Toreros Clash with 17th-Ranked Trojans on Friday

USDTOREROSDOTCOM Junior Maja Sujica is 4-0 in doubles with partner Anna Depenau this season.
Junior Maja Sujica is 4-0 in doubles with partner Anna Depenau this season.

Feb. 23, 2011

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SAN DIEGO, Calif.-
vs. #17 USC (6-1)
@Hahn Tennis Center, USD
Friday, Feb. 25th, 1:30 p.m.

LAST TIME: The 27th-ranked Toreros (5-2) swept then-ranked No. 69 UC Irvine at home this past Sunday, 7-0. USD won every match on the day as they cruised through singles play without a three-set match. No. 2 doubles pair Laura Claus and Josymar Escalona improved their doubles record to a perfect 5-0 on the year, while Anna Depenau and Maja Sujica improved to 4-0 in doubles.

A SNEAK PEEK AT USC: The 17th-ranked Trojans (6-1) won all three of their matches last week, sweeping then-ranked No. 60 San Diego State 7-0, and earning 6-1 wins over then-ranked No. 27 South Florida and then-ranked No. 22 Texas, all at home. The Trojans' Maria Sanchez is currently the nation's top female player with a 20-1 singles record on the year. Meanwhile, Danielle Lao is ranked 25th. USC has two doubles pairs ranked, with Sanchez and Kaitlyn Christian at No. 11 and Alison Ramos and Valeria Pulido at No. 16. The Toreros are 3-20 all-time against the Trojans, including a 1-5 record at home. USC earned a 4-0 win last season in the ITA Kickoff Weekend. USD `s last win over the Trojans came in 1997 with a 5-3 victory at USC. Laura Claus previously played Sanchez this year, losing 6-4, 6-2 on Oct. 22nd in the ITA Southwestern Regionals, while Juliette Coupez lost to Kaitlyn Christian 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Oct. 22nd as well.

MAKING THE JUMP: The Toreros jumped another 11 spots to No. 27 in the Campbell/ITA Division I women's rankings released this past Tuesday, Feb. 22nd. The leap comes on the heels of last week's 11-spot jump from No. 49 to No. 38. The last time the Toreros were ranked in the top-30 was when they finished the 1999 season at No. 28 with a 14-11 overall record. The Toreros advanced to the second round of the NCAAs that season, ultimately losing to USC, 5-1.

TOREROS TABBED THIRD IN WCC: USD was picked to finish third in the West Coast Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll released on Tuesday, Feb. 15th. The Toreros received 37 points overall, coming in behind conference-favorite Saint Mary's, who garnered five first-place votes and 47 points overall, and second-place Pepperdine, who had three first-place votes and 45 points overall. Behind USD in the poll was Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount, who gathered 30 and 24 points, respectively, followed by San Francisco at sixth place, with 17 points, Portland at seventh place with 15 points and Gonzaga rounding it out with nine points.

CLAUS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-WCC: Sophomore Laura Claus was the only Torero selected to the preseason All-WCC team after earning second-team All-WCC singles honors in 2010 while posting a 13-11 dual match mark as the Toreros' exclusive No. 2.

NEW FACES: The Toreros welcome five newcomers to the 2010-2011 squad. Sophomore Cara Brown (South Bend, Ind.) transfers in this year from Washington State University where she posted a singles record of 6-3 during the 2009 fall season. Sophomore Stephanie Hoffpauir (Escondido, Calif.) transferred this January from UCLA where she went 25-9 overall in singles for the Bruins, including a 12-4 dual mark playing primarily at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions. She also tallied a 10-5 doubles record overall. Sophomore Josymar Escalona (Caracas, Venezuela) comes to USD after receiving a No. 7 ranking from the Confederation of South American Tennis, a No. 200 ITF ranking, and a No. 670 WTA ranking in high school. Freshman Anna Depenau (Geilenkirchen, Germany) joins the team after earning a No. 3 ranking among her age group in Germany as a junior player, in addition to earning a No. 97 ranking among all German women. Finally, freshman Idil Haciraifoglu (Izmir, Turkey) joined the Torero squad in January after a succesful junior career and is expected to add depth to the USD lineup.

2009-2010 REVIEW: The Toreros finished 13-12 overall in dual match play with a final ITA ranking of No. 65. Laura Claus garnered second-team All-WCC singles honors after posting a 13-11 dual match record, while Marite Raygada was named All-WCC honorable mention, going 19-4 in singles. Juliette Coupez and Maja Sujica earned second-team All-WCC honors in doubles after they went 11-7 and finished with a ranking of No. 70. Claus and senior Justine Perl earned honorable mention honors in doubles as well. The Toreros strung together a season-high four-match winning streak from Mar. 11th to Mar. 17th and posted a record of 3-10 against ranked opponents, including a 4-1 win over No. 28 Louisiana State on Jan. 30th.

WCC TOURNAMENT: The 2011 WCC Championships will again be held at Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, Calif. Apr. 21st-23rd.

STAY CONNECTED: Fans can follow USD athletics via Twitter (@USDToreros), Facebook (, and with mobile alerts sent directly to a cellphone or mobile device by visiting Fans can also follow women's tennis directly on Facebook by visiting their team page at and clicking on the "Links" tab.

HEAD COACH Sherri Stephens: Sherri Stephens enters her 27th season at USD after notching her 300th career win last season. Since taking over in 1984 Stephens has led nine teams to NCAA tournament appearances, including eight seasons in which the Toreros finished in the nation's top-25, with a high finish of #14 in 1989. Five of Stephens' players have earned All-American honors and was named 1994 USTA Female Coach of the Year. Stephens is a native of Phoenix, Ariz. and competed collegiately at the University of Arizona.