Santamaria takes home player of the week honors

USC sophomore Sabrina Santamaria was honored as the Pac-12 women’s tennis player of the week Tuesday after a strong performance in the Freeman Memorial Womens’ Tennis Championships. Utah’s Slim Hamza was awarded the Pac-12 men’s tennis player of the week.

Santamaria took first place in both the singles and doubles tournaments in the annual Las Vegas event, taking the latter title with junior Kaitlyn Christian. The duo, currently ranked No. 1 in the country, defeated three different schools en route to their victory. They knocked out the University of North Carolina in the final round.

In the singles side of the bracket, Santamaria easily trounced her earlier opponents before again facing a Tar Heels opponent in the finals, this time taking on UNC’s Gina Suarez-Malaguti in the championship match. She handily defeated Suarez-Malaguti as well, winning 6-0, 6-1.

Santamaria is ranked No. 17 nationally in singles and finished with a 9-3 record in the fall. She has won two consecutive  ITA National Indoor Doubles championships alongside her partner Christian.

The weekly award was just the latest achievement for the talented sophomore, who was named an ITA All-American and an All-Pac-12 second-team selection last season.

In only her second season at USC, Santamaria has already compiled an impressive number of accolades. As a freshman last year, she paired with Christian to win the ITA National Indoor Doubles championship, as well as the Pac-12 doubles championship. Santamaria also earned a spot on last season’s All-Pac-12 second team and was named to the ITA Collegiate all-star team.

So far, his season has featured much of the same success for the Los Angeles native. She was also named USC student-athlete of the week for her performance at the Freeman Memorial tournament, taking home the honor alongside men’s swimming and diving junior Vladimir Morozov.

The Women of Troy start off their dual match season at home on Jan. 26 against the Akron Zips. USC will serve as the host school for this year’s  ITA Kick-Off Weekend, with Tulane, UC Irvine and Akron all playing at Marks Stadium. USC’s opening match against the Zips is scheduled to start at noon, while Tulane and UCI will square off at 9 a.m. in the tournament’s opening match.