USC's men's and women's tennis teams are both opening the 2013 season with high marks. The owners of the past four national championships, the USC men stand as the nation's No. 2 team in the land in the first ITA national rankings of the new year. NCAA semifinalists in 2012 after upsetting Stanford in the quarterfinals, the USC women rank No. 4 in the nation with 2013 competition coming fast. What's more, there's a grand total of 11 Trojan tennis players locked in the ITA singles rankings.
The No. 2 USC men boast more than a full lineup of Trojans on the ITA singles list. Seven Trojans made the cut, led by junior All-American Ray Sarmiento at No. 10. Sophomore All-American Roberto Quiroz is next in line at No. 24, followed by junior Emilio Gomez, who also had a very strong fall season in the singles realm. Sophomore Eric Johnson has earned his first career ranking at No. 61, joined by freshman Max de Vroome who stands at No. 78 entering his first spring as a Trojan. Sophomore Yannick Hanfmann, too, has a top-100 spot, as the clincher of the 2012 NCAA Championship holds down No. 84. Sophomore Jonny Wang makes it a trio of Trojans with their first-ever ITA rankings with his spot tied at No. 121.
The No. 4 USC women are led by three All-Americans. Senior Danielle Lao leads the pack at No. 14, with two more Women of Troy also standing tall in the top-20. Sophomore Sabrina Santamaria sits at No. 17, along with sophomore Zoë Scandalis at No. 19. Also in the mix is another USC sophomore, Gabriella DeSimone, who has her first career ITA ranking at No. 56 after her strong fall performance following up some big wins for the Trojans during the 2012 NCAA tournament.
The Women of Troy also have a complete set of doubles tandems in the rankings. USC's vaunted junior-sophomore duo of Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria remain locked in as the nation's No. 1 team. The winners of back-to-back ITA National Indoor doubles championships as well as the 2012 Pac-12 doubles title and the 2012 ITA/Riviera All-American champs, Christian/Santamaria are clearly the team to beat in 2013. That won't be easy, however, as they proved with a resounding 6-0, 6-0 shutout of their opponents in the title match of the ITA National Indoors, where the Trojans became the first team since 1998 to win back-to-back doubles crowns at the event.
Packing even more punch into the lineup for 2013 are another two USC women's doubles pairs in the rankings. Sophomore combo Gabriella DeSimone and Zoë Scandalis rank at No. 13 in the land, and ITA Southwest Regional champions Danielle Lao and Valeria Pulido stand at No. 40.
The 2013 tennis season gets underway this month. The Women of Troy kick things off with a dual match against UC Irvine on Jan. 16 at Marks Stadium to jumpstart their push toward a successful year. The USC men, meanwhile, have their first dual-match play coming up the weekend of Jan. 25, when both the USC men and women host teams at Marks.