Women's tennis welcomes newcomers

BY foxsports • November 29, 2010

Nov. 29, 2010

The USC women's tennis team will welcome four new players to the courts next season, with the recent signings of a group of individuals who have each been ranked in the U.S. National top-10 in the past year. Joining the Women of Troy for the 2011-12 season are Gabrielle DeSimone, Giuliana Olmos, Sabrina Santamaria and Zoe Scandalis, USC head coach Richard Gallien has announced.

The group represents some of California's top recruits, coming from high schools around the state and all boasting a wealth of experience on the way into their collegiate careers to come.

"This is the best recruiting class I have ever secured in my years at USC," Gallien said. "We replace half of our team next year, all with girls of high character and a proven talent."

Gabrielle DeSimone hails from Cathedral Catholic High School, and the Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., resident ranks No. 13 on the tennisrecruiting.net Top 100 Class of 2011 list.

"Gabrielle is an Italian Stallion. She competes with such fire and intensity, similar to Rafael Nadal," Gallien said of DeSimone. "She competes as if every point is the last point of the match, which will make her very fun to watch. We are thrilled to have her team spirit at the courts every day."

Giuliana Olmos comes to Troy from Fremont, Calif., as she finishes up at Vista Alternative High School. She stands at No. 15 on the national recruiting list for the year.

"Giuliana is a hungry kid and I think that thirst to succeed will rub off on everybody," Gallien said. "Giuliana has all the shots, a great mix of consistency and power. We are very lucky to have her and we expect a lot of great things from her in the heat of battle."

Ranked No. 5 on the Top-100 is Los Angeles native Sabrina Santamaria, who hails from Campbell Hall High School.

"Sabrina packs a big punch for her size," Gallien said. "We are excited to have her big smile and energy at practice every day. She was raised on the public courts of L.A. and has always dreamed of becoming a Trojan. She has already proven herself against some of the top college players in tournaments, so we are expecting a great career from Sabrina."

Also coming in high on the recruiting rankings list is Zoe Scandalis, a current San Pasqual High School senior out of San Diego, Calif., who holds down No. 11 on the Tennis Recruiting Network list.

"Zoe is a ferocious competitor, a big hitter from all parts of the courts, especially her serve," Gallien said. "Zoe brings all the intangibles to the table and is just a great kid. We are excited to have someone her character come to USC and push everyone to get better."

"I really think this class of players gives us a honest chance to compete for the Pac-10 title and NCAA for the near future," Gallien said. "I am excited to get to know these girls and help them reach their goals."

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