The two-week long Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships at the Riviera Tennis Club came to a close this past weekend with an impressive run from the USC women’s tennis team.
Freshman Danielle Lao debuted in her first tournament with the Women of Troy by cruising through the prequalifying and qualifying rounds to advance to the main draw. In the first round on Oct. 8, Lao kept up the momentum and eliminated Texas’ Aeriel Ellis 7-6 (4), 6-2 for her seventh straight win.
“I didn’t feel much pressure to do well, but I did feel some anxiety representing USC for the first time,” Lao said. “Everyone wants to make a good first impression, and I’m just glad I was able to do that and not let the gravity of the event prevent me from playing well.”
The next day, however, Lao was ousted by Tennessee’s Caitlin Whoriskey in a tough three-set match 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Meanwhile, sophomore Alison Ramos shrugged off an early first-round loss in the main draw and rebounded with two straight wins in the consolation bracket. Ramos defeated Tennessee’s Natalie Pluskota 7-6 (5), 6-2 to start things off, then secured a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Northwestern’s Maria Mosolova to reach the semifinals, before being knocked out by Fresno State’s Anastasia Petukhova the next day.
The Women of Troy have almost two weeks to prepare for their next tournament. They will begin play Oct. 22 for the 2009 Wilson/ITA Southwest Regional Championships in San Diego.