No. 3 USC Women Gear Up For No. 16 UCLA On Tuesday

April 3, 2006

THIS WEEK: The No. 3 Women of Troy (13-2, 4-0 Pac-10) will finally get to face crosstown rival UCLA (12-2, 4-0) this week after their previously scheduled match was rained out. The Trojans host the No. 16 Bruins at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday (April 4) at Marks Stadium. It is a nonconference match.

ITA RANKING UPDATES: USC is ranked #3 for the second straight week in the ITA team rankings (released March 28). The Women of Troy have four players ranked in singles (released March 21). Freshman Amanda Fink is the #7 ranked player in the nation, while Dianne Matias is #24, Lindsey Nelson is #48, and Luana Magnani is #49. On the doubles scene, DeVera/Matias are ranked #32, Magnani/Fink are #36, and Magnani/Nelson are #41.

GRAB THE GAUNTLET: With the Lexus Gauntlet in the final stretch of the 18-sport crosstown competition, the USC-UCLA rivalry race remains intense in the scramble toward the perpetual trophy presented by the Southern California Lexus Dealers Association. Tuesday's USC-UCLA match puts 2.5 points up for grabs. The magic number to clinch the all-sports trophy is 57.5 points, and USC currently leads the competition 50-20. In the first four years of the Gauntlet competition, the archrivals have alternated winning the trophy. USC won the inaugural trophy in 2002 and again in 2004. UCLA captured the rivalry's crown jewel in 2003 and 2005.

RECENT RESULTS: USC picked up its second and third straight wins with a successful Pac-10 home stand with Arizona and Arizona State. The Trojans posted a 6-1 win over the Wildcats and a 5-2 victory over the Sun Devils. Against Arizona, USC dropped just one doubles match and a singles match, and against ASU, the Trojans missed out on the doubles point, but tacked up wins at the Nos. 1-6 singles positions to cruise to victory. Dianne Matias held on for the only three-set match of the day with a 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 win over ASU's Kady Pooler after Carine Vermeulen had clinched the match for USC. Against Arizona, Judy DeVera clinched the win from her No. 6 singles spot.

USC VS. UCLA: USC is 38-26 all-time against the Bruins, having gone 2-1 against UCLA last season. The more recent face-off was a tight 4-3 USC win in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA is ranked #16 in the ITA team rankings and has six nationally ranked players, led by #17 Laura Gordon. Also ranked are #38 Tracy Lin, #90 Anna-Viktoria Lind, #96 Riza Zalameda, #99 Alex McGoodwin and #111 Ashley Joelson. UCLA also swept Arizona and ASU last weekend.

NELSON IN FULL EFFECT: USC's top returning player is right back at her winning ways. Playing at the No. 1 singles slot, sophomore Lindsey Nelson earned herself Pac-10 Player of the Week honors with a smooth effort over ranked opponents from Washington and Washington State. She holds an 8-3 record in dual match play so far this season, before sitting out recent matches with illness.

COMEBACK KID: Senior Luana Magnani missed out on the 2005 season with eligibility troubles, but is back in full effect this season for USC. She cruised to a 6-0 record in dual matches at the No. 4 singles slot until slipping in a No. 3 singles match at Arizona and is now 12-2 in dual matches. She holds a #49 ITA ranking in singles, and also is ranked with two different doubles partners -- #36 with Lindsey Nelson and #41 with Amanda Fink. For her efforts earlier in the season, Magnani was named a Pac-10 Player of the Week.

LEFTY ON THE LOOSE: Freshman southpaw Amanda Fink has wasted no time turning heads in her first year at USC. She was the nation's top-ranked player earlier this season and now sits as USC's highest ranked player at #7. She's 29-6 on the year, and 11-3 in dual matches after picking up her first two wins at the No. 1 singles slot last week while Lindsey Nelson was out with illness.

ANCA IN ACTION: Junior Anca Anastasiu has some smarts to go along with her tennis success. A 4.0 student who also wields a wicked racket, Anastasiu is USC's only undefeated player in dual-match action. She's mostly been holding down the No. 5 and 6 singles slots but recently moved up to No. 4, where she got two more wins last week to hold a flawless 13-0 record in USC's dual match season.

2006 TROJANS: The 2006 USC squad, led by head coach Richard Gallien -- in his 11th season at Troy -- is highlighted by six returning players from last year's team that reached the NCAA Quarterfinals and finished the 2005 season with a No. 7 national ranking. This year, the Trojans boast four newcomers to the roster as USC works toward an 11th straight appearance at the NCAA Tournament. USC finished with 19-4 overall record and went 7-1 in Pac-10 play to finish second in the conference.

HEAD COACH Richard Gallien: Now entering his 11th season at Troy, Gallien has strung together 10 straight NCAA appearances, nine top-20 team rankings and five trips to the NCAA Quarterfinals. Under Gallien's watch, USC has finished no lower than 11th for the past seven years. At USC, Gallien has compiled a 176-87 overall record and .669 win percentage. In his 13 years as a head coach (also coaching the men at Pepperdine prior to coming to USC), he boasts a 238-111 (.682) career mark.

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