Next week, the No. 1 women’s and No. 7 men’s tennis teams will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament at Marks Stadium from May 8 through May 10.
With the top spot in the nation, the Women of Troy will look to carry the momentum from their undefeated Pac-12 season (second in three years) and a sweep of the Pac-12 championship.
The last time the Women of Troy held the top seed in the tournament was in 1985 — -the last year they captured the title. This is their 24th consecutive tournament appearance, and their 33rd overall.
Senior All-Americans Sabrina Santamaria and Zoë Scandalis lead the team, and they’re supported by senior Gabriella DeSimone, junior Giuliana Olmos, sophomore Zoë Katz and freshmen Gabby Smith, Madison Westby and Meredith Xepoleas. Xepoleas was just named USC Credit Union’s Student-Athlete of the Week after sweeping the competition and becoming the fourth consecutive Trojan to win the Pac-12 Invitational Singles title.
As a whole, the Women of Troy are on the right path to make a legitimate run for the crown. They’re a team that’s victory-savvy, with plenty of knowledge and experience.
Featuring a full set of six nationally-ranked singles and three ranked pairs, the Women of Troy have both the talent and the depth to win their first title in 30 years.
For the men’s team, they’re just as talented and can find an equal amount of success in the tournament. All but two of the players from last year’s championship squad are back and ready to repeat as champions.
The Trojans are appearing in their ninth consecutive NCAA tournament, and 37th overall. Similar to the Women of Troy, the men’s team will be looking to carry the momentum from their Pac-12 Invitational Championship.
This team knows all about winning the national title. Seniors Yannick Hanfmann, Eric Johnson, Roberto Quiroz and Jonny Wang are already proud owners of two rings. Looking for its third, the team will be depending on their leadership and postseason savvy to capture the program’s 22nd national title; they lead the nation with 21 titles overall.
In last year’s title match, current junior Max de Vroome was key to winning the title. Sophomores Rob Bellamy, Nick Crystal and Connor Ferren, and freshmen Thibault Forget, Henry Ji, David Laser and Tanner Smith all provide depth and help to round out the team.
The Trojans also have six nationally-ranked players and are lead by the third-ranked doubles pair of Hanfmann and Quiroz.
The winning teams coming out of the games at USC will advance to the Round of 16, which will be played in Waco, Texas. The remainder of the tournament will be hosted by the Baylor Bears, who also has both their men’s and women’s teams in the tournament.
Overall, both USC teams are used to postseason success. Both are ready to bring the NCAA titles back home to USC.
The Trojans will play first on May 8 against Idaho at 1 p.m. The Women of Troy will kick-off the tournament on May 9 against Youngstown State.