Women of Troy beat Fairfield and Vanderbilt at home

The USC women’s tennis team has reached the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament after taking down Fairfield and Vanderbilt.

In the first round of the tournament, USC (22-3) took advantage of playing on their home court as they beat4 Fairfield (14-7) 4-0 at Marks Stadium on Friday. The Women of Troy raced out to an early lead against the Stags after taking the doubles’ point behind the the stellar play the No. 3 squad of sophomore Kaitlyn Christian and freshman Sabrina Santamaria. The duo posted an 8-0 shutout on court 1, and on court 3 the tandem of senior Alison Ramos and junior Danielle Lao did the same against the Fairfield pair of Jackson-Pirrello.

During singles play, USC didn’t notch a win on the first three courts because the bottom of their order finished the match before they had a chance. The Women of Troy received a great outing from the second half of their singles lineup leaving No. 13 Zoe Scandalis one set short of recording her first true NCAA tournament victory (she was up 6-0, 5-0 on court 1).

Breaking through first was freshman Gabriella DeSimone on court 5 as she posted a dominant 6-0, 6-1 score line to put USC up 2-0 on the day. Rounding out the 4-0 score were Ramos and the 87th-ranked Chrstian, who combined for just one dropped set between the two.

On Saturday, the Women of Troy took down the Vanderbilt Commodores 4-1 in their last home match of the season. USC once again started off strong out of the gate stealing the doubles point behind wins on each court, though Vanderbilt put up a fight on both court 1 and 2 stretching both matches out. Court 1 provided the Christian-Santamaria pairing with a formidable challenge from the No. 30 pair of Wu-Mira as they eked out an 8-6 victory to end the doubles round.

In the singles portion, Vanderbilt (17-8) provided stiff competition across the board, but USC’s depth proved to be too much for the Commodores.

Junior Valeria Pulido started off singles with a blowout victory against Vandy’s Megan Gornet with a 6-0, 6-0 shutout. Vanderbilt struck back quickly, winning their only match on the day behind Marie Casares’s defeat of Sabrina Santamaria on court 3 6-2, 6-3.

Juniro Danielle Lao struck back in second singles, taking down the 94th-ranked Lauren Mira 6-2, 6-3, and Kaitlyn Christian finished up the match with a comeback victory over Ashleigh Antal 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 on court 4.

Scandalis survived a tough first set tiebreaker against No. 42 Jackie Wu before her match was cut short and Gabriella DeSimone had her hands full on court 5 just before the day was over.

The Women of Troy will look to stay in top form against the Baylor Bears on Thursday in Athens, Ga.