No. 4 USC Women To Do Double Duty With No. 14 UCLA

April 17, 2006

THIS WEEK: The No. 4 Women of Troy (15-3, 6-1 Pac-10) fill finally begin -- and finish -- their 2006 season series against crosstown rival UCLA this week. After three postponements due to rain, USC and No. 14 UCLA (15-4, 5-2) are set to square off twice this week, first at Marks Stadium at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday (April 18) and then at Los Angeles Tennis Center at 1:30 p.m. on Friday (April 21).

ITA RANKING UPDATES: USC is ranked #4 in the latest ITA team rankings (released April 11). The Women of Troy have four players ranked in singles (released April 4). Freshman Amanda Fink is the #9 ranked player in the nation, while Dianne Matias is #28, Luana Magnani is #49, and Lindsey Nelson is #51. On the doubles scene, Magnani/Nelson have moved up to #18, and Magnani/Fink are #32.

RECENT RESULTS: The Women of Troy tacked up their fifth Pac-10 win of the season with a clean sweep of #44 Oregon last weekend. USC swept doubles action with a different doubles lineup than in previous matches, and then rolled through singles competition with six two-set victories.

USC VS. UCLA: USC is 38-26 all-time against the Bruins, having gone 2-1 against UCLA last season. The most recent face-off was a tight 4-3 USC win in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. UCLA is ranked #16 in the ITA team rankings and has five nationally ranked players, led by #20 Laura Gordon. Also ranked are #42 Tracy Lin, #124 Anna-Viktoria Lind, #117 Alex McGoodwin and #110 Ashley Joelson. Doubles duo Gordon/Zalameda are #23.

GRAB THE GAUNTLET: With the Lexus Gauntlet in the final stretch of the 18-sport crosstown competition, the USC-UCLA rivalry race remains intense with in the scramble toward the perpetual trophy presented by the Southern California Lexus Dealers Association. The upcoming USC-UCLA matches puts five total points up for grabs (2.5 each), giving the Trojans a shot at guaranteeing the Gauntlet's return to Troy. The magic number to clinch the all-sports trophy is 57.5 points, and USC currently leads the competition 52.5-20. In the first four years of the Gauntlet competition, the archrivals have alternated winning the trophy. USC won the inaugural trophy in 2002 and again in 2004. UCLA captured the rivalry's crown jewel in 2003 and 2005.

NELSON IN FULL EFFECT: USC's top returning player is right back at her winning ways. Playing at the No. 1 singles slot, sophomore Lindsey Nelson earned herself Pac-10 Player of the Week honors with a smooth effort over ranked opponents from Washington and Washington State. She holds a 9-5 record in dual match play so far this season, having sat out four matches with illness.

COMEBACK KID: Senior Luana Magnani missed out on the 2005 season with eligibility troubles, but is back in full effect this season for USC. She cruised to a 6-0 record in dual matches at the No. 4 singles slot until slipping in a No. 3 singles match at Arizona and is now 14-3 in dual matches. She holds a #49 ITA ranking in singles, and also is ranked with two different doubles partners -- #18 with Lindsey Nelson and #32 with Amanda Fink. For her efforts earlier in the season, Magnani was named a Pac-10 Player of the Week.

LEFTY ON THE LOOSE: Freshman southpaw Amanda Fink has wasted no time turning heads in her first year at USC. She was the nation's top-ranked player earlier this season and now sits as USC's highest ranked player at #9. She's 31-7 on the year, and 13-4 in dual matches after picking up her first two wins at the No. 1 singles slot against Arizona and ASU while Lindsey Nelson was out with illness.

ANCA IN ACTION: Junior Anca Anastasiu has some smarts to go along with her tennis success. A 4.0 student who also wields a wicked racket, Anastasiu is USC's only undefeated player in dual-match action. She's mostly been holding down the No. 5 and 6 singles slots but recently moved up to No. 4, where she got two more wins. Recently, she rang up her dual match record to 15-0 and earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors with a win over Stanford's #41 Whitney Deason and another comeback win at Cal last week. She's now 16-0 after another win against Oregon.

2006 TROJANS: The 2006 USC squad, led by head coach Richard Gallien -- in his 11th season at Troy -- is highlighted by six returning players from last year's team that reached the NCAA Quarterfinals and finished the 2005 season with a No. 7 national ranking. This year, the Trojans boast four newcomers to the roster as USC works toward an 11th straight appearance at the NCAA Tournament. USC finished with 19-4 overall record and went 7-1 in Pac-10 play to finish second in the conference.

HEAD COACH Richard Gallien: Now entering his 11th season at Troy, Gallien has strung together 10 straight NCAA appearances, nine top-20 team rankings and five trips to the NCAA Quarterfinals. Under Gallien's watch, USC has finished no lower than 11th for the past seven years. At USC, Gallien has compiled a 176-87 overall record and .669 win percentage. In his 13 years as a head coach (also coaching the men at Pepperdine prior to coming to USC), he boasts a 238-111 (.682) career mark.

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