USC’s women’s tennis team has achieved success across the board this fall. In each tournament, different players have stepped up, and this week was no different. In this week’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southwest Regional Championships, held in San Diego, Calif., newcomers Zoë Katz and Brynn Boren set the bar for the team, reaching the finals of the tournament.
Katz, a freshman from Los Angeles, and Boren, a senior who hails from Laguna Niguel, Calif., but played at Tennessee before transferring to USC this season, were seeded second in the tournament.
The duo, ranked No. 19 in the ITA preseason doubles poll, enjoyed a first-round bye before defeating teams from Hawai’i, UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine with ease to land a spot in the semifinals. There, they were set to face off against their teammates, juniors Giuliana Olmos and Zoë Scandalis, who were forced to withdraw due to injury, earning Katz and Boren a spot in the finals.
In the championship match, Katz and Boren faced off against UCLA’s fourth-seeded Jennifer Brady and Catherine Harrison, who have been dominant this season. The Bruin pair most recently defeated Scandalis and Olmos in the ITA All-American Championship finals.
Brady and Anderson proved too powerful for the Women of Troy, defeating Katz and Boren 8-2 and handing them only their second loss in 10 matches together.
USC’s No. 1 doubles team of senior Kaitlyn Christian and junior Sabrina Santamaria saw their first action of the season in the tournament this weekend. The defending NCAA champions reached the semifinals of the tournament before falling to Brady and Harrison, 8-1. Though the score was one-sided, Santamaria was not at full strength, as she withdrew from her singles match the day before due to an injury.
Santamaria’s injury rendered her unable to match her achievement in last year’s regional tournament, where she reached the finals as the second seed.
On the rest of the singles side, Boren once again led the Women of Troy. She finished as the tournament’s runner-up, ultimately falling to UCLA’s Chanelle Van Nguyen, 6-1, 6-0, in the finals. Meanwhile, Katz defeated teammate Scandalis in the Round of 16 to advance to the quarterfinals, where she was defeated by UCLA’s Brady, 6-1, 6-1.
Sophomore Ellie Yates fell in a hard-fought match in the third round. Christian also bowed out in the third round, while Paige Keating, a sophomore who recently transferred from Ole Miss, was defeated in the second round.
The tournament demonstrated the depth of USC’s women’s tennis team and proved that USC and UCLA will be the biggest contenders in the Southwest this spring season.
Next up for the Women of Troy is the ITF Florence Open in Florence, S.C.
Follow Aubrey on Twitter @aubreykragen