The undefeated No. 8 USC women’s tennis team (5-0) has a big weekend ahead with a trip to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Indoor Championships at the University of Wisconsin.
The Women of Troy qualified for this competitive out-of-state action with victories against both San Diego and Auburn during qualifying play two weeks ago.
Sixteen teams qualified to compete in the tournament this weekend, all of which are ranked in the top 20 in the country.
No. 1 Duke and No. 2 Northwestern could be in the future for the Women of Troy if they can make it past the first few rounds.
Last week, the Women of Troy also jumped up one spot in their ITA team ranking, from No. 9 to No. 8.
“It’s a small change, so it doesn’t have that big of an effect,” sophomore Alison Ramos said. “But it’s definitely a start, though we still aren’t satisfied being ranked No. 8.”
USC also has four players ranked among the nation’s top 50 in singles: No. 8 Maria Sanchez, No. 18 Danielle Lao, No. 37 Valeria Pulido and No. 38 Alison Ramos. In doubles, Pulido and Sanchez team up at No. 19.
USC’s first opponent of the weekend, the Tigers, also recently improved its team ranking. After recently upsetting No. 4 Georgia (4-3), Clemson rose from No. 15 to No. 14 last week as well. Clemson has three players nationally ranked in singles: No. 9 Josipa Bek, No. 61 Nelly Ciolkowski and No. 113 Ina Hadziselimovic. In doubles, Bek and Hadziselimovic are ranked No. 4.
USC is 7-0 all-time against Clemson after facing it in last year’s ITA Team Indoors and beating it 4-3 in the consolation second round.
“We are getting the chance to play teams from the East Coast that we don’t get to play during the season,” Ramos said. “It’s all very exciting to not only play new competition but also to get the chance to play indoors.”
USC will open competition today at 3:30 p.m. CST facing Clemson in the first round of play for a chance to move into Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. quarterfinal round. Semifinals will then be held Sunday at 3:30 p.m., with the championship match set for Monday, Feb. 15.