The USC women’s tennis team starts their season ranked No. 14 in the nation, in addition to multiple players being ranked individually. On Wednesday, the Women of Troy will take on Loyola Marymount in their season opener at Manhattan Beach Country Club.
LMU posted an 8-15 record overall last season. That said, the Women of Troy are looking to establish themselves as a team to beat early on.
The Women of Troy look to improve upon their 18-8 season last year including an impressive 7-3 record in conference play. Last year, the team finished fourth in Pac-12 play behind Cal, UCLA and Stanford. This season will prove to be just as difficult as USC will be competing in an incredibly strong Pac-12. UCLA is ranked No. 1 overall in the nation, with Cal coming in at No. 7 and Stanford closing in on them tied for No. 8. Last season, the team upset Cal prior to conference play where they lost 0-4 to the regular season, undefeated champion. The Bruins, whom the Women of Troy lost to last season on three different occasions, will likely pose a significant challenge to USC this season. The Women of Troy have their sights set high as their campaign aims to send them to what would be a 24th consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament. Last season, the Women of Troy were able to make it to the round of 16 in the tournament before being ousted by No. 1 Georgia by a score of 3-4. USC defeated Idaho and No. 17 Michigan in the first and second rounds, respectively before running into Georgia.
USC boasts six ranked singles players and two ranked doubles teams. Among the top-50 singles players in the nation, junior Giuliana Olmos leads USC at No. 41. The team’s younger talent includes freshmen Madison Westby who is ranked No. 45 and Gabby Smith, who is ranked at No. 48. In addition, senior Gabriella DeSimone is ranked No. 98 in the nation, while sophomore Zoe Katz sits at No. 119 in singles.
The doubles side of the team also has very high preseason expectations. Olmos and Smith are closing in on a top-10 ranking as they currently hold the No. 14 slot.
USC has welcomed three freshmen to their roster this season. Two are nationally ranke Westby and Smith. In addition to these two players, Meredith Xepoleas will round out the group of rookies for the Women of Troy. These ladies will be on all the national watch lists, as they get ready to begin their athletic careers here at USC.
In addition to Wednesday’s match, the Women of Troy look forward to two upcoming tournaments, the Freeman Memorial and the National Collegiate Tennis Classic.