USC’s men’s and women’s tennis teams are traveling to their ITA All-American tournaments this week to kick off their 2014-15 seasons.
The USC men’s team, which is coming off its fifth NCAA Championship in the last six seasons, heads to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for some tough competition.
Three Trojans are slated to play in the main draw, which begins on Thursday, Oct. 2. Senior Yannick Hanfmann, who is ranked No. 2 in the nation following the 2013-2014 season in which he went 24-6 overall, will likely earn a top seed on the men’s side.
Hanfmann will be joined in the main draw by two teammates: No. 33 senior Roberto Quiroz and No. 39 senior Jonny Wang.
Quiroz posted 32 wins and only six losses last season, and Wang, a local product out of San Marino High School, went 21-8.
Last year, former Trojan standout Ray Sarmiento led the charge for USC at the ITA All-American, making it as far as the Round of 16. Quiroz and Wang both fell in the Round of 32 after pulling off first round upsets.
Junior Max de Vroome and senior Eric Johnson, ranked No. 47 and No. 124 in the nation, respectively, both competed in the qualifying round in attempts to earn spots in the main draw.
Johnson squared off against Texas A&M’s unranked A.J. Catanzariti, who fought his way out of the pre-qualifying rounds over the weekend. Johnson fell in three sets by a final score of 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3.
De Vroome went up against the Denver’s unranked Alex Gasson and suffered a narrow straight set defeat, 7-6(5), 6-4.
De Vroome and Johnson aren’t done in Tulsa, though. They will pair up and compete in the main doubles draw, as will Hanfmann and Quiroz, who are ranked No. 19 in the nation together.
While the men were shipped off to Oklahoma, the Women of Troy get to stay close to home this week, competing at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, California in the ITA/Riviera Women’s All-American Championships.
Over the weekend, a couple young Women of Troy competed in the prequalifying rounds in singles.
Freshman Gabby Smith, who hails from Henderson, Nevada, went up against Florida’s No. 99 Belinda Woolcock, who had earned the third seed in the prequalifying draw. Smith, who is unranked in the national poll but No. 8 in the preseason newcomer/freshman rankings, pulled off an easy upset by a 6-1, 6-4 score.
In the next round she went up against Florida State’s Daneika Borthwick but fell 7-5, 6-1, ending her run in the tournament.
Fellow freshman Meredith Xepoleas also secured a first-round upset. The Rancho Mirage, California native topped Florida State’s No. 121 Kerrie Cartwright, 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-2. In the second round, she fell to Middle Tennessee’s Tiffany William, 6-2, 6-2.
Though these rising stars failed to make it into the main draw, USC will still be well-represented.
Senior Zoë Scandalis, ranked No. 15 in the nation, already earned a spot in the main draw, which starts on Thursday, Oct. 2.
Last year, Scandalis posted a 23-11 total record and filled in admirably at the top singles slot for teammate Sabrina Santamaria, who was lost for the season with a torn ACL.
Today, No. 38 junior Giuliana Olmos and No. 59 sophomore Zoë Katz will compete in the qualifying round to try to make their way into the main draw to join Scandalis.
Olmos will battle Vanderbilt’s No. 50 Sydney Campbell, while Katz will play Wichita State’s Julia Schiller, who is ranked No. 41 in the nation.
Both of these Women of Troy will play in the doubles main draw as well.
Olmos will partner up with Scandalis to represent USC. This duo went 22-8 on the season last year and finished the year ranked No. 11 in the nation. Last year, they made it to the finals of this tournament, but ultimately fell to UCLA’s Robin Anderson and Jennifer Brady.
The year before, Santamaria and since-graduated Kaitlyn Christian took home the title. Santamaria is still out of commission while recovering from her ACL surgery but hopes to be back in action soon.
Should Olmos and Scandalis falter, another young pair might still be in the running. Katz is pairing up with freshman Madison Westby in the main draw of the doubles tournament. Katz and Westby are ranked No. 23 in the nation together.
Main draw action for both the men’s and women’s tournaments begin on Oct. 2 and results can be viewed online.