USC Women Improve Record To 13-2, Now Rank No. 4

March 27, 2007

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The USC women's tennis team has moved up to rank No. 4 in the most recent ITA national rankings and now holds a 13-2 overall record on the 2007 season. USC's March 21 match with Fresno State has been recorded as a victory for the Women of Troy by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Following is a recap of the individual competition of the March 21 USC-Fresno State dual match:

Playing on Wednesday afternoon at Marks Stadium, USC took the first step ahead during doubles play as #59 Judy DeVera / Amanda Fink tacked up an 8-4 win, as DeVera held serve to put the Trojans pair into position before the duo broke Fresno State and won with a winner down the line by Fink. The Bulldogs pulled even when Beatty/Heroux topped Anca Anastasiu / Sarah Fansler 8-4 at the No. 3 position, leaving the double point in the hands of the No. 1 teams. Lindsey Nelson/ Julie Smekodub had trailed 4-2 in the match, but powered back and locked up the match 8-8 to bring up a tiebreaker. A see-saw battle ensued as USC held match point twice only to have Fresno State work back into the game. The Bulldogs won out in the end, claiming an 11-9 win in the tiebreaker to claim the doubles point for Fresno State.

In singles play, it was apparent early that it would be a tight race to the finish. #92 Dianne Matias leveled the match 1-1 with her 6-1, 6-0 win at the No. 5 spot over Vanessa Heroux, only to have #70 Anastasia Petukhova - playing at the No. 4 position - top USC's Anca Anastasiu 6-1, 6-2 to take back the lead 2-1. USC then moved back ahead on a 6-0, 6-0 rout by #117 Amanda Fink at No. 3 and a 6-2, 6-1 win by Julie Smekodub at No. 6. At the No. 1 position, #8 Lindsey Nelson was taking on the nation's third-ranked singles player, Melanie Gloria. #3 Gloria managed a 6-2, 6-2 win over Nelson to hand the junior just her fourth loss of the year. That left the deciding match raging on at the No. 2 slot. Fansler was able to push her match into a third set, but got in a 4-0 hole in the third. She regrouped and tacked up three straight games to make it 4-3, but Kucerkova fought off the comeback attempt and grabbed the match-deciding win with the 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 victory.

Following the match, USC filed a protest with the ITA regarding the Fresno State lineup. On March 27, the ITA has ruled that a violation did occur, and the dual match will count as a USC victory for ITA ranking purposes. The ITA also will thus forward a recommendation to the NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Committee for tournament selection and seeding purposes. Individual results stand as played, but the team records will reflect a win for USC and a loss for Fresno State.

USC now returns to action with a trip to Oregon to face the Ducks at noon on Saturday (March 31) in Eugene.

USC vs. Fresno State - Individual match results
March 21, 2007 at Marks Stadium
(1) #41 Gloria/Rowe (FSU) def. Nelson/Smekodub (USC) - 9-8 (11-9)
(2) #59 DeVera/Fink (USC) def. #50 Kucerkova/Petukhova (FSU) - 8-4
(3) Beatty/Heroux (FSU) def. Anastasiu/Fansler (USC) - 8-4
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1

(1) #3 Melanie Gloria (FSU) def. #8 Lindsey Nelson - 6-2, 6-2
(2) #71 Renata Kucerkova (FSU) def. #12 Sarah Fansler (USC) - 6-1, 2-6, 6-3
(3) #117 Amanda Fink (USC) def. Tinesta Rowe (FSU) - 6-0, 6-0
(4) #70 Anastasia Petukhova (FSU) def. Anca Anastasiu (USC) - 6-1, 6-2
(5) #92 Dianne Matias (USC) def. Vanessa Heroux (FSU) - 6-1, 6-0
(6) Julie Smekodub (USC) def. Danon Beatty (FSU) - 6-2, 6-0
Order of finish: 5, 4, 3, 6, 1, 2

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