Women of Troy knock out Pepperdine

The USC women’s tennis team was again impressive in a 7-0 sweep of No. 33 Pepperdine on Thursday in Malibu.

Senior leadership · Senior Danielle Lao was a major contributor in USC’s sweep of Pepperdine, winning in both singles and doubles play.  - Joseph Chen | Daily Trojan

Senior leadership · Senior Danielle Lao was a major contributor in USC’s sweep of Pepperdine, winning in both singles and doubles play. – Katherine Montgomery | Daily Trojan

USC head coach Richard Gallien, for one, was thoroughly pleased with how the Trojans handled a foreign environment.

“Anytime you go to another school’s court, it might get a little prickly,” Gallien said.

The match started off in doubles play with a brand new combination at the three spot consisting of sophomore Zoë Scandalis and freshman Ellie Yates. The duo controlled the match from start to finish and won in convincing 8-1 fashion.

Sophomore Giuliana Olmos and senior Danielle Lao clinched the doubles point with an 8-3 victory that suspended an extremely intense matchup on court one between USC’s top-ranked doubles duo of junior Kaitlyn Christian and sophomore Sabrina Santamaria and Pepperdine’s No. 4-ranked combo of senior Khunpak Issara and sophomore Lorraine Guillermo. The match ended with Christian and Santamaria trailing Issara and Guillermo 5-4.

Gallien has been very impressed with Olmos’ effort in her first year as a playing member of the squad.

“Giuliana is a monster, she is a beast,” Gallien said. “She has a great attitude, and she is hard to beat … she immediately makes us a contender.”

The Women of Troy’s success continued in singles play, where momentum never shifted in favor of Pepperdine. In fact, the Trojans never lost more than two games in a set during the first four singles victories, started off by senior Valeria Pulido’s near perfect 6-0, 6-1 victory at the six spot. Christian was just as dominant at the five position, tallying up a 6-0, 6-2 win over the Waves’ Megan Moore to put the Trojans up 3-0. That win was followed by reigning Pac-12 player of the week Olmos, who took a 6-2, 6-1 victory on court four.

No. 17 Santamaria was equally impressive, piecing together a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Pepperdine’s Guillermo to give the Trojans a 5-0 lead on the day. Lao dominated Ale Granillo with a 6-4, 6-0 win, and finishing the match was Scandalis, taking a competitive 10-5 match to keep USC’s sweep streak alive in 2013.

The Trojans entered the match ranked No. 4 and to date are still undefeated, with a record of 4-0 on the year.

After visiting Malibu, the Women of Troy will return home to Marks Stadium on Saturday for a match with the Fresno State Bulldogs at noon. That match will be the last before the Trojans head to Virginia to participate in the ITA National Indoor championships. Gallien is intrigued about matchup possibilities with national standouts, with players from the University of Michigan and Baylor University, and believes that he has “a hardy group.”

One potential concern for Gallien in an otherwise flawless beginning to the season is the collective health of his squad.

“Gabby [DeSimone] didn’t play today with the knee and Zoë [Scandalis] has a banged up foot, so I am assuming we’ll have some time to heal before next Friday,” Gallien said.