No. 10 USC Women Host Pepperdine On Friday

Feb. 5, 2009

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THIS WEEK: USC holds tight to its No. 10 ranking as the Trojans roll undefeated into their fifth home dual match of the year. The Women of Troy (4-0) are set to host No. 44 Pepperdine at 1:30 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 6) at Marks Stadium.

ITA RANKING UPDATES: The latest ITA national team rankings have USC still ranked No. 10. The latest individual rankings are the ITA preseason picks released Jan. 6. There, #16 Amanda Fink leads the Trojans, with four other teammates well settled in the nation's top-100. Sophomore Maria Sanchez is #22, followed by #36 freshman Alison Ramos, #38 junior Sarah Fansler and #67 junior Gabriela Niculescu. In doubles, Niculescu/Sanchez rank #24 ahead of Fink/Niculescu at #31 and Ramos/Sanchez at #53.

THE 300 CLUB: USC head coach Richard Gallien hit a new benchmark last week in claiming his 300th career victory. With a 4-0 win over Michigan State during ITA National Indoor Qualifying, Gallien bumped his career coaching record up to to 300-128. He entered the 2009 season carrying an all-time record of 297-128, and he had posted a 235-104 record as head coach at USC. In his sixteen years as a head coach ¬-- 13 of which have come at USC -- Gallien has strung together 13 straight NCAA appearances for his Women of Troy, 12 top-20 team rankings, six trips to the NCAA Quarterfinals, one to the NCAA Semifinals in 2006 and Round of 16 runs in the past two seasons. Under Gallien's watch, USC has finished no lower than 11th in the past nine years.

SCOUTING PEPPERDINE: USC head coach Richard Gallien's alma mater Pepperdine is ranked No. 41 in the nation and is 2-3 overall after taking a 5-2 loss to UCLA earlier this week. USC is 36-12 all-time against Pepperdine, winning the past 11 meetings with the Waves. Pepperdine last won with a 4-3 decision in 2001. This year, Pepperdine currently has no players in the ITA singles and doubles rankings.

RECENT ACTION: USC secured a place for itself at the upcoming ITA National Indoor Championships in Madison, Wisc., with a pair of qualifying wins at Marks Stadium last week. The Trojans followed up a 7-0 sweep of Long Beach State with two victories in ITA play during the weekend. USC's singles strength carried on, as the Women of Troy swept Michigan State 4-0 to move into the winner's match on Sunday. There, USC rebounded from dropping the doubles point with a set of four singles wins to clinch a 4-1 decision.

TOP GUNS: So far, USC has won all four matches at the No. 1 singles slot, thanks to a tagteam effort from sophomore Maria Sanchez and junior Sarah Fansler. The Trojan duo have two wins apiece at the No. 1 position. Sanchez leads the team in singles wins on the season with a 16-2 singles mark, with Fansler just a step behind with a 13-4 singles record so far.

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