 Washington). All nine conference teams are ranked among the top 50, making the Pac-10 the only conference to have all schools represented in the poll, at all. The SEC and Big XII are next in line with 11-of-12 teams ranked.
USC Active Streaks -- The Women of Troy have won their last 12 consecutive matches and have allowed only 11 total points during that streak *** Freshman Carine Vermeulen has won her last 12 matches and Melissa Esmero has won her last eight.
USC vs. Stanford -- Stanford is 45-17 all-time against USC. The Women of Troy have not defeated the Cardinal since 1986 when USC won one of two meetings, 6-3. Last season, the Women of Troy fell 6-1 on the road and 5-2 at home.
USC vs. California -- The Trojans are 22-20 all-time against California. Last season, USC beat Cal at home, 5-2, but fell on the road, 4-3.
Last Week -- USC collected its 11th and 12th consecutive victories last week with wins over eighth-ranked Arizona State and No. 46 Arizona.
USC began the week by defeating the Sun Devils, 6-1. Despite a decisive 8-3 victory by USC at No. 3 doubles to start the afternoon, matches at courts one and two were not easily decided. Down 7-3 at center court, Tiffany Brymer and Jewel Peterson won six straight games to come from behind and win the match 9-7. Meanwhile at No. 2, Luana Magnani and Anita Loyola eventually won their match-up 9-8, 8-6 in the tiebreaker to complete a doubles sweep. Loyola carried her momentum into singles play and gave the Women of Troy a 2-0 lead with a convincing 6-0, 6-1 victory at court four. Vermeulen was the next off the court for USC and Magnani clinched the victory with a 6-1, 6-4 decision at the No. 2 spot.
In one of its closest matches in nearly two months, USC notched a 4-3 victory over the Wildcats on March 29. USC enjoyed top performances from its No. 1 and 2 doubles teams to start the afternoon with a 1-0 lead. Despite the deficit, Arizona did not let up in singles play. With outstanding play from the top of its lineup, the Wildcats managed to earn wins at courts one, two and three, giving USC its toughest challenge since January. But the Trojans did not give in and secured wins at the No. 4, 5 and 6 positions to capture the match victory.
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 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 196-95 (.674) overall record and his teams have made seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including three appearances in the NCAA quarterfinals (1999-01).