Women's Tennis Wins Three ITA Regional Awards

May 12, 2003

SKILLMAN, N.J. - The USC women's tennis team received three 2003 Intercollegiate Tennis Association West Regional Awards, announced National ITA Division I Awards Chairman Jim Osborne on Monday.

USC head coach Richard Gallien has been named Wilson/ITA West Regional Coach of the Year, Jewel Peterson was honored with the west region's ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship and Luana Magnani was tabbed as the ITA West Region Player to Watch.

The Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship goes to a player who has exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership, as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements. The ITA Player To Watch Award goes to a player who has had an outstanding season and is expected to perform at a high level through the rest of his or her career. The award's criteria also includes a player's sportsmanship and character.

Gallien has led his squads to steady improvement since his arrival in 1996. Under his leadership, the Women of Troy have made eight consecutive NCAA appearances, finishing no lower than 11th for the past four years. This season, Gallien led the Women of Troy to the No. 1 ranking for three weeks, marking the first time in 17 years (since 1986) that USC has claimed the top spot. The 2003 Women of Troy are also enjoying their best season record since 1986 at 21-5.

Peterson and Magnani have led USC throughout this outstanding season, playing at the No. 1 and 2 singles and doubles positions. Peterson currently boasts a 25-14 overall record and will be making her fourth-straight appearance in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, May 19-23. With a top-20 finish, or by advancing to the Round of 16, Peterson will become the first Trojan women's tennis player since Trisha Laux (1991) to leave Troy as a four-time All-American. Magnani has been one of the team's toughest player's to beat this season. She is currently 18-6 overall in singles and 19-11 in doubles with partner Anita Loyola.

The Women of Troy, seeded fifth in the 2003 NCAA Tournament, travels to Gainesville, Fla., this week for the final four rounds of the 64-team event. USC will face unseeded Kansas State on Thursday, May 15, at 5 p.m. EST.

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