Women's Tennis Hosts UCLA This Friday

Jan. 29, 2004

This Week -- Coming off a win over UC Irvine on Wednesday, the fifth-ranked USC women's tennis team (3-0) hosts crosstown rival and 11th-ranked UCLA (1-0) this Friday, Jan. 30, at 1:30 p.m. at Marks Tennis Stadium. The match will be the first of two women's tennis meetings for the 2003-04 Lexus Gauntlet.

The Women of Troy are already three matches into their season and have defeated Long Beach State, TCU and UCI. The Bruins opened their season on Wednesday, Jan. 28, with a win over Loyola Marymount.

ITA Ranking Updates -- Updated on Jan. 28, the latest rankings have USC at No. 5. In singles, the Trojans' Luana Magnani is ranked No. 24 and Carine Vermeulen is No. 70. In doubles, Magnani and Vermeulen are ranked 40th.

USC vs. UCLA -- USC is 35-25 all time against the Bruins. Friday's meeting will not count against conference records.

Battle for the Lexus Gauntlet -- Friday's match against the Bruins will be the first of two meetings 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 UCLA captured the 2003 trophy. This season, USC leads the competition, 32.5 to 12.5.

2003 Season Recap -- Last year's squad, guided by four-time All-American Jewel Peterson, advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals and finished the season ranked No. 5 with a 22-6 overall record. During the season, the Women of Troy posted a number of firsts, including a three-week stay at No. 1 for the first time in 17 years. With the departure of four senior starters, the 2003-04 Women of Troy look to eight newcomers this season to fill in the gaps.

Head Coach Richard Gallien -- Richard Gallien is in his ninth season at the helm of the USC women's tennis program. Last season he guided the 2003 Women of Troy to a 22-6 overall record, the NCAA Quarterfinals and a No. 5 final national ranking. The season was also highlighted by a three-week stay at No. 1 for the first time in 17 years. Gallien began his career at Pepperdine, coaching the men's team for three years, before joining the Trojan family. Over the last 11 years, he has compiled a 204-100 (.671) overall record and his teams have made eight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including an appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals four out of the last five years.

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