Smith, Olmos reach semis in tourney
The Women of Troy sent seven players to compete in both singles and doubles at the individual Pac-12 championships held last week in Ojai, California, where senior Giuliana Olmos and sophomore Gabby Smith saw their runs in the singles and doubles semis end on Saturday.USC sent three doubles teams. They had the tournament’s No. 4 seed, consisting of senior Giuliana Olmos and sophomore Gabby Smith, and earned one of five at-large bids, with junior Zoë Katz and sophomore Madison Westby taking the spot. Katz and Westby came in at the 80th ranked team in the nation but lost a difficult first round match to a pair from Stanford 7-6 by a score of 7-5 in the tiebreaker. Just as they have all season in dual matches, Olmos and Smith had a strong showing in the tournament, winning their first and second round matches, 7-6 and 6-1, respectively, on the way to a semifinal berth. In the semis, they fell to the 22nd-ranked team in the nation of Alexandra Osborne and Ebony Panoho from Arizona State, ending their tournament run.The singles draws brought many more wins for the Women of Troy. Four players were entered in the invitational draw: Smith, senior Paige Keating, and freshmen Jessica Failla and Kristen Venter. Venter and Keating dropped their first round matches in straight sets. Failla continued her strong season with two wins before losing to Melissa Lord from Stanford in the quarterfinals.Smith made a very impressive run to the semifinals, grinding out three match wins, two of them lasting three sets, before losing to Caroline Lampl from Stanford.Westby was drawn against the top player in the tournament in the first round, Maegan Manasse from Cal, and lost in straight sets. Katz won her first match over 76th-ranked Lynn Chi from Cal, but lost a competitive 7-5, 7-5 match to Krista Hardebeck from Stanford in the second round. Olmos, seeded fourth in the tournament, finished off some of the last matches of her career strong, winning three matches on her way to the semifinals. But she also ran into Manasse, falling to the Pac-12’s top player.Although no player came out with a title, the many wins across the board once again showed the depth of this year’s stellar 19th-ranked Trojans. They will wait for the reveal of the national tournament bracket on May 3 and will head to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the team tournament beginning May 19, followed up by individual singles and doubles tournaments to cap off the 2016 campaign.