The No. 4-ranked USC women’s tennis team pulled off a huge upset Friday defeating top-ranked UCLA 6-1 in Westwood.
After falling to the Lady Bruins twice earlier this season, the Women of Troy had revenge on their mind as well as a chance to claim the Pac-12 title from the grasp of their heated crosstown rivals.
For the Women of Troy, the difference in this match was their ability to get ahead quickly as they picked up the doubles’ point to race out to a rare 1-0 lead.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Christian and freshman Sabrina Santamaria have struggled in doubles of late, despite sitting at No. 7 nationally. Against the Bruins, though, the duo showed their worth by closing out the doubles point by defeating the No. 11-ranked pair of Robin Anderson and Skylar Morton 8-6 in a tightly-contested match on court one.
Supplementing the Christian/Santamaria win was the performance by junior Danielle Lao and senior Alison Ramos. In her last regular season match, Ramos along with Lao opened up doubles with an exciting 8-6 victory over Jones/Seguso on court three. This match became especially important when the tram of juniro Valeria Pulido and freshman Zoe Scandalis fell to the 9th-ranked squad of Dolehide/Montez 8-6 in the second slot.
In singles, the Women of Troy stuck to their usually game plan as Santamaria and Christian did not disappoint in their respective matches. Usually the two to get USC started on the right foot at the beginning of singles’ play, the players each took home victories to put the Women of Troy up 3-0 before UCLA could blink.
Santamaria, now No. 29 in the country, easily defeated the Bruins’ Pamela Montez 6-2, 6-1, while Christian, who sits at No. 75, also notched a win on court four taking down Skylar Morton 6-4, 6-3.
On the heels of the two wins on courts three and four, Scandalis came up with a massive victory over the higher ranked Robin Anderson to put away the Bruins for good. Anderson, who came in No. 3 in the country, lost the first set 6-2, but came back strong int he second set only to lose in a heated game 7-5. Scandalis has had difficulty in the top singles spot of late and this win gives her added confidence and a big momentum boost heading into postseason play.
Once the match was decided, Lao and Valeria Pulido each would pick up a win against the Lady Bruins. The 18th-ranked junior had a tough day holding off UCLA’s McCall Jones, but she ended up picking up her 26th victory on the season after a 7-6 (1), 6-3 win.
The Women of Troy are surely to move up in the ITA rankings now that they can call themselves Pac-12 champions. While this is a huge emotional victory for the Women of Troy, there is still a ton of work to be done as they have their eyes set on bringing home a national championship back to Los Angeles.