No. 2 USC Women Power Up For Pac-10 Championships

April 26, 2006

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THIS WEEK: The No. 2 Women of Troy finished Pac-10 action last week with a 7-1 record to bring a 17-3 overall record into this week's Pac-10 Championships. USC's top four singles players and top two doubles teams will vie for the Pac-10 titles at the action taking place in Ojai, Calif., from April 27-30. Keep an eye on Trojans Amanda Fink, Lindsey Nelson, Luana Magnani, Dianne Matias and Anca Anastasiu in the race for the Pac-10 singles crown, while the doubles teams of Matias/Carine Vermeulen and Magnani/Nelson are in line to compete for the Pac-10 doubles title. Results will be posted at www.ojaitourney.org, as well as on the Pac-10 website.

ITA RANKING UPDATES: USC has moved up to its highest ranking since 2003, sitting at a lofty #2 behind defending NCAA champ Stanford in the latest ITA national rankings (released April 25). The Women of Troy now have five players ranked in singles. Freshman Amanda Fink is the #10 ranked player in the nation, while Lindsey Nelson has catapulted up to #26, just ahead of #28 Dianne Matias. Luana Magnani remains at #47, and Anca Anastasiu has jumped into the rankings at #85. On the doubles scene, Magnani/Nelson sit at #19, Matias/Vermeulen have popped onto the list at #34, and Fink/Magnani are #59.

PAC-10 PLANS: The Pac-10's nine women's teams head to Ojai, Calif., Thurs., April 27 through Sun., April 30, to decide the league's singles and doubles champions. For the women, the 32-player singles draw shall consist of three players from each of the nine schools that sponsor women's tennis, with five additional competitors selected by a committee of coaches, based upon the participants record. The 16-team doubles draw will have one doubles team from each school and seven additional teams selected by the committee, based upon the participants record.

RECENT RESULTS: The Women of Troy secured at least a tie for USC in the year-long, all-sport Lexus Gauntlet competition between the Trojans and their crosstown rival UCLA with two dual match wins over the Bruins last week. USC opened the busy week with a tight 4-3 win over No. 15 UCLA, and then went one better in their next face-off with a 5-2 decision just days later. Lindsey Nelson was the only Trojan to notch back-to-back wins in singles play, as the lineups for both teams remained the same in both matches. Tuesday's other USC winners Amanda Fink and Carine Vermeulen were unable to get a second win over their respective Bruin opponents in Friday's match, but Trojans Luana Magnani, Dianne Matias and Anca Anastasiu all avenged their earlier losses and helped USC to the 5-2 win on Friday. In doubles play, USC went 2-1 during Tuesday's match to claim the important doubles point, and on Friday the Trojans pinned up a sweep of doubles for some extra momentum going into singles.

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 has gone 11-5 in dual match play and is 16-6 overall. After her two recent upsets of UCLA's then-No. 20 Laura Gordon, Nelson was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second time this season. She also bumped herself up from #52 to #26 in the ITA rankings after that winning performance.

COMEBACK KID: Senior Luana Magnani missed out on the 2005 season with academic 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 14-4 in dual matches and 23-7 overall. She holds a #47 ITA ranking in singles for the second week running, and also is ranked with two different doubles partners -- #19 with Lindsey Nelson and #59 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 #10. She's 32-8 on the year, and 14-5 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.

DIANNE'S DYNASTY: Another of USC's most consistent performers this season has been junior Dianne Matias, who has the second most overall wins in singles action with a 28-8 record. Matias was near flawless at the No. 3 position in dual match play, racking up a 12-2 record in that slot and going 7-1 in Pac-10 competition.

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 was USC's only undefeated player in dual-match action until last week, when she dropped her first singles match in 17 matches. She avenged that loss days later, however, to boast a 17-1 dual match record and stand at 22-7 overall. After ringing up her dual match record to 15-0 with a win over Stanford's #41 Whitney Deason and another comeback win at Cal, she earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors.

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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