No. 4 USC Women Pay A Pac-10 Visit To No. 24 Oregon
March 28, 2007
THIS WEEK: The No. 4 Women of Troy jump back into Pac-10 competition this week with a road trip to Oregon. With nine straight dual match wins and two Pac-10 victories already under its belt, USC turns to face the No. 24 Ducks at 12 p.m. on Saturday (March 31) in Eugene, Ore.
ITA RANKING UPDATES: USC (13-2, 2-0 Pac-10) began the season ranked #3 in the nation, and has moved to #4 in the latest ITA national rankings (released March 27). On the individual side, in rankings as of March 20, Lindsey Nelson sits at #8 in singles, followed by #12 Sarah Fansler, #92 Dianne Matias and #117 Amanda Fink. In doubles, Fansler/Matias are #31, ahead of #52 Matias/Nelson and #59 DeVera/Fink.
USC VS. OREGON: USC is 10-0 all-time against the Ducks, with the Trojans' most recent win coming in a 7-0 decision in Los Angeles last season. #24 Oregon is 10-5 overall and 1-3 in Pac-10 play.
RECENT RESULTS: USC's March 21 match with Fresno State -- which resulted in a 4-3 decision in favor of the Bulldogs -- has been recorded as a victory for the Women of Troy by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Following the match, USC filed a protest with the ITA regarding the Fresno State lineup. On March 27, the ITA has ruled that a violation did occur, and the dual match will count as a USC victory for ITA ranking purposes. The ITA also will thus forward a recommendation to the NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Committee for tournament selection and seeding purposes. Individual results stand as played, but the team records will reflect a win for USC and a loss for Fresno State. The winning Trojans in the match were #59 doubles duo DeVera/Fink, who extended their win streak to 14 straight with an 8-4 win. USC dropped the doubles point after a tight 9-8 (11-9) loss at the No. 1 position by Nelson/Smekodub. Winning in singles action were #92 Dianne Matias at No. 5, #117 Amanda Fink at No. 3 and Julie Smekodub at No. 6. #8 Lindsey Nelson had a six-match win streak snapped by the nation's #3 Melanie Gloria during the match, and #12 Sarah Fansler was edged in a three-set match at No. 2. Facing a #70-ranked Bulldog opponent at the No. 4 position, Anca Anastasiu was left with her third loss of dual match play this year.
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 17-4 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 10-3 in dual matches and 17-4 overall in singles this season, and has moved up to rank #8 in the ITA rankings.
CHEERS FOR FANSLER: USC freshman Sarah Fansler made a name for herself quickly at Troy. She boasts the the most singles wins (22) on the team, is 12-2 in dual match singles, and is currently ranked #12 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 12-3 in dual match play so far and 17-8 overall while currently holding a four-match win streak. She also is now ranked #117 in singles.
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 (12-3 dual, 19-9 overall) along with Judy DeVera (8-2, 14-6) and Dianne Matias (8-5, 14-10) are joined by senior transfer Julie Smekodub (8-2, 11-4), 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 #92 in singles.
FOURTEEN GOING ON FIFTEEN: USC's senior-sophomore combo of Judy DeVera/Amanda Fink have been all-out dominating in doubles play. Riding a 14-match win streak, the pair is undefeated in dual match action with a vice grip on the No. 2 slot. DeVera/Fink are 22-4 overall and 14-0 in dual match action, and are now ranked #59 in the ITA.
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.