No. 4 USC Women Fight Back To Beat ITA National Indoor Host Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. -- The No. 4 USC women's tennis team surrendered its first point of the season in dual-match play, but regrouped and made a determined and successful push to victory in fighting back for a 4-1 win over #12 Virginia today in the Round of 16 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The host Cavaliers heaped pressure on the Women of Troy only to see USC make a winning push to the finish line. Gabriella DeSimone's comeback efforts on court four locked in the win, putting USC in the quarterfinals tomorrow (Feb. 9) at 3:30 p.m. ET against North Carolina, presenting a rematch of last year's Round of 16 match. USC improves to 6-0 overall with today's win as the Trojans aim to improve on last year's semifinal appearance at the tourney.
ITA NATIONAL TEAM INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS TOURNAMENT CENTRAL
The doubles point got away from the Trojans despite a power shot from USC's top-ranked pair Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria. The two Trojans silenced UVA's #10 Nauta/Xi 8-0, replicating a shutout win of that same pair in the ITA National Indoor Doubles Championship match back in November. But that would be the only doubles match in USC's favor. Epstein/Vierra topped USC's DeSimone/Scandalis 8-2 on court two next, and UVA's Elbaba/Tomljanovic came through in the clutch with an 8-3 win over USC's Lao/Olmos, and host Virginia had the 1-0 advantage on the board.
The Trojans seemed to stabilize in singles, though. #17 Sabrina Santamaria stayed in high gear for her No. 2 singles bout with #44 Li Xi in taking down the Cavalier 6-2, 6-1. With battles raging on courts 3-6, USC senior Danielle Lao delivered a solid upset of UVA's #4 Julia Elbaba with a decisive 6-4, 6-1 win that gave the #14 Trojan senior a win over a top-10 opponent while also taking the Trojans ahead 2-1 in the match.
On court three, USC's #19 sophomore Zoë Scandalis was putting forth a gutsy effort against #43 Stephanie Nauta, fighting off two set points to eventually grab the first set in a heated tiebreaker, 11-9. That performance seemed to be a lift for all her Trojan teammates down the line. On court five, Giuliana Olmos shrugged off a stumble in the second set by pounding out a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 win over Erin Vierra, and USC was within striking distance with a 3-1 advantage. Junior Kaitlyn Christian had slipped in her first-set tiebreaker with Hana Tomaljanovic, but was still battling in the second while Gabriella DeSimone remained resolved on court four.
#56 DeSimone had ignored a slump in the first set and moved on to take a lead on Maci Epstein. Epstein would force a tiebreaker in the third, but DeSimone was ready and drilled a 7-4 win in the tiebreaker to come through with the big time clincher on a 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4) comeback effort to win the match for USC. Scandalis and Christian would both have their matches suspended at that point, as the Trojans now turn for a rematch with UNC tomorrow in the Quarterfinals.
2013 ITA NATIONAL TEAM INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
#4 USC 4, #12 Virginia 1
Feb 8, 2013 - Charlottesville, Va. (Boar's Head Sports Club)
(1) #1 Santamaria/Christian (USC) def. #10 Nauta/Xi (UVA) 8-0
(2) #5 Epstein/Vierra (UVA) def. #13 DeSimone/Scandalis (USC) 8-2
(3) Elbaba/Tomljanovic (UVA) def. Olmos/Lao (USC) 8-3
UVA wins doubles point
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3
(1) #14 Danielle Lao (USC) def. #4 Julia Elbaba (UVA) - 6-4, 6-1
(2) #17 Sabrina Santamaria (USC) def. #44 Li Xi (UVA) - 6-2, 6-1
(3) #19 Zoë Scandalis (USC) def. #43 Stephanie Nauta (UVA) - 7-6 (9), 2-5 susp.
(4) #56 Gabriella DeSimone (USC) def. Maci Epstein (UVA) - 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4)*
(5) Giuliana Olmos (USC) def. Erin Vierra (UVA) - 6-1, 3-6, 6-1
(6) Kaitlyn Christian (USC) def. Hana Tomljanovic (UVA) - 6-7 (6), 3-2 susp.