USC faces South Florida for first time since 1979
USC women‚Äôs tennis coach Richard Gallien has been coaching tennis for more than 25 years.
He‚Äôs seen hundreds of players improve, mature and graduate.
Quite a few of his players have gone on to become head coaches themselves. But according to Gallien, he has never coached against one of his former players ‚ÄĒ until today.
The No. 17 USC women‚Äôs tennis team takes on No. 27 South Florida today at 1:30 p.m. at Marks Tennis Stadium.
The Bulls are coached by Agustin Moreno, who Gallien coached at Pepperdine in 1986.
‚ÄúWe talk all the time,‚ÄĚ Gallien said of Moreno. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs a good friend of mine.‚ÄĚ
Gallien said despite the friendship, both coaches have been keeping it serious.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre both a little too tight for [smack talk],‚ÄĚ Gallien said.
Adding to the seriousness is the cramped schedule of both teams.
South Florida is coming off a 5-2 loss at No. 2 Florida last Tuesday and will face San Diego on Sunday.
The Women of Troy swept San Diego State last Tuesday and will host Texas on Sunday.
With both teams playing three games in five days, there is no time to joke around.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a quick turnaround,‚ÄĚ said sophomore Danielle Lao. ‚ÄúBut we‚Äôre rested and ready.‚ÄĚ
Gallien says he doesn‚Äôt expect his team to take the midweek match lightly.
‚ÄúSouth Florida‚Äôs a very good team,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúThey‚Äôve been consistently ranked about 25 in the country for the past three years or so. They have two ranked doubles teams, which is really hard to do. ¬†It‚Äôll be a good match.‚ÄĚ
Although also USC has a pair of ranked doubles teams, it is an area Gallien feels his team needs to improve in.
‚ÄúWe didn‚Äôt play that well in doubles against San Diego State,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI think the girls will be extra motivated and excited to make amends.‚ÄĚ
Despite their lackluster doubles performances, the Women of Troy did win their first match in a week and a half when they went against the Aztecs.
‚ÄúIt was a good win,‚ÄĚ Gallien said. ‚ÄúIt was good to get some momentum, and now we want to keep it going.‚ÄĚ
Fans can help the team ‚Äúkeep the momentum‚ÄĚ by showing up at Marks Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Admission is free and there will be In-N-Out Burgers available for purchase.
The Women of Troy are 1-0 all-time against South Florida with their only other meeting coming in 1979 during the AIAW Nationals.