SDSU Women's Tennis Travels to Pepperdine, Hosts USC

Feb. 11, 2008


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The 50th-ranked San Diego State women's tennis team (4-2) continues its tough schedule this week as the Aztecs head to No. 17 Pepperdine on Wednesday, Feb. 13, for a 1:30 p.m. match before hosting eighth-ranked USC on Friday (Feb. 15) at 2 p.m. Last week, SDSU split a pair of matches, defeating No. 69 Loyola Marymount, 5-2, before falling at 37th-ranked Long Beach State, 7-0.

SDSU captured the doubles point before taking four of six singles matches for the 5-2 victory over Loyola Marymount on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Aztec Tennis Center. Esther Cadua and Julia Trunk won their fourth-straight doubles match together, while Cadua, Holly Bagshaw, Milana Yusupov and Sisse Nielsen all won in singles. With the win, the Aztecs avenged last year's 4-3 loss at LMU.

San Diego State was unable to get much going versus No. 37 Long Beach State, falling 7-0 at El Dorado Park on Saturday, Feb. 9. Junior Milana Yusupov was the only Aztec to force a third set, but she eventually fell in a tie-breaker, 7-6, 3-6, 10-5.

In his 31st year at the helm of the Pepperdine women's tennis program, Gualberto Escudero has guided the Waves to a 3-2 mark. Pepperdine is coming off two wins at home as they pulled out a 4-3 victory over Louisiana State before downing Sacramento State, 7-0, last week.

The Waves have won the doubles point in every dual match they have played thus far, including against No. 2 UCLA and No. 8 USC. The Pepperdine tandem of Anete Bandere and Anamika Bhargava are ranked 35th in the nation.

Individually, the Waves are led by Bhargava, who is 5-0 in dual-match play, and dating back to the fall tournament season, she has won nine consecutive matches.

San Diego State trails in its all-time series with Pepperdine by a 23-18 count. The Waves won their fourth-straight match against the Aztecs last year, pulling out a 4-3 victory in San Diego. Besides SDSU's win by forfeit in 2003, the last Aztec victory in the series came in 1995, when the Scarlet and Black upset Pepperdine, 4-2.

No. 8 USC is off to a 4-2 start in dual-match play. The Trojans were part of an elite field of 16 teams at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships last week. The Women of Troy got off to a good start, edging 39th-ranked Arkansas 4-3, but eventually fell in a marathon seven-hour quarterfinal match to No. 14 North Carolina. The Trojans also lost in the consolation quarterfinals to No. 6 Georgia, 4-3.

USC has advanced to at least the Round of 16 at the NCAA tournament in each of the last nine years, including a trip to the semifinals in 2006. Senior Lindsey Nelson has also reached the NCAA singles final in each of the last two seasons.

In the polls, USC has two players with a national ranking, including Amanda Fink (No. 51) and Gabriela Niculescu (No. 78). The Trojan duo also ranks fifth in doubles.

Richard Gallien enters his 13th season as head women's tennis coach at USC, and has compiled an impressive 216-96 overall record during the last 12 years.

San Diego State trails in its series with USC by a 4-33 count. In 2007, the Women of Troy swept the Aztecs 7-0 in Los Angeles, Calif.

A handful of Aztecs have already squared off against a Pepperdine opponent during the fall tournament season. Both Olivia Colman and Ozge Atalay defeated the Waves' Marigrace Marshall in straight sets at the SDSU Fall Classic, while Anamika Bhargava got past a pair of Aztecs (Eliska Krausova and Holly Bagshaw) to claim the Flight 1 singles title at the same tournament.

SDSU also had previous engagements with several Trojans at the Wilson/ITA West Regional Championships in October.

San Diego State is ranked 50th in the nation according to the FILA Collegiate Tennis Rankings released Feb. 5 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). The next team poll is scheduled to be released on Feb. 12.

Individually, freshman Julia Trunk is ranked among the top 100 singles players in the nation, coming in at No. 61. The next individual poll is scheduled to be released on Feb. 20.

Junior Holly Bagshaw and freshman Julia Trunk are tied for the team lead with 12 singles victories in the 2007-08 campaign. Bagshaw, Esther Cadua, Sisse Nielsen and Milana Yusupov all have four dual-match wins to pace the Aztecs in the spring.

Cadua and Trunk have been the top performers for SDSU in doubles action with an 8-3 overall record and a 4-1 mark in dual-match play.

Peter Mattera enters his 27th season at San Diego State and 15th as head coach of the Scarlet and Black. In 14 seasons, the Aztecs' mentor has guided SDSU to 10 postseason appearances, compiling a record of 217-146 (.598) in the process. Equally impressive is the fact that 12 of his 14 squads have finished with an overall record of .500 or better, despite playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation on an annual basis.

Lindsey Gamp begins her third season as the Aztecs' assistant coach, while Larry Willens enters his 10th season as a volunteer assistant.

2006-07 REVIEW
SDSU finished the 2007 dual-match campaign with a 14-12 overall record and a 6-2 mark in the Mountain West Conference. The Aztecs made their 20th appearance in the NCAA tournament and acheived a final ITA ranking of No. 49.

Since the opening of the Aztec Tennis Center in 2005, SDSU has won 70 percent of its home matches, posting a 28-12 record. All 12 defeats have come at the hands of teams ranked in the top 60.

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