Fall season underway for Women of Troy

Three members of the USC women’s tennis team’s highly touted freshman class, Gabriella DeSimone, Zoe Scandalis and Sabrina Santamaria, took to the court for the first time in their collegiate careers over the weekend in the pre-qualifiers for the Riviera All-American Championships in Westwood, Calif.

Strong start · Senior Alison Ramos began the year advancing to the semifinals of the Cal Nike Invitational in Berkley, Calif. over the weekend. - Daily Trojan file photo

Only Scandalis, however, qualified for the qualifying round and main draw, which is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Scandalis first knocked out Georgia sophomore Kate Fuller 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, then made quick work of Memphis’ Maria Slupska 6-4, 6-2. In the round of 16, Scandalis rallied to defeat Virginia’s Li Xi, earning a trip to the qualifiers.

DeSimone drew a tough opponent in Duke’s Ester Goldfield. Goldfeld, the No. 2 player in her class according to TennisRecruiting.net, who defeated DeSimone in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.

Santamaria defeated NC State’s Joelle Kissell, who boasted a record of 20-5 in singles play during the 2011 spring season, 6-2, 6-2 in her opening match. Santamaria went on to beat William and Mary’s Kayla Rizzolo 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 before falling to Nebraska’s Mary Weatherholt in the round of 16.

Meanwhile, senior Alison Ramos served as the lone representative for the USC women’s tennis team at the Cal Nike Invitational in Berkeley, Calif., playing in both the singles and doubles brackets.

Ramos fell in straight sets (6-1, 7-5) to No. 8 Clarisse Baca in singles play but recovered in the consolation bracket. She defeated Saint Mary’s senior Anna Chkhikvishvili 6-4, 6-2, beat Santa Clara junior Alex Zaniewski 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the quarterfinals, and advanced onwards to face off against Pacific’s Iveta Masarova in the semifinals (results are pending).

In doubles action, Ramos teamed up with Arizona State’s Joanna Smith. The duo reached the second round before bowing out to Baca and fellow Sacramento State teammate Maria Meliuk. Ramos’ usual partner, USC Valeria Pulido, did not participate because she will soon be playing in the Pan American Games in Guadalajara. When Pulido comes back to USC in November, she and Ramos will be reunited as the No. 28 doubles team in the country.

After the upcoming qualifiers and main draw, the Women of Troy  will then travel to San Diego for the ITA Southwest Regional Championships.