Women's Tennis Signs Four To Letters Of Intent

Nov. 15, 2002

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- USC women's tennis signed four players -- including three players from Southern California and a top international athlete -- to letters of intent, head coach Richard Gallien announced today. Dianne Matias of Torrance, Judy DeVera of Carson, Erica Sauer of Camarillo and Ioana Gaspar of Romania make up what may be considered this year's top recruiting class.

'At the end of this season, we will lose a group of very talented seniors to graduation and we needed to look for athletes that could fill their shoes when they leave,' Gallien said, who is in his eighth season at USC. 'I think we have done just that. I can easily say that this is the strongest recruiting class in the country right now.'

Matias and DeVera both attend Carson (Calif.) High. The 5-foot-3 Matias, who did not compete at the high school level, was ranked as high as No. 1 in singles in USTA 16s (2000) and No. 3 in 18s (2000). Among her many tournament titles, she won the 2000 Easter Bowl and captured the doubles title at the 2000 ITF Junior Championships in Manilla. DeVera, a 5-foot-2 right-hander, has been Carson's No. 1 singles and doubles player the past two seasons. In 2002 she captured the Los Angeles City Section individual singles title, in addition to leading her team to two City championships (2001, 2002).

The 5-foot-7 Sauer has been home schooled while competing internationally. Despite sitting out the past season with an elbow injury, she boasts a wealth of accomplishments, which include having captured the 2000 singles championship at Frances' Les Peteias. Sauer was ranked among the top 5 singles players in USTA 14s, No. 1 doubles in 16s and No. 30 singles in 18s.

Gaspar is a highly-touted recruit from Timisoara, Romania, who has made a name for herself on the ITF junior circuit. She was ranked as high as No. 1 singles in 2000 and No. 2 in 2001 in the ITF international rankings. In 2000 she was also rated as the No. 1 doubles player in Romania. She captured the Fed Cup singles championship in 2001.

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