As a result of her stellar play over this past weekend, USC women’s tennis standout Danielle Lao was selected as the Pac-12 women’s player of the week.
Competing in the ITA National Team Indoor championships in Charlottesville, Va., Lao led the Trojans with two victories against top-10 opponents in singles play, including a tournament-opening upset over Virginia’s No. 4-ranked Julia Elbaba in straight sets.
Lao followed that the next day with another straight-set win over North Carolina’s No. 30-ranked Zoe De Bruycker. And Lao concluded the weekend with yet another upset, this time over Cal’s No. 1-ranked Zsofi Susanyi. The 7-5, 6-1 victory clinched the Trojans’ defeat of the Bears.
Lao was also strong in doubles play, teaming up with sophomore Giuliana Olmos to go 2-1 over the course of the weekend. That record included a clinching victory over the Tar Heels’ ranked pair.
The senior, from Arcadia, Calif., is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation and holds a 15-3 overall record in singles on the season in addition to a perfect record in dual-match singles play. She is the third Trojan to be named Pac-12 women’s player of the week, following recognition of Olmos and sophomore Sabrina Santamaria.
Following their 2-1 showing at the ITAs, which included the squad’s first loss of the 2013 campaign, the Trojans fell from No. 4 to No. 6 nationally. The loss came at the hands of North Carolina in excruciating 4-3 fashion. Following the matchup against San Diego State, the Women of Troy will begin Pac-12 play with a rematch against the Golden Bears in Berkeley on Feb. 23.
On the year, the Trojans are 7-1 overall, including an impressive 4-0 mark at home. Having just finished up in Charlottesville this past Sunday, the Women of Troy will get a miniature break before returning to action on Feb. 20 with a matchup against the San Diego State Aztecs at Marks Stadium at 1:30 p.m.