LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 6 USC women's tennis team made a powerful push toward another Pac-12 championship today in taking out No. 14 Stanford with a decisive 6-1 victory at Marks Stadium, clinched by Gabriella DeSimone at the No. 5 spot. It's the first win over the Cardinal at Marks Stadium for the Women of Troy since 2009, but USC does now boast back-to-back victories over the Cardinal after also upsetting Stanford in last year's NCAA Quarterfinals. With their ninth straight win, USC improves to 17-2 overall and stays perfect in Pac-12 play at 6-0.
The Trojans came out of the gates guns a-blazing in doubles play, showing no signs of intimidation against the Cardinal pairings that had toppled UCLA the day before. USC's top guns Christian/Santamaria made an all-out sprint out of reach of Ahn/Gibbs on court one for an 8-1 win. Over at the No. 3 spot, USC's Lao/Olmos was also applying the pressure to Dillon/Hardebeck, coming through with the doubles-point clincher on an 8-3 win. On court two, USC's DeSimone/Scandalis had tightened things up to pull even at 6-6 against Tan/Tasy, but with the point secured their match went to a tiebreaker, and the Cardinal pulled out the win 7-6 (5).
Singles play saw a similarly spirited rally from the Women of Troy on several courts. Sabrina Santamaria and Zoë Scandalis both pounded out 6-1 wins in their respective first sets, and Gabriella DeSimone mirrored that from her spot on court five. Coming through with outside smoke was Kaitlyn Christian, who silenced Natalie Dillon in the second set for a 6-2, 6-0 win that bumped the Trojans up 2-0 in the match. Over at the No. 1 spot, #2 Sabrina Santamaria picked up the pace for a solid 6-1, 6-4 win over #20 Nicole Gibbs to make it a 3-0 USC advantage on the scoreboard. The Trojans had their work cut out for them to bring home the clincher, but #70 Gabriella DeSimone was up to the task. She took the pressure off her teammates in coming through with a tiebreaker in the second set against Ellen Tsay on court four. DeSimone grabbed the final four points of the breaker to ink the clincher for the Women of Troy on a 6-1, 7-6 (3) victory.
Stanford would tally its first point of the match well after USC had locked in the clincher. The Cardinal's #93 Stacey Tan fought through a strong effort by #116 Giuliana Olmos at the No. 5 position, winning 6-2, 7-6 (5) to make the score 4-1. Still swinging away at their Stanford opponents were #7 Danielle Lao and #27 Zoë Scandalis on courts two and three, respectively. Scandalis got to the finish line first, going through three sets with Stanford's #14 Krista Hardebeck and then finishing her off with a big third set to notch a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 win and make it a 5-1 USC lead. At the No. 2 spot, Stanford's #30 Kristie Ahn fought off a few match points against Lao, but once the USC senior had the advantage she grabbed it, wrapping up the day's action with a 7-6 (1), 6-3 victory for herself and a 6-1 win for the Women of Troy.
USC's next stretch of Pac-12 play takes the Trojans to Arizona, where USC will face ASU at 1:30 p.m. on Friday (April 5) and then Arizona at 12 p.m. on Saturday (April 6).
#6 USC 6, #14 Stanford 1
March 30, 2013 - Marks Stadium
(1) #1 Christian/Santamaria (USC) def. Ahn/Gibbs (STAN) - 8-1
(2) Tan/Tsay (STAN) def. DeSimone/Scandalis (USC) - 7-6 (5)
(3) Lao/Olmos (USC) def. Dillon/Hardebeck (STAN) - 8-3
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
(1) #2 Sabrina Santamaria (USC) def. #20 Nicole Gibbs (STAN) - 6-1, 6-4
(2) #7 Danielle Lao (USC) def. #30 Kristie Ahn (STAN) - 7-6 (1), 6-3
(3) #27 Zoë Scandalis (USC) def. #14 Krista Hardebeck (STAN) - 6-1, 4-6, 6-2
(4) #93 Stacey Tan (STAN) def. #116 Giuliana Olmos (USC) - 6-2, 7-6 (5)
(5) #70 Gabriella DeSimone (USC) def. Ellen Tsay (STAN) - 6-1, 7-6 (3)*
(6) Kaitlyn Christian (USC) def. Natalie Dillon (STAN) - 6-2, 6-0
Order of finish: 6, 1, 5*, 4, 3, 2