Trojans make quick work of Longhorns
Looking to extend its winning ways, the USC womenâs tennis team took down the University of Texas at Marks Stadium with a 7-0 victory on Tuesday afternoon.
The Women of Troy opened up the match in strong fashion during the doubles point against a better-than-advertised Longhorn team.
âThis has to be the most under-ranked team of all-time,â USC head coach Richard Gallien said of Texas. âTheyâre really talented, but they just havenât got out of the blocks. And going back to when they played in the National Team Indoors, you can lose three [games] and thatâs what Texas did. … There goes the confidence and momentum you have.â
Although USC swept through the doubles round easily with all three teams winning their respective matches, Texas showed off the talent of a top program early on.
The Longhorns (3-7) came out firing in the singlesâ round as sophomore ZoĂ« Scandalis dropped the first game without notching a point against sophomore Noel Scott. Scandalis would recover from her early deficit to take hold of the first set by a 6-1 margin, but Scott bounced back to steal the second set 6-4.
In the only three-set match of the day, Scandalis took the last two games to close out the set (and the match) by a 6-4 score.
âI was proud of our girls that we didnât come out asleep, and we came to play today,â Gallien said.
The bottom part of the singlesâ matches provided USC with the early win with slots four through six all winning.
Junior Gabriella DeSimone faced off against Elizabeth Begley and quickly found herself in a 3-0 hole in the first set. DeSimone turned the set with her hustle and determination and won the six-straight points to close out the set 6-3.
The junior finished off Begley in the second set by the same 6-3 margin to add to USCâs point total.
âThey are a good team and the record doesnât show how good they are, so we knew we had to come out here firing,â DeSimone said. âWe had a tough couple of weeks, including our match last week against UCLA, so itâs good to get back on top.â
Sophomore Giuliana Olmos may have been at a height disadvantage against 5-foot-11 sophomore Lina Padegimaite, but it didnât show on the court. Olmos, who has been tough to beat so far this season, won the match on court five by a score of 6-1, 6-3.
âI played her in the doubles match, so I got a feel for her game,â Olmos said of her opponent. âOur match was a lot closer than the score, with most of our matches going to deuce. I knew that I had to stay tough during the big points to pull it out.â
Last weekâs Pac-12 player of the week, freshman Ellie Yates, did her job in the six spot with her 6-2, 6-0 defeat of Texasâ Lana Groenvynck.
Speaking of awards, sophomore Sabrina Santamaria was named this weekâs Pac-12 player of the week and she put in a great comeback effort to topple Texasâ Breaunna Addison on court two.
Struggling with her form early on in the match, Santamaria continued to battle back despite being down for the entire first set. The sophomore rallied to force a tiebreaker against Addison, which she proceeded to win easily to win the set. From then on, Santamaria took control of the match and finished the second set with a 6-0 sweep.
Senior Danielle Lao had a hard-fought match in singles against Texasâ lone senior, Aeriel Ellis. The two upperclassmen were battling shot for shot throughout the two sets with the momentum shifting with each point.
The countryâs No. 8 player prevailed, though, as Lao finished the match strong and completed a 6-4, 6-4 victory to complete the 7-0 win over Texas.
With a weekend slate featuring Pac-12 opponents Colorado and Utah, USC will look to continue its strong start in Pac-12 play.