No. 9 USC Women Hosts ITA Kick-off Weekend

Jan. 28, 2010

THIS WEEK: USC stands at No. 9 in the nation as the Women of Troy take their 2-0 record into this week's ITA Kick-off Weekend. As the precursor to the coming ITA National Team Indoor Championships, the Kick-off serves as a qualifier for the competition to come in Madison, Wisc. USC will play host to this week's ITA Kick-off Weekend, bringing in LSU, Auburn and San Diego for action at Marks Stadium. No. 28 LSU will face No. 35 Auburn in the opening match at 10 a.m. on Friday (Jan. 29), followed by No. 9 USC's match against No. 60 San Diego at 2 p.m. that day. Action continues on Saturday afternoon following the men's first two matches. The women's consolation match is set to start at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 30) followed by the women's championship match at 5:30 p.m. to determine who moves on to the ITA Team Indoors in February.

ITA RANKING UPDATES: The latest ITA national team rankings have USC ranked No. 9. The latest individual rankings are the ITA preseason picks released Jan. 5. There, #8 Maria Sanchez leads the Women of Troy, with three other teammates well settled in the nation's top-50. Starting their first season as Trojans, freshmen Danielle Lao and Valeria Pulido have captured high rankings, with Lao ranked #18 and Pulido at #37. Sophomore Alison Ramos is just a step behind at #38. In doubles, Pulido/Sanchez rank #19.

RECENT ACTION: Although the first attempts to open up 2010 dual-match play were washed away by rains last week, USC successfully rescheduled and completed two victories to snag a 2-0 start to the season. The Women of Troy first squared off against Long Beach State and grabbed a 6-1 win. USC kicked off the match by snagging three wins in doubles action, and in singles action, four Trojans struck through straight-set victories over their 49er opponents. The next day, skies stayed clear, and the Trojans topped UC Irvine 6-1. USC grabbed a pair of doubles wins and then five straight singles victories to power past UC Irvine. Danielle Lao and Alison Ramos teamed up for USC's first win of the day in resounding 8-2 win at the No. 3 slot in doubles play. The two would go their separate ways for singles action, and both snagged decisive wins to help continue USC's push to victory, with Lao's singles win at No. 3 clinching the match for the Trojans.

COMING TO TROY: Of the three teams joining USC this week at the ITA Kick-off Weekend, only Auburn presents a new face for the Trojans. USC faced LSU once before with a 5-2 win over the Tigers in the 2000 NCAA Round of 16. USC is 22-3 all-time against San Diego after a 5-2 win over the Toreros last season. No. 35 Auburn is led by #71 Fani Chifchieva. No. 28 LSU has #120 Whitney Wolf in the ITA singles rankings; and No. 60 San Diego has no athletes currently in the national rankings.

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