No. 10 USC Women Host ASU, William & Mary This Week
March 10, 2009
THIS WEEK: USC has another pair of home matches set for this week in back-to-back dual matches set for Marks Stadium. Holding strong at No. 10 in the nation, the Trojans (9-2) first face off against No. 14 Arizona State (8-1) in a 1:30 p.m. match on Wednesday (March 11). The very next day, USC will host No. 60 William and Mary (5-5) at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday (March 12).
ITA RANKING UPDATES: The latest ITA national team rankings have USC ranked No. 10 in the nation, as of March 10. Singles and doubles rankings were released March 3, with Maria Sanchez leading the way at #15 in singles and four other Women of Troy well settled in the nation's top-100: #22 Sarah Fansler, #29 Amanda Fink, #54 Gabriela Niculescu and #61 Alison Ramos. Four USC doubles duos also are nationally ranked: #12 Fink/Niculescu, #19 Niculescu/Sanchez, #62 Fansler/Kinstler and #71 Ramos/Sanchez.
SCOUTING ASU: Arizona State is ranked No. 14 in the nation and is 8-1 overall after beating Washington 5-2 and Washington State 7-0 last week. USC is 40-19 all-time against the Sun Devils, having won the past 12 matches against ASU. USC posted two 5-2 wins over the Sun Devils last season. ASU has #3 Kelcy McKenna and #71 Micaela Hein ranked in singles and #10 McKenna/Hein and #50 Abdala/Abdala ranked in doubles.
SCOUTING WILLIAM & MARY: William and Mary is ranked No. 60 in the nation and is 5-5 overall after beating San Diego 4-3 last week. USC is 2-3 all-time against the Tribe but claimed the latest win in a 5-2 victory in 2001. William and Mary have #70 Ragini Acharya and #86 Katarina Zoricic ranked in singles and #46 Zoricic/Acharya ranked in doubles.
THE 300 CLUB: USC head coach Richard Gallien hit a new benchmark early this season 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 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.
TOP GUNS: Thanks to a tagteam effort from sophomore Maria Sanchez and junior Sarah Fansler at the No. 1 singles slot, the Trojans have had a reliable force at the top of the lineup for dual match play. #15 Sanchez leads the Women of Troy with 21 singles wins overall on the year, followed by a set of four Trojans with at least 15 singles wins: #22 Sarah Fansler (15-7), #29 Amanda Fink (17-7), #54 Gabriela Niculescu (17-5) and #61 Alison Ramos (16-8).
RECENT ACTION: USC came away with a split last week, taking only its second loss of the season in a 4-3 defeat at the hands of host UCLA. The Trojans regrouped from there and grabbed a Pac-10 victory over Oregon with a 7-0 sweep at Marks Stadium.