Women's Tennis To Host NCAA Regionals This Week

May 7, 2003

NCAA Regional Release in PDF Format
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This Week -- The fifth-ranked USC women's tennis team (19-5, 5-3 Pac-10) received its 21st all-time bid to the 2003 NCAA Championships and will be making its fifth-consecutive appearance. The Women of Troy, seeded fifth in the entire tourney, will host NCAA Regionals this week and face No. 62 Sacramento State (16-7) on Friday, May 9, at 2 p.m. in the first round at Marks Tennis Stadium. Unranked Georgia Tech (13-6) and No. 54 Cal Poly (20-6) will face each other in the other match (10 a.m.) and the winner of each of Friday's matches will compete in the second round on Saturday, May 10, at 2 p.m. The regional champion will advance to the NCAA Championships in Gainesville, Fla., May 15-24.

Senior Jewel Peterson and sophomore Luana Magnani were selected to compete in the NCAA Singles Championship. Partners Peterson and Tiffany Brymer will compete in the Doubles Championships.

2003 NCAA Championships - First and Second Round
All matches played at USC's Marks Tennis Stadium.

Friday, May 9, 10 a.m.
Georgia Tech vs. #54 Cal Poly

Friday, May 9, 2 p.m.
#5 USC vs. #62 Sacramento State

Saturday, May 10, 2 p.m.
USC/Sacramento State vs. Cal Poly/Georgia Tech

NCAA Championships -- The NCAA selected 64 teams to participate in the 2003 NCAA Division I Tennis Championships. First and second round matches will be played at 16 host sites May 9-11, with the winner of each regional site advancing to the finals. The championships will be held in Gainesville, Fla., at the Ring Tennis Complex on the Florida campus, May 15-24. Individual championships will consist of 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams, and will take place May 19-24 following the team championships.

ITA Ranking Updates -- USC remained at No. 5 in the last regular season Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Poll released on April 27. In singles, Jewel Peterson is ranked No. 10, Luana Magnani jumped to No. 21, Maureen Diaz is No. 62 and Anita Loyola entered the poll at No. 119. In doubles, Peterson and Tiffany Brymer are ranked 18th.

Last Year At NCAA Championships -- The Women of Troy endured a disappointing end to the 2002 NCAA Championships. After beating Oral Roberts and Oregon in the first two rounds, USC was eliminated by rival UCLA in the Round of 16. As a junior, Jewel Peterson made her third appearance in both the singles and doubles championships. After advancing to the singles quarterfinals for the second time in her three-year career, Peterson suffered a hard-fought three-set loss to Florida's Jessica Lehnhoff, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2. Then-freshman Luana Magnani, in her first NCAA appearance, advanced to the second round. In doubles, Peterson and Brymer captured their first career NCAA victory, then fell in the Round of 16.

Women Of Troy History At NCAA Championships -- With its fifth consecutive (21st overall) bid to the NCAA Tournament, USC has long been a force in collegiate women's tennis. Since the inception of the NCAA postseason in 1982, the Women of Troy have earned two national titles (1983, 1985) to complement five previous AIAW and USTA titles. The Trojans have twice played in the NCAA championship match (runner-up - 1984, 1886) and have reached the quarterfinals six times (1982, 1989, 1990, 1999, 2000, 2001).

The Best Season In 15 Years -- Despite suffering three losses in the final two weeks of the regular season, the 2003 Women of Troy still boasts the program's best record in 15 years. In 1988, the Trojans finished 19-5 overall and 7-3 in the Pac-10 for second place. That season, USC advanced to the NCAA Semifinals where it fell to eventual champion Stanford.

Final Pac-10 Standings -- Stanford captured the 2003 Pac-10 women's team title with a undefeated record in conference play, marking the 10th-straight year that the Cardinal has won the title. USC's difficulty in the last few matches of the season, dropped the Women of Troy to fourth place. The Trojans also finished fourth in 2000, 1996 and 1987.

Pac-10 Proves Toughest -- The Pac-10 has four of the top 10 teams in this week's poll, including three of the top five (No. 1 Stanford, No. 4 California, No. 5 USC). All nine conference teams are ranked among the top 50, making the Pac-10 the only conference to have all schools represented in the poll, at all. The SEC and Big XII are next in line with 11-of-12 teams ranked. The Pac-10 women hold down 30 spots on the most recent ITA Top-125 rankings and occupy seven spots among the Top-60 doubles.

At Pac-10 Championships -- The USC men's and women's tennis teams made up for a terrible start in the singles tournaments by capturing two doubles titles at this year's Pac-10 Individual Championships in Ojai. Daniel Langre and Parker Collins captured the Men's Pac-10 Tournament Doubles Championship, while Bernadette Bayani and Melissa Esmero won the Women's Pac-10 Invitational Doubles Championship. Bayani and Esmero dominated the field, beating Arizona's Dianne Hollands and Kelly Perry 8-5 in the final to win the 2003 title. Esmero, the 2001 Pac-10 Invitational Singles Champion, added to her set of conference titles, while Bayani capped off a season in which she has played limited matches as the eighth member of the Women of Troy lineup. The pair was relatively inexperienced, having only played together six times before the tournament.

Third-Straight Invite Champions -- Bernadette Bayani and Melissa Esmero's doubles victory at the 2003 Pac-10 Championships gave the Trojans their third-straight Pac-10 Invitational Championship. Teammate Tiffany Brymer won the Invitational singles title last season and Esmero claimed the 2001 singles title.

Get The Latest Info -- Updated team stats can always be found by logging on to www.usctrojans.com. They are located on the women's tennis page under 'Season Statistics.'

Head Coach Richard Gallien -- Richard Gallien is in his eighth season at the helm of the USC women's tennis program. Last season he guided the 2002 Women of Troy to a 19-8 overall record, the NCAA Round of 16 and USC's best-ever Pac-10 finish (a 7-1 record for second place). Gallien began his career at Pepperdine, coaching the men's team for three years, before joining the Trojan family. Over the last 10 years, he has compiled a 198-99 (.667) overall record and his teams have made seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including three appearances in the NCAA quarterfinals (1999-01).

Opponents ------------------------------------------

Sacramento State: No. 62 Sacramento State (16-7) is making its second-ever trip to the NCAAs (2002 was the first) after earning the Big Sky Conference automatic bid with a second-straight conference championship. The Hornets are currently on a four-match winning streak, with three of those victories coming at the Big Sky Championships. The team is led by fifth-year head coach Bill Campbell. Margarita Karnaukhova, the first Hornet in school history to be ranked, ended the season as the 63rd-ranked woman in the nation.

USC vs. Sacramento State: Friday's match will be the first-ever meeting between USC and Sacramento State.

Cal Poly: No. 54 Cal Poly (20-6) is making its first-ever trip to the NCAA Division I Championships after winning their first Big West Conference Championship for the NCAA automatic bid. Prior to becoming a Division I member in 1995, Cal Poly made eight Division II NCAA Tournament appearances. Third-year head coach Hugh Bream led the Mustangs to a 20-6 overall record this season and 11-1 conference mark.

USC vs. Cal Poly: If Cal Poly and USC were to meet in the second round, it would mark the first ever postseason meeting between these two schools. USC and Cal Poly faced each other earlier this season in Los Angeles for the first time in program history. USC won the regular season match-up, 7-0.

Georgia Tech: Georgia Tech (13-6) earned its fourth-straight at-large berth into the NCAA Championships. The Yellow Jackets' postseason appearance will be the fourth in the history of the program. Head coach Bryan Shelton has led Tech to the NCAAs in each of his four seasons at the helm. The team is led by Jamie Wong who also earned her second-straight berth to the NCAA Singles Championships. Last season she was the first-ever Yellow Jacket to be selected. Wong is currently ranked 43rd in both singles and doubles after posting a team-best 25-8 overall singles record thus far in 2003, along with a 13-5 dual-match mark.

USC vs. Georgia Tech: USC and Georgia Tech have never met before in regular season or postseason play.

Player Profiles ---------------------------------

Bernadette Bayani
Singles: 8-8 Overall / 2-1 Dual / 0-1 Pac-10
Doubles: 6-3 Overall / 2-1 Dual / 2-1 Pac-10
Due to the depth on this year's squad, junior Bernadette Bayani has played a limited amount of matches this season among the lineup's top six... In the fall, Bayani posted a 2-5 record and competed at the ITA Pre-Qualifier, Omni Regional Championships and Fall Desert Classic... In January she reached the finals of the Flight #3 Pac-10 Indoor Championships, but fell to Cal's Brooke Borishoff for the title... Only played three dual matches for the Women of Troy, but topped off her season by capturing the 2003 Pac-10 Invitational Doubles Championship with partner Melissa Esmero in April.

Tiffany Brymer
Singles: 22-13 Overall / 14-8 Dual / 3-5 Pac-10
Doubles: 24-14 Overall / 13-11 Dual / 4-4 Pac-10

Despite a four-match losing skid to end the season, senior Tiffany Brymer has enjoyed a successful year... Played mainly at the No. 4 and 5 singles positions and No. 1 doubles position throughout the regular season... She and Peterson will be making their fourth-straight appearance at the 2003 NCAA Doubles Championships... Won eight consecutive matches in the month of February... In doubles, she and partner Jewel Peterson won the Flight #1 Pac-10 Indoor Doubles Championships in January... During that span, the pair also won 11 consecutive matches... Ranked No. 90 in the preseason singles rankings and No. 9 in doubles with Peterson... Posted a 6-3 singles record in fall tournaments... Advanced to the singles quarterfinals of the Omni Hotels West Regional Championship and captured the doubles title with Peterson... The pair posted a 6-1 fall record.

Maureen Diaz
Singles: 21-12 Overall / 11-7 Dual / 3-4 Pac-10
Doubles: 13-6 Overall / 3-0 Dual / 0-0 Pac-10

As a senior, Maureen Diaz played mainly at No. 3 singles and did not play doubles for most of the season... Spent the entire year ranked among the top 100 singles players, including a season-best ranking of No. 55 in the ITA preseason poll ... Upset victories this year included wins over Jieun Jacobs of Cal (April 5) and Erin Burdette of Stanford (April 19)... Posted an 8-3 record in fall tournaments ... Advanced to the quarterfinals of the Omni ITA Regional Championships and the semifinals of the Fall Desert Classic.

Melissa Esmero
Singles: 14-8 Overall / 9-3 Dual / 2-2 Pac-10
Doubles: 23-12 Overall / 14-8 Dual / 4-4 Pac-10

Due to USC's deep roster, junior Melissa Esmero was No. 7 in the 2003 singles lineup and made 12 appearances at No. 6... Won nine matches in the starting lineup, including eight-consecutive in February and March... Esmero did hold a permanent spot in the doubles lineup, playing at No. 3 with partner Carine Vermeulen... The pair went 12-7 for the year... Paired with Bernadette Bayani at the Pac-10 Championships, Esmero capped off the season by capturing the Pac-10 Invitational Doubles Championship... Collected a 3-3 singles record in fall tournaments ... Competed at the Omni ITA Regional Championships and Fall Desert Classic.

Anita Loyola
Singles: 19-16 Overall / 14-10 Dual / 5-3 Pac-10
Doubles: 22-16 Overall / 15-9 Dual / 4-4 Pac-10

Despite being unranked for most of the regular season, senior Anita Loyola ended her year back in the polls, entering the ITA rankings at No. 119 on April 27... Played at the No. 3 and 4 singles positions throughout the season... Posted wins over ranked opponents such as Cal's Catherine Lynch and Washington's Darija Klaic to end the season... In doubles, she and partner Luana Magnani reached the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Indoor Championships in January and the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament in April... Ranked No. 103 in the ITA preseason singles rankings and No. 40 in the preseason doubles rankings with Magnani ... Posted a 4-3 singles record in fall tournaments, which included the Omni ITA Regional Championships and Fall Desert Classic.

Luana Magnani
Singles: 17-6 Overall / 16-5 Dual / 4-2 Pac-10
Doubles: 17-11 Overall / 15-9 Dual / 4-4 Pac-10

Currently ranked No. 21 in singles (her highest career ranking to date), sophomore Luana Magnani will be making her second appearance in the NCAA Singles Championships this season... In singles, she is 17-6 overall this season and 16-5 in dual matches... With partner Anita Loyola, she is 17-11 overall in doubles and 15-9 in dual matches... Plays at No. 2 singles and doubles... Recorded her biggest upset of the year in the final match of the regular season when she beat then-No. 14 Lauren Barnikow of Stanford, 6-4, 6-2... Did not lose more than two consecutive matches throughout the season... In doubles, she and Loyola reached the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Indoor Championships in January and the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament in April... Did not compete in fall tournaments while recovering from injuries... Ranked No. 40 in the ITA preseason doubles rankings with Loyola... Named to the 2003 All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention team.

Jewel Peterson
Singles: 25-14 Overall / 14-9 Dual / 4-4 Pac-10
Doubles: 23-13 Overall / 12-11 Dual / 4-4 Pac-10

A returning ITA singles and doubles All-American, senior Jewel Peterson is looking to become the first four-time All-American at USC since Trisha Laux (1988-91)... Will be making her fourth-straight appearance at the 2003 NCAA SIngles and Doubles Championships... Currently ranked No. 10 in singles and No. 18 in doubles with partner Tiffany Brymer... She owns a 25-14 overall singles record, 14-9 mark in dual matches, 23-13 overall doubles record with Brymer and 12-11 in dual matches... Plays at No. 1 singles and doubles... Posted a nine match singles win streak midseason, which included a win over then-No. 7 Lindsay Dawaf of Florida... In doubles, she and Brymer won the Flight #1 Pac-10 Indoor Doubles Championships in January... During that span, the pair also won 11 consecutive matches... Ranked No. 3 in ITA preseason singles rankings and No. 9 in doubles, she posted an 11-2 singles record in fall tournaments ... Captured the Omni Hotels West Regional Singles and Doubles Championship with Brymer ... The pair posted a 6-1 fall record ... Qualified for the Omni National Championship in singles, advancing to the finals before falling to Georgia's Agata Cioroch for the title... A 2003 USC Marks Scholar-Athlete... Selected to the 2003 ITA All-Star Team... Named to the 2003 All-Pac-10 First Team.

Carine Vermeulen
Singles: 17-2 Overall / 17-2 Dual / 4-1 Pac-10
Doubles: 12-7 Overall / 12-7 Dual / 2-3 Pac-10

Freshman Carine Vermeulen joined the team in January of 2003 and has made a definite impact for the Women of Troy... Playing at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles (with partner Melissa Esmero), she compiled the team's best singles record... Only dropped two matches throughout the season and posted 13 consecutive victories in February and March... Suffered a groin injury on April 4 against Stanford (but still won her match that dayu against Story Tweedie-Yates) that kept her out of the lineup for four of the team's final five matches... Did not compete at the Pac-10 Tournament.

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