No. 11 USC Women Face Three This Week At Home

March 13, 2007

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THIS WEEK: The No. 11 Women of Troy set up for the first three of four straight home matches, with tilts against #41 Texas, #21 Arizona State and #32 Arizona this week. USC faces the Longhorns at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday (March 14), then hosts the Sun Devils at 1:30 p.m. on Friday (March 16), and the Wildcats at noon on Saturday (March 17).

ITA RANKING UPDATES: USC (9-2, 2-0 Pac-10) began the season ranked #3 in the nation, but has moved to #11 in the latest ITA national rankings (released March 13). On the individual side, in rankings as of March 6, Lindsey Nelson sits at #13 in singles, followed by #15 Sarah Fansler, #91 Dianne Matias and #113 Katja Decker-Sadowski. In doubles, Fansler/Matias are #25, ahead of #37 DeVera/Fink and #42 Matias/Nelson.

USC VS. TEXAS: USC is 9-7 all-time against the Longhorns, having won the past three matches against Texas, including a 5-2 win at home in 2005. Texas last won in a 5-4 decision in 1996. #41 Texas is 5-4 overall and has #53 Vanja Corovic and #85 Courtney Zauft ranked in singles.

USC VS. ASU: USC is 36-19 against the Sun Devils, having won the past eight matches against ASU dating back to a 4-3 dual match loss in 2002. #21 ASU is is 7-4 overall and has #45 Nadia Abdala, #64 Sabrina Capannol, #115 Kady Pooler and #122 Rebecca Rankin ranked in singles and #6 Pooler/Clarke ranked in doubles.

USC VS. ARIZONA: USC is 21-15 against the Wildcats, having won the past 17 matches against Arizona dating back to a 7-2 road loss in 1998. #32 Arizona is 7-5 overall and has #110 Danielle Steinberg ranked in singles and #45 Mavroleon/Orletsky ranked in doubles.

RECENT RESULTS: USC pulled out a tight 4-3 win over crosstown rival UCLA its in only match last week. The Women of Troy grabbed the doubles point thanks to an 8-4 win by #37 DeVera/Fink, then went on to engage in five three-set singles matches. Sarah Fansler ended up clinching the win for the Trojans with a 6-4, 3-6, 5-2 victory after her Bruin opponent Tracy Lin retired from the match due to injury while behind three games to Fansler. After Amanda Fink fell in the No. 3 spot to open singles play, the rest of the matches raged into three sets. UCLA had won the first set in three of those remaining matches, but USC came back to win two of them to move into position for the win. First, #13 Lindsey Nelson fought out of a first-set hole to beat #24 Riza Zalameda 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 1 position to get USC ahead 2-1. When the match tied up again 2-2, it was Trojan Julie Smekodub's turn to stage a comeback from her No. 6 slot, powering to a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Elizabeth Lumpkin to push USC ahead 3-2 in the match and set up Fansler's match-winning victory at No. 2

DRIVING FORCE: 2006 Honda Award finalist Lindsey Nelson is back again for the Women of Troy, holding down the fiercely competitive No. 1 singles slot for dual match play. She reached the NCAA singles final last season, and holds a 14-3 singles record so far this year as a junior. To open 2007, Nelson added to her list of successes with a win in the championship match of the National Collegiate Tournament, beating UCLA's Yasmin Schnack to claim the title. She is 8-2 in dual matches and 15-3 overall in singles this season, and has moved up to rank #13 in the ITA rankings.

CHEERS FOR FANSLER: USC freshman Sarah Fansler made a name for herself quickly at Troy. She has the most singles wins (20), is 10-1 in dual match singles, and is currently ranked #15 in singles. She was #9 as the 2007 season began -- a ranking earned largely from her championship run at the ITA West Regionals, where she became one of a string of Women of Troy to reach the final. Aside from 2003's tournament that was cancelled after the quarterfinals due to area fires, there has been a USC player in every ITA Western Regional singles final since 1998. Current Trojans Amanda Fink and Lindsey Nelson also reached the final in their freshman seasons, with Fink winning the title in 2005 and Nelson coming in second in 2004. Before that, Jewel Peterson won the title all four years (1999-2002), and Ditta Huber won in 1998.

LONE RANGER: 2006 Pac-10 Rookie of the Year Amanda Fink is the only lefty and the only sophomore on the USC roster, but she fits in perfectly on the Trojan ladder. She is locking down the No. 3 singles position, going 8-3 in dual match play so far and 13-8 overall.

SENIORITY RULES: USC has four seniors on the roster this year, and each and every one is loaded with experience. Three of them were members of USC's 2006 NCAA Semifinalist squad that finished out the year ranked No. 3 in the nation. This year, Academic All-American Anca Anastasiu (9-2 dual, 15-8 overall) along with Judy DeVera (7-2, 12-6) and Dianne Matias (5-4, 11-9) are joined by senior transfer Julie Smekodub (6-0, 9-2), who comes to USC with a year of eligibility remaining after Tulane closed the doors on its women's tennis program following a season cancelled by Hurricane Katrina. Smekodub and Anastasiu teamed up in the fall for doubles, winning the ITA West Regional Doubles Championship with a final victory over USC teammates Fansler/Matias. Matias is currently ranked in #91 singles.

ON GALLIEN'S WATCH: As head coach Richard Gallien's enters his 12th season at Troy, he has strung together 11 straight NCAA appearances for for USC along with 10 top-20 team rankings, six trips to the NCAA Quarterfinals and last season's journey to the NCAA Semifinals. Under Gallien's watch, USC has finished no lower than 11th for the past eight years. He has compiled a 197-91 overall record and .684 win percentage at USC. In his 14 years as a head coach (also coaching the men at Pepperdine prior to coming to USC), he boasts a 259-115 (.693) career mark. In 2006, Gallien's USC squad rolled to another 7-1 mark in Pac-10 play and worked its way into the NCAA Semifinals, where the Trojans fell to Miami in a match that was interrupted by rain and resumed the next day. USC finished with a 21-4 overall record and wound up ranked No. 3 at season's close.

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