EUGENE, ORE. -- The No. 5 USC women's tennis team locked in as Pac-12 champion for the second straight season thanks to today's 5-2 win at No. 64 Oregon. The Women of Troy have just one conference match left -- a Thursday showdown with rival UCLA -- and stand tall as the only team still undefeated in Pac-12 play. That effort ensures that the Trojans are back-to-back Pac-12 champions, as they'll carry a 20-2 overall record and that unblemished 9-0 Pac-12 mark into next week's regular-season finale.
The back-to-back conference champs now also have back-to-back 20-win seasons in the books. In fact, today's victory at Oregon marks USC's third 20-win season in the past five years, following last year's 24-4 finish that included a trip to the 2012 NCAA Semifinals. The only team standing in the way of an undefeated Pac-12 finish for the Trojans this year is crosstown rival UCLA, which comes to Troy on Thursday (April 18) for a 1:30 p.m. showdown at Marks Stadium. The singles portion of the match will begin at 3 p.m. and will be televised by Pac-12 Networks. The Bruins have taken two Pac-12 losses this season and are out of reach of even a share of the conference title.
The setup for Thursday's clash with the Bruins was sweetened all the more by today's title-clinching win by the Trojans in Oregon. The Ducks weren't going down without a fight, though, as was clear in doubles play. USC featured three new pairings in the doubles lineup for this one, and only managed to pull out one win -- an 8-3 victory from DeSimone/Lao at the No. 3 spot. Oregon grabbed the first point of the day on wins over Olmos/Scandalis on court one and over Pulido/Santamaria on court two.
The Women of Troy got back to business on the singles scene, however. #2 Sabrina Santamaria rebounded from the tight 9-7 loss on the doubles courts and served up a shutout on court two. She blanked Patricia Skowronski 6-0, 6-0 to tally the sophomore's 20th consecutive singles win. Sophomore Zoë Scandalis stepped into the top spot in today's match, and the #30 sophomore delivered a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Nicole Long to further help the Trojan cause. Over on court six, USC freshman Ellie Yates was just one game shy of a shutout against Oregon's Rabea Stueckemann. Yates pounded out a 6-0, 6-1 victory for the third time in her Trojan career.
USC was in control throughout singles, surrendering just one match on Julia Metger's 6-4, 6-4 win over USC's #114 Giuliana Olmos on court three. At No. 4, USC's #58 Gabriella DeSimone zoomed to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Pascale Neubert, and Kaitlyn Christian dished out a 6-1, 6-4 win over Lana Buttner on court five. That wrapped the day's action for the Women of Troy, who pocketed the solid 5-2 win before packing up to head home to Los Angeles for the coming finale at Marks Stadium.
On Thursday (April 18), the Trojans will host the Bruins, with doubles play beginning at 1:30 p.m. and singles competition starting at 3 p.m. as Pac-12 Networks televises the top three courts.
#5 USC 5, #64 Oregon 2
April 14, 2013 - Eugene, Ore.
(1) Long/Skowronski (ORE) def. Olmos/Scandalis (USC) - 8-5
(2) Metzger/Neubert (ORE) def. Pulido/Santamaria (USC) - 9-7
(3) DeSimone/Lao (USC) def. Hager/Hughes (ORE) - 8-3
Oregon wins doubles point.
Order of finish: n/a
(1) #30 Zoë Scandalis (USC) def. Nicole Long (ORE) - 6-2, 6-3
(2) #2 Sabrina Santamaria (USC) def. Patricia Skowronski (ORE) - 6-0, 6-0
(3) Julia Metzger (ORE) def. #114 Giuliana Olmos (USC) - 6-4, 6-4
(4) #58 Gabriella DeSimone (USC) def. Pascale Neubert (ORE) - 6-1, 6-3
(5) Kaitlyn Christian (USC) def. Lana Buttner (ORE) - 6-1, 6-4
(6) Ellie Yates (USC) def. Rabea Stueckemann (ORE) - 6-0, 6-1
Order of finish: n/a