September 16, 2020

Women’s tennis looks to win fifth straight Friday

first_imgAfter a relatively slow start to the season, the Women of Troy have begun to find their groove, riding a four-match winning streak into their third match of Pac-12 play against the Oregon Ducks Friday. In addition to the win streak, the Trojans boast an impressive 5-2 home record that will make it difficult for the Ducks to come out of Marks Stadium with the victory.The Trojans had a tremendous week over spring break, winning 5-2 over No. 16 Oklahoma State and a commanding 4-0 victory against Baylor at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. After struggles earlier in the year, head coach Richard Gallien said that he had a “motivated and positive group … that is focusing on what [they] can control and [are]  trying to get better day by day.” The season is starting to progress just as the coach saw it, with the young team playing their best tennis, as the most important part of the season is beginning.The winning streak has propelled the Trojans to No. 29 in the national rankings, up 19 spots from last week. The Ducks present no easy task, with a ranking of 35 in the nation and a strong 11-3 record, including a 3-1 mark in Pac-12 play.Oregon’s Kennan Johnson is the second highest-ranked player in the matchup at 70 behind USC’s senior Giuliana Olmos who has climbed up to an individual rank of No. 22 in the country. Oregon has one other player ranked in singles, Alyssa Tobita — who is currently ranked No. 124.Oregon is coming off a hot streak of their own, winning nine matches in a row before falling in a tough 4-3 defeat to Arizona State last weekend. The Women of Troy are 21-0 all-time against Oregon and hope to continue this incredible run of success but despite the long-standing record, Oregon will be sure to put up a fight.USC brings their deep, young team into the matchup. Behind Olmos, four underclassmen are ranked in the top-125. Freshman Jessica Failla has been the most productive Trojan with 15 singles wins under her belt in her first collegiate season, leading her to slide into the top-100 at No. 99. Fellow freshman Rianna Valdes is ranked No. 106, while sophomores Gabby Smith and Madison Westby ranked No. 108 and No. 123, respectively.The sixth singles player for the Women of Troy is junior Zoë Katz who is having a strong year, despite not being ranked in singles. Katz comes into the match with the second-most wins on the team with 14 on the season and brings in additional experience as one of the older players on the team.The Trojans plan to get on the board quickly against Oregon, starting with their top-10 doubles pair of Olmos and Smith, ranked eighth in the nation and trying to get back into the top-5 doubles ranking. The experience the younger players have gained will be key in the match, and the Trojans plan to continue their undefeated conference record.The match will take place at the newly renovated Mark’s Stadium at 1:30 p.m.last_img read more

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