No. 7 Women's Tennis Team Hosts NCAA First And Second Rounds This Week

May 10, 2005

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This Week -- The seventh-ranked USC women's tennis team (16-3, 7-1 Pac-10) received its 23rd all-time bid to the NCAA Championships and is making its 14th-consecutive appearance. The Women of Troy, seeded seventh in the entire tourney, host the 2005 NCAA First and Second Rounds this week, facing Illinois-Chicago (13-10) on Friday, May 13, at 9 a.m. in the first round at Marks Tennis Stadium. No. 30 Arizona State (10-7) and No. 47 San Diego State (16-10) will face each other in the other match (1 p.m.), with the winners of Friday's matches competing in the second round on Saturday, May 14, at 1 p.m. The regional champion will advance to the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga., May 19-22.

Freshmen Nicole Leimbach and Lindsey Nelson and sophomore Anca Anastasiu were selected to compete in the NCAA Singles Championship. The women's singles and doubles competition will be conducted May 23-28 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., following the team tournament.

2005 NCAA Championships - First and Second Round

All matches played at USC's Marks Tennis Stadium.

Friday, May 13, 9 a.m.

Illinois-Chicago vs. #7 USC

Friday, May 13, 1 p.m.

#30 Arizona State vs. #47 San Diego State

Saturday, May 14, 1 p.m.

USC/UIC vs. ASU/SDSU

ITA Ranking Updates -- The Women of Troy fell two spots this week to No. 7 in the latest ITA rankings released on May 2. The Trojans boast four ranked players, including two ranked in the Top 20 in singles with No. 9 Nicole Leimbach (freshman), No. 16 Lindsey Nelson (freshman), Anca Anastasiu entering at No. 53 and Dianne Matias appearing at No. 94. USC's doubles duo of Carine Vermeulen and Nelson come in at No. 43 while Nelson and Anastasiu come in at No. 45.

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

Head Coach Richard Gallien -- Richard Gallien is in his 10th season at the helm of the USC women's tennis program. Last season he guided the 2004 Women of Troy to a 18-7 overall record, the NCAA Round of 16 and a No. 8 final national ranking. Gallien began his career at Pepperdine, coaching the men's team for three years, before joining the Trojan family. Over the last 12 years, he has compiled a 219-107 (.672) overall record and his teams have made nine appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including an appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals four out of the last six years.

Last Year At NCAA Championships -- After sweeping through the first two rounds of competition, USC faced crosstown rival and eighth-ranked UCLA in the 2004 NCAA Round of 16. USC had taken the two regular season matches but this time it was the Bruins who came out on top, 4-2, knocking the Women of Troy out of the tournament and completing the season for USC's two seniors - Bernadette Bayani and Melissa Esmero. Anca Anastasiu went on to compete in the NCAA Singles Championships in her freshman season-- losing to 17th-ranked Dea Sumantri of Washington, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the first round. Luana Magnani also particpated in the singles competition, losing to 19th-ranked Jennifer Magley of Florida, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, in the first round. The doubles duo of Magnani and Carine Vermeulen took part in the doubles portion of the NCAA Championships and lost 6-3, 6-4, to North Carolina's combo of Mojzis and Cline in the first round.

Women Of Troy History At NCAA Championships -- With its 14th consecutive (23rd 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, 1986) and have reached the quarterfinals seven times (1982, 1989, 1990, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003). In the pre-NCAA era, the Women of Troy claimed five other national titles--1977, 1979 and 1980 by the AIAW and 1977 and 1978 by the USTA.

Pac-10 Proves Tough -- The Pac-10 has seven of the top 30 teams in this week's poll (tied with the SEC for the most among all the conferences), and five of the top 25. Eight of the nine conference teams are ranked among the top 60, making the Pac-10 the only conference to have all but one of its schools represented in the poll (seven of the nine teams are competing in the NCAA Tournament). The SEC and ACC are next in line with 10-of-12 and 7-of-9 teams ranked, respectively. The Pac-10 women claim 30 spots on the most recent ITA Top-125 rankings and occupy 12 spots among the Top-60 doubles.

Youth Prevails-- USC freshmen Nicole Leimbach and Lindsey Nelson and sophomores Anca Anastasiu and Dianne Matias have done more than what is normally expected of such youth. Leimbach, 14-5 in dual singles play from the No. 1 spot, was the 2005 Pac-10 Player of the Year and won the Pac-10 singles championship. Nelson holds a near spotless record (18-1) so far this season in dual singles play, including a 17-match dual winning streak to begin her collegiate career, while Anastasiu and Matias hold only three singles dual losses. Nelson and Anastasiu have teamed up for an 11-0 record in dual doubles play at the No. 2 position.

News N' Notes -- USC has faced 11 top-25 opponents this season and has compiled an 8-3 record against them. ••• In her first season, freshman Lindsey Nelson owns the team's best singles record with a 30-7 overall mark playing at the second position. ••• Nelson and Anca Anastasiu boast the team's best doubles record with an 11-0 overall mark.

Final Pac-10 Standings -- Stanford captured the 2005 Pac-10 women's team title with a undefeated record in conference play, marking the 12th straight year that the Cardinal has won the title. USC finished in second place for the fifth time in the last seven years.

At Pac-10 Championships -- The Women of Troy left Ojai with both the Pac-10 Individual and Invitational titles. Freshman Nicole Leimbach clinched USC's first women's singles title with a 5-7, 6-0, 6-3 victory over Stanford's Alice Barnes. Junior Carine Vermeulen captured the Invitational title with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Washington State's Amy Toth. Dianne Matias and Leimbach also teamed up to reach the semifinals of the Pac-10 doubles championship before losing 8-4 to Arizona's Hollands and Mlakar.

HEAD COACH Richard Gallien -- Richard Gallien is in his 10th season at the helm of the USC women's tennis program. Over the last decade, USC has proven to be one of the top teams in the nation. Under his tutelage, USC has made 10 consecutive NCAA appearances, finishing no lower than 11th for the past six straight years. At USC, Gallien has compiled a 173-86 over all record and .668 win percentage. In his 13 years as a head coach (also coaching the men at Pepperdine for three years prior to coming to USC), he boasts a 235-110 (.681) career mark and his teams have made nine appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including an appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals four out of the last six years. Gallien's senior-less 2005 team enters the NCAA tourney ranked seventh nationally with a 16-3 overall record (7-1 for second in the Pac-10). He began his career at Pepperdine, coaching the men's team for three years, before joining the Trojans.

Opponents

Illinois-Chicago: Illinois-Chicago is making its seventh straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament when it travels to Los Angeles this week. The Flames earned an automatic berth by winning the Horizon League Conference Title. The team boasts a 13-10 overall record but went 10-0 in conference play. Illinois-Chicago does not have any ranked singles or doubles players.

USC vs. Illinois-Chicago: Friday's match will be the first-ever meeting between USC and Illinois-Chicago.

Arizona State: No. 30 Arizona State enters this week's tournament with a 10-7 overall record. The Sun Devils posted a 5-3 Pac-10 conference mark this season to finish in fourth place. Arizona State has three ranked singles players (No. 46 Sabrina Capannolo, No. 121 Jessica Leitch, No. 123 Joslynn Burkett) and two ranked doubles teams (No. 27 Colacillo/Pooler and No. 51 Burkett/Pilecko).

USC vs. Arizona State: The Women of Troy are 34-19 all-time against the Sun Devils after beating Arizona State 6-1 in Tempe this season. The other scheduled match-up this year was cancelled due to rain.

San Diego State: The 47th-ranked Aztecs received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after reaching the semi-finals of the MWC Championships. They enter the tournament with a 16-10 overall record. San Diego State does not have any ranked singles or doubles players.

USC vs. San Diego State: USC and San Diego State have faced each other a total of 37 times. The Trojans own a 33-4 advantage following the Trojans 7-0 sweep of the Aztecs earlier in the season.

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