No. 5 USC Women Host Cal Poly On Thursday

Feb. 7, 2007

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THIS WEEK: The No. 5 Women of Troy look to extend their three-match win streak that they've opened 2007 with, setting up to host Cal Poly at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday (Feb. 8) at Marks Stadium.

ITA RANKING UPDATES: USC began the season ranked #3 in the nation, but despite its undefeated record has moved to #5 in the latest ITA national team rankings (released Feb. 6). On the individual side, no new rankings have been released since Jan. 9. In those last rankings, freshman Sarah Fansler sits at #9, followed by #46 Dianne Matias and #95 Judy DeVera. In doubles, Fink/DeVera are #15, ahead of #18 Matias/Nelson and #23 Matias/Fansler.

USC VS. CAL POLY: USC is 2-0 against the Mustangs, having posted a 7-0 sweep in 2003 and a 6-1 win in 2005. Cal Poly is unranked as a team and has no one ranked in singles or doubles in the latest polls.

RECENT RESULTS: The Women of Troy followed up a 2-0 start to the year with a clean sweep in their only match of the week last week, pinning up a 7-0 win over #59 San Diego on the road. Sarah Fansler / Dianne Matias kept the #23-ranked doubles pair's undefeated dual match record intact with their third straight win at the No. 3 position to help clinch the doubles point. In singles, Lindsey Nelson posted her first win of the year at the No. 1 position with a win in the third-set tiebreaker. The rest of USC's singles players also stayed strong, remaining undefeated in dual match singles play as #9 Sarah Fansler, Amanda Fink, #46 Dianne Matias, Anca Anastasiu and #95 Judy DeVera each won their matches to round out the win.

DRIVING FORCE: 2006 Honda Award finalist Lindsey Nelson is back again for the Women of Troy, holding down the fiercely competitive No. 1 singles slot for dual match play. She reached the NCAA singles final last season, and holds a 3-2 singles record so far this year as a junior.

CHEERS FOR FANSLER: USC freshman Sarah Fansler made a name for herself quickly at Troy. She's USC's highest ranked singles player at #9 as the 2007 season gets underway -- a ranking earned largely from her championship run at the ITA West Regionals, where she became one of a string of Women of Troy to reach the final. Aside from 2003's tournament that was cancelled after the quarterfinals due to area fires, there has been a USC player in every ITA Western Regional singles final since 1998. Current Trojans Amanda Fink and Lindsey Nelson also reached the final in their freshman seasons, with Fink winning the title in 2005 and Nelson coming in second in 2004. Before that, Jewel Peterson won the title all four years (1999-2002), and Ditta Huber won in 1998.

LONE RANGER: 2006 Pac-10 Rookie of the Year Amanda Fink is the only lefty and the only sophomore on the USC roster, but she fits in perfectly on the Trojan ladder. She is locking down the No. 3 singles position, going 3-0 in dual match play so far.

SENIORITY RULES: USC has four seniors on the roster this year, and each and every one is loaded with experience. Three of them were members of USC's 2006 NCAA Semifinalist squad that finished out the year ranked No. 3 in the nation. This year, Anca Anastasiu, Judy DeVera and Dianne Matias are joined by senior transfer Julie Smekodub, who comes to USC with a year of eligibility remaining after Tulane closed the doors on its women's tennis program following a season cancelled by Hurricane Katrina. Smekodub and Anastasiu teamed up in the fall for doubles, winning the ITA West Regional Doubles Championship with a final victory over USC teammates Fansler/Matias.

ON GALLIEN'S WATCH: As head coach Richard Gallien's enters his 12th season at Troy, he has strung together 11 straight NCAA appearances for for USC along with 10 top-20 team rankings, six trips to the NCAA Quarterfinals and last season's journey to the NCAA Semifinals. Under Gallien's watch, USC has finished no lower than 11th for the past eight years. He has compiled a 197-91 overall record and .684 win percentage at USC. In his 14 years as a head coach (also coaching the men at Pepperdine prior to coming to USC), he boasts a 259-115 (.693) career mark. In 2006, Gallien's USC squad rolled to another 7-1 mark in Pac-10 play and worked its way into the NCAA Semifinals, where the Trojans fell to Miami in a match that was interrupted by rain and resumed the next day. USC finished with a 21-4 overall record and wound up ranked No. 3 at season's close.

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