Women of Troy open the year at home against UCSB


first_imgThe No. 2 ranked Women of Troy begin their season Wednesday at Marks Stadium where they will take on UC Santa Barbara.The Women of Troy start this season ranked No. 2, with five players ranked nationally. Giuliana Olmos is ranked highest at No. 42. Six spots later sits freshman Rianna Valdes at No. 48, while sophomore Madison Westby is at No. 49. Freshman Jessica Failla is at No. 76 in the rankings. Fifth in the singles ladder at No. 114 is junior Zoë Katz.Westby and Valdes competed at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic over the weekend. Starting as unseeded, they both fell in the quarterfinals. They also paired together in the doubles draw, where they reached the quarterfinals as well.Olmos and Gabby Smith earned the No. 4 doubles spot in the country after an extraordinary fall season, winning the Oracle/ITA Masters Championships. Smith has also earned a ranking with Jessica Failla, positioning themselves at No. 13. Olmos has played with Valdes as well, reaching No. 54.The first team to face the Women of Troy is UCSB. The Gauchos are ranked No. 59 in the Nation, and don’t have any singles player ranked nationally.The biggest obstacle is represented by their doubles team, composed of sophomore Palina Dubavets and junior Stefani Stojic, ranked at No. 21. During the fall season, they went 10-2, capturing a title at the Jack Kramer invitational. Dubavets also has the most wins in singles, tied with junior Jaimee Gilbertson at seven. Gilbertson finished with a 7-4 record, which includes a title at the Cal Nike Invitational.The Gaucho’s aim to improve their 16-9 record from last season (6-2 Big West) in which they reached the conference finals before falling short to Long Beach State.Despite the loss of first and third singles stars Zoe Scandalis and Sabrina Santamaria, who graduated last spring and are now off to the professional circuit, the Women of Troy are still in good hands.At top spot, senior Giuliana Olmos will help carry the team to success. Olmos just came out of an incredible weekend, reaching both finals in singles and doubles at the Freeman Memorial in Las Vegas. In singles, as the fifth seed, she lost to top-seed and No. 6-ranked Hayley Carter of University of North Carolina with a final score of 1-6, 6-7. It did not finish any better in doubles, where she paired up with sophomore Gabby Smith. Being the second seed, the Trojan pair made it all the way to the final, where they eventually lost to the top seed from UNC.The last meeting at home between the Trojans and the Gauchos dates back to 2012 and recorded a 7-0 win for the Women of Troy. That year they reached the semifinals at the NCAA Tournament, before falling to UCLA 4-3.The match begins at 1 p.m. at Marks Stadium.last_img

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