Torero Women Headed to NCAAs on Saturday

USDTOREROSDOTCOM Laura Claus brings a 15-match singles winning streak into the NCAAs.
USDTOREROSDOTCOM
Laura Claus brings a 15-match singles winning streak into the NCAAs.
USDTOREROSDOTCOM

May 11, 2011

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SAN DIEGO, Calif.- UP NEXT: NCAA Championships, first round, #29 USD (18-5) vs. #39 UNLV (20-5), Saturday, May 14th, 9:00 a.m., @ Los Angeles Tennis Center.

Live scoring is available during the match by clicking here.

The winner of that match will play the winner of the UCLA vs. Quinnipiac match on Sunday at 12:00 p.m.

LAST TIME OUT: The 29th-ranked Toreros (18-4, 5-3 WCC) came in as West Coast Conference runners up after falling to Pepperdine 4-2 in the WCC Championships final on April 23rd. USD won two of their three matches in the WCCs, defeating San Francisco 4-0 in the first round and Santa Clara 4-2 in the second round before meeting Pepperdine.

WHO'S HOT?: Sophomore Laura Claus has established a new career-long winning streak by winning her last 15 singles matches. The 2011 first-team All-WCC honoree is a team-best 23-6 on the year 19-4 in dual singles play. Her current singles winning streak stretches back to March 8th when she defeated Boston College's Katarina Gajic 6-3, 6-3.

Sherri Stephens NAMED TOP COACH: For the second time in her career, USD head coach Sherri Stephens was named West Coast Conference Coach of the Year. Stephens led the Toreros to a number of milestones this season, including the Toreros' first-ever No. 1 seed in the WCC Championships, tying the team record for wins in a season (18), setting a new team record for team winning percentage (.783), longest team winning streak (11 matches) and best home record (14-1), in addition to the team's highest ranking (23rd) since 1994. Stephens previously took home Coach of the Year honors in 2004.

TOREROS FILL UP ALL-WCC TEAMS: USD placed all six regulars on the All-WCC singles and doubles teams. Sophomore Laura Claus was the lone first-team singles honoree, while junior Juliette Coupez and sophomore Stephanie Hoffpauir were each named to the All-WCC second team in singles, and freshman Anna Depenau, sophomore Josymar Escalona and junior Maja Sujica each earned singles honorable mention honors. In doubles, Coupez and Hoffpauir earned first-team honors, while the pairs of Depenau and Sujica and Escalona and Claus each took home honorable mention recognition.

HOFFPAUIR AND COUPEZ NAMED PLAYERS OF THE MONTH: Sophomore Stephanie Hoffpauir and junior Juliette Coupez were named April's West Coast Conference Doubles Co-Players of the Month. The tandem went 5-1 in April, including a victory over Pepperdine's Marie Zalameda and Anamika Bhargava, then-ranked No. 53, in the WCC Championships final. Hoffpauir and Coupez defeated two ranked opponents in April; Bhargava and Zalameda and Roxanne and Sierra Ellison of San Diego State, who were then-ranked No. 51. They shared players of the month honors with Pepperdine's Ale Granillo and Khunpak Issara. Hoffpauir and Coupez become the third USD pair to earn conference player of the month honors this season.

TOREROS IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: USD is making its first appearance in the NCAAs since 1999 when the Toreros advanced to the second round where they lost to Southern California 5-1. The Toreros are 4-9 all-time in their nine NCAA appearances, advancing to the second round on four occasions. USD and UNLV met previously in the first round of the NCAAs in 1997 when the Toreros took a 5-4 win.

LOOKING AHEAD AT THE RUNNIN' REBELS: UNLV comes into the tournament with a No. 39 ranking and a 20-5 overall record. The Lady Rebels won the Mountain West Conference regular season title this year but fell 4-2 to TCU in their last match in the MWC Championships. The Toreros are 6-4 against UNLV all-time, with their last meeting coming in 2010, resulting in a 5-2 road loss to the Rebels.

LOOKING AHEAD AT THE BRUINS: Regional-host and sixth-ranked UCLA comes into the NCAAs with an 18-5 record. Noelle Hickey is ranked No. 41 in singles, while McCall Jones is at No. 57 and Andrea Remynse and Courtney Dolehide are at No. 76 and No. 77, respectively. Pamela Montez is the final Bruin in the singles rankings at No. 97. In doubles, Dolehide and Remynse are ranked 23rd with Jones and Hickey right behind them at 24th. Meanwhile, Jones and Montez are ranked 61st in doubles. The Toreros and Bruins met earlier this season in the ITA Kickoff Weekend where UCLA took a 4-0 victory on January 29th. USD is 0-12 against the Bruins all-time.

LOOKING AHEAD AT THE BOBCATS: Quinnipiac enters with a 14-8 record after winning the Northeast Conference title this season. The Bobcats are making their sixth NCAA appearance in the last eight years. USD has never faced Qinnipiac.

TOREROS IN THE RANKINGS: The Toreros are ranked 29th this week, according to the Campbell/ITA rankings released on May 2nd. The last time USD finished the season in the top-25 was in 1996 when the Toreros finished at No. 25 with a 15-9 record, while losing in the first round of the NCAA championships. Sophomore Stephanie Hoffpauir is currently ranked 71st in singles and Hoffpauir and junior Juliette Coupez are ranked 88th in doubles.

STREAKS ABOUND: Earlier this season the Toreros won a USD-record 11 matches in a row, snapping the previous record of 10-straight accomplished by the 1983 team. Aside from Claus' current 15-match singles winning streak, junior Juliette Coupez set a new personal career-long with nine-consecutive wins this season. Freshman Anna Depenau had her seven-match streak snapped with a loss to SDSU's Sierra Ellison on April 6th.

SUJICA AND DEPENAU NAMED WCC'S BEST: Junior Maja Sujica and freshman Anna Depenau were named West Coast Conference Doubles Players of the Month for month of March, according to a release on April 7th. Sujica and Depenau went 7-1 in doubles play during the month of March, including a five-match winning streak to close out the month that has since been extended to eight in a row. As a pair, Sujica and Depenau are second on the team with a 14-2 doubles record on the year playing exclusively at No. 3. This was the first player of the month nod for either player.

ESCALONA AND CLAUS EARN FEBRUARY HONORS: Sophomores Laura Claus and Josymar Escalona were named WCC Doubles Co-Players of the Month for the month of February. Claus and Escalona went 4-1 during February exclusively at No. 2. They defeated then-ranked No. 68 Kim Stubbe and Lacey Smyth of Arizona, 8-4 (Feb. 12th), and their only loss of the month was to then-ranked No. 16 Valeria Pulido and Alison Ramos of USC, 8-5 (Feb. 25th). They posted a four-match winning streak during the month as well. Claus and Escalona shared the honor with Jenny Jullien and Claire Soper of Saint Mary's.

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 (www.facebook.com/USDathletics), and with mobile alerts sent directly to a cellphone or mobile device by visiting www.usdtoreros.com. Fans can also follow women's tennis directly on Facebook by visiting their team page at www.usdtoreros.com 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.