Top-10 Again: USC Women Start 2010 At No. 9

Jan. 6, 2010

The USC women's tennis team stands strong with the nation's best once again, as the Women of Troy rank No. 8 in the nation to start 2010. In the first set of 2010 Campbell/ITA national rankings, USC ranks in the same slot that it finished 2009, with a heap of talent piled up on the Trojan roster for the coming 2010 competition. Junior Maria Sanchez leads them all by matching her highest career singles ranking at No. 8 in the nation. Three other Women of Troy have secured 2010 singles rankings, with freshmen Danielle Lao and Valeria Pulido weighing in a No. 18 and No. 37, respectively, and sophomore Alison Ramos at No. 39. Sanchez and Pulido also are teamed up in doubles with a No. 19 national rank.

The USC women's tennis team pushed through a powerful season in 2009 as the Women of Troy posted a dominating 21-3 overall record for USC's second 21-win season in the past four years. Head coach Richard Gallien was named Pac-10 and regional Coach of the Year, and West Nott was the ITA regional Assistant Coach of the Year after the Women of Troy snapped a 21-year Stanford monopoly on the Pac-10 Championship. The USC women went undefeated in Pac-10 play to claim the 2009 conference crown and help secure another top-10 final ranking in the nation for the Women of Troy.

Eight players return from that 2009 roster, with No. 8 Maria Sanchez leading the way after pounding out a powerful fall for the Trojans. The junior staked her claim as one of the nation's best by winning the ITA Regional Championship in October on the way to a 7-3 overall singles record entering 2010. Also turning heads with a strong fall push are USC newcomers Danielle Lao and Valeria Pulido. Tied up at No. 18 in the nation, Danielle Lao rang up a 10-2 record in the fall, including a seven-match win streak to open her Trojan career. At No. 37, Valeria Pulido holds a 9-2 record as 2010 kicks off, having gone undefeated at the Duals in the Desert in November. Just a couple slots behind her stands No. 39 sophomore Alison Ramos, who had a busy fall and posted a 9-6 record.

On the doubles side, the freshman-junior combo of Valeria Pulido and Maria Sanchez pushed to the ITA Regional quarterfinals, going 4-2 in the fall to help earn a No. 19 rank in the Campbell/ITA national doubles rankings.

The Women of Troy begin their 2010 campaign later this month with invitationals in Las Vegas and Palm Springs from Jan. 14-17 before USC's first dual match play opens on Jan. 21 with a match against Long Beach State at Marks Stadium.


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