No. 19 USC Women’s Tennis Begins Pursuit of NCAA Championship
The No. 19 USC women's tennis team has secured yet another trip to the NCAA Tournament. The women of Troy (17-11) will be participating in their 38th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and will travel just a short way up Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu, Calif., the home of host No. 8 Pepperdine University. The round of 16 and beyond of the Team Tournament will take place at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Champaign, Illinois, from May 19 to May 22.
Under the tutelage of head coach Alison Swain, USC will face San Diego State (17-6) on Friday (May 7) at 10 a.m. PT. Should the Trojans defeat the Aztecs USC will take on the winner of the First Round matchup between No. 8 seed Pepperdine and Denver on Saturday (May 8) at 1 p.m. PT.
Junior Eryn Cayetano and senior Salma Ewing have secured placement in the 2022 NCAA Women's Tennis Singles Tournament, where they'll have the opportunity to compete for an NCAA Individual title. The singles competition will be conducted May 23-28 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Champaign, Illinois, after the conclusion of the team championship, which runs from May 19-22. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will serve as host.
Cayetano received the PAC-12's automatic qualification and is the No. 7 overall seed with a 35-10 singles record for the 2021-22 season. She has the most singles wins of any player on the USC roster and has collected 16 wins over ranked opponents this season, including six in the Top 20. The junior will make her first NCAA tournament appearance after being named the second alternate last season.
The No. 50 ranked senior Ewing will make her second career appearance in the tournament, carrying with her a singles record of 19-13. This season, Ewing has played at both the No. 2 and No. 1 spot, defeating nine ranked opponents this season and clinching two matches for the Trojans. Last season, Ewing earned placement in the NCAA Singles Tournament, but ultimately fell in the First Round.
All matches in the NCAA Singles Tournament will be the best-of-three sets. No-ad scoring and a 7-point tiebreaker (first to seven points, must win by two points) at six-games-all will be used for all matches.
The Women of Troy hold a 74-36 all-time record in the tournament. USC has won six national championships in all, including NCAA titles in 1983 and 1985 after the NCAA began its women's tennis championships in 1982. USC has won five National Singles Championships (1976 - Barbara Hallquist [USTA], 1977 - Barbara Hallquist [USTA], 1978 - Stacy Margolin [USTA], 1981 - Anna Maria Fernandez [AIAW], 1983 - Beth Herr [NCAA]) and two National Doubles Championships (1980 - Trey Lewis/Anne White [AIAW], 2013 - Kaitlyn Christian/Sabrina Santamaria [NCAA]).
In 2021, the Women of Troy were selected to compete in the NCAA Tournament and upset both Oklahoma and Florida in the First and Second Rounds to advance to the Round of 16 where they fell to North Carolina State. Then-Junior Salma Ewing earned placement in the NCAA Singles Tournament where she fell in the First Round.
The ITA released new national team and singles/doubles rankings on May 4 and The Women of Troy enter the NCAA Tournament as the No. 19 ranked team in the country. USC boasts four Trojans in the national singles rankings with junior Eryn Cayetano locking down the No. 7 spot, senior Salma Ewing claiming the No. 50 spot, sophomore Naomi Cheong checking in at No. 84 and Snow Han rounding out the field at No. 104.
For the first time this season, USC also saw a new doubles pairing make an appearance in the latest rankings, with the Trojan duo of Eryn Cayetano and Salma Ewing coming in at No. 72 with a 3-0 record. USC's #58 Salma Ewing/Snow Han and #74 Eryn Cayetano/Grace Piper remained in the rankings this week.
SCOUTING SAN DIEGO STATE
No. 65 San Diego State is 17-6 on the season, currently boasting one ranked singles player in No. 65 Bunyawi Thamchaiwat (20-2). The Aztecs recently defeated UNLV 4-1 to claim the program's first league tournament title since 2003 and earn an automatic bid into the NCAA team tournament. This will mark San Diego State's first appearance in the Division 1 Championship since the 2013 season.
The No. 8 Pepperdine women's tennis team claimed a coveted top-8 national seed in the NCAA tournament, earning the opportunity to host the first and second rounds. In the most recent rankings, the Waves (20-6) saw six singles players make the list - No. 15 Shiori Fukada, No. 27 Lisa Zaar, No. 40 Taisiya Pachkaleva, No. 59 Victoria Flores, No. 85 Savannah Broadus and No. 121 Nikki Redelijk . They also boast the No. 42 ranked duo of Tjen/Broadus, No. 45 ranked duo of Zaar/Flores, No. 60 ranked pairing of Tjen/Flores and the No. 70 ranked pairing of Broadus/Fukada.
This past weekend, Pepperdine won its eighth consecutive West Coast Conference Tournament title, automatically receiving a bid to the national tournament (37th appearance). Last season, the Waves advanced to the NCAA National Championship match before falling to Texas 4-3.
USC faced Pepperdine earlier this season, falling 5-2 to the Waves on March 19.
The University of Denver women's tennis program will open its 11th NCAA Tournament against Pepperdine (0-3 all-time at Pepperdine). The Pioneers do not currently have any ranked singles or doubles players and are unranked as a squad.
Last weekend, the Pioneers earned 4-0 wins at Omaha and against South Dakota in the Summit League Tournament. Denver's conference title was its 10th in its Division I history and its eighth-straight Summit League crown. The Pioneers wrapped up their ninth-straight regular season title in April.
WATCH THE TROJANS
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NCAA FIRST AND SECOND ROUND INFO
Pepperdine University | Malibu, Calif.
Friday (May 6)
10 a.m. — USC (17-11) vs. San Diego State (17-6)
1 p.m. —  Pepperdine (20-6) vs. Denver (14-8)
Saturday (May 7)
1 p.m. — Friday winning teams