Women Of Troy Head To Ojai For Pac-10 Championships
April 23, 2003
This Week -- The No. 5 USC women's tennis team begins postseason play this week when it travels to Ojai, Calif., for the 2003 Pac-10 Individual Championships, April 24-27. Following losses at then-No. 5 California and then-No. 1 Stanford last week, the Women of Troy completed the regular season with a 19-5 overall record and 5-3 conference mark, for a fourth place finish in the Pac-10.
ITA Ranking Updates -- With two losses in the Bay Area, USC dropped one spot to No. 5 in this week's Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Poll released on April 22. In singles, Jewel Peterson dropped to No. 10, Luana Magnani jumped to No. 23 and Maureen Diaz is 68th. In doubles, Peterson and Tiffany Brymer are ranked 21st.
Ojai Draws -- The Women of Troy are sending seven players (and three doubles teams) to compete at the 2003 Pac-10 Singles and Doubles Championships in Ojai. Jewel Peterson, Maureen Diaz, Anita Loyola and Tiffany Brymer were selected to compete in the main draw Pac-10 Tournament, while Melissa Esmero and Bernadette Bayani will be competing in the back draw Pac-10 Invitational. Peterson and Brymer and Loyola and Luana Magnani will play in the Doubles Tournament. Bayani and Esmero will play in the Doubles Invitational.
Injury Update -- Carine Vermeulen is still nursing a muscle strain she first suffered against Stanford on April 4. The injury kept her out of matches against Washington State (April 12), California (April 18) and Stanford (April 19). She will not be competing at the Pac-10 Championships and is expected to be back in the lineup for the NCAAs. Luana Magnani has also been held out of the lineup for a foot injury. She will not be playing singles at the Pac-10 Championships.
The Best Season in 15 years -- Despite suffering three losses in the final two weeks, the 2003 Women of Troy still boasts the program's best record in 15 years. In 1988, the Trojans finished 19-5 overall and 7-3 in the Pac-10 for second place. That season USC advanced to the NCAA Semifinals where it fell to eventual champion Stanford.
NCAA Championships -- Following the conference championship, USC will await the 2003 NCAA tournament selections. The 64-team field for both the men and women will be announced on Wednesday, April 30, on ESPN News. The women's selection will take place at 1:30 p.m., followed by the men's announcement at 1:45 p.m. NCAA Regional action will take place on May 9-11 on campus sites. The women's championships will be held May 15-24 in Gainseville, Fla.
Final Pac-10 Standings -- Stanford captured the 2003 Pac-10 women's team title with a undefeated record in conference play, marking the 10th-straight year that the Cardinal has won the title. USC's difficulty in the last few matches of the season, dropped the Women of Troy to fourth place. The Trojans also finished fourth in 2000, 1996 and 1987.
Last Year At Pac-10 Championships -- The 2002 Pac-10 Tournament was highlighted by the play of then-junior Tiffany Brymer who captured her first-ever singles tournament title at USC by winning the Invitational with a finals victory over Nicole Havlicek of Cal. Jewel Peterson advanced to the finals of the Pac-10 Tournament before falling to Gabriela Lastra of Stanford.
Pac-10 Proves Toughest -- The Pac-10 has four of the top 10 teams in this week's poll, including three of the top five (No. 2 Stanford, No. 4 California, No. 5 USC). 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. The Pac-10 women hold down 30 spots on the most recent ITA Top-125 rankings and occupy seven spots among the Top-60 doubles.
The Trojans' Last Outing -- The Women of Troy's successful season took a turn for the worse in the final week. USC dropped matches at Cal and Stanford, and with them, the opportunity of winning a first-ever Pac-10 title.
California evened the series with USC by beating the Trojans 6-1 in Berkeley on April 18. Cal claimed the doubles point to start the match, then maintained the momentum as they headed into singles. Call earned straight-set victories at Nos. 5, 4 and 6, respectively, to clinch the match. Meanwhile, courts one, two and three were still engaged in heavy competition. Anita Loyola was the only Trojan to eventually walk away with a win as she defeated Lynch at the No. 3 position, 7-5, 6-3.
On Saturday, April 19, USC completed the difficult Bay Area road trip with a 5-2 loss at top-ranked Stanford. Stanford captured wins on all three doubles courts to earn the first point of the afternoon. The Women of Troy got two important singles victories as both Luana Magnani and Maureen Diaz won their matches in straight sets on courts two and three. Meanwhile, Stanford clinched straight-set wins at the No. 4 and 5 positions to take a 3-2 lead in the match. With the Cardinal needing only one more victory to clinch the win, the Trojans managed to fight off their efforts and push the remaining two matches to a third set. Despite the comeback, USC's Jewel Peterson eventually fell 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 at center court and Melissa Esmero was defeated at No. 6.
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 198-99 (.667) overall record and his teams have made seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including three appearances in the NCAA quarterfinals (1999-01).