After a win over crosstown rivals UCLA, the USC women’s tennis team is ready to leave for Ojai, Calif., to compete in the Pac-12 championships from Wednesday until Sunday. The Women of Troy are seeking their first Pac-12 title since 1985.The No. 19 Women of Troy are currently undefeated in the Pac-12 with a 7-0 record. Overall they are 12-4 on the season, with the last loss coming at the hands of UCLA on Feb. 25.The Trojans currently have three players in the singles rankings. At No. 24 is senior Giuliana Olmos. The senior has an 11-3 record on the season and has a perfect 5-0 record in conference matches, with all wins coming from the top spot. At No. 115 is freshman Rianna Valdes, followed by sophomore Madison Westby at No. 116.In the doubles field the Women of Troy are led by Olmos and her partner, sophomore Gabby Smith, who are ranked No. 7 in the country. They are followed by Westby and junior Zoe Katz, ranked No. 80 in the country.The Women of Troy will face No. 13 Stanford (13-5, 8-1) to decide the Pac-12 champion. It’s the first meeting between the two teams, as their previous match on March 11 was canceled due to weather conditions.Stanford upset Cal last week 4-3 to hand the top-ranked Golden Bears their first loss of the season and set up Wednesday’s title match.In singles, four players are ranked nationally. Junior Carol Zhao is currently at No. 33, followed by junior Taylor Davidson at No. 40. Junior Caroline Doyle is currently ranked at No. 82, followed by senior Krista Hardebeck at No. 93.In doubles, Doyle and Davidson and are currently ranked No. 5 in the nation. Hardebeck also enjoys a spot in the doubles ranking, currently at No. 67 with freshman Caroline Lampl.On Thursday, the singles action will start. The format consists of a 32-player draw, with three players from each of the top-10 schools and two players from the 11th-place team. The Women of Troy will be represented by Olmos, Westby and Katz. The last Trojan to win the singles title is Amanda Fink, who was crowned back in 2009.The doubles draw will start on Friday. The format is a 16-team draw. Each school will have its top pair, plus five additional pairs selected by the Draw Committee. USC will have both Olmos/Smith and Katz/Westby in the draw. Olmos won the doubles crown in 2014, when she partnered with former Trojan Kaitlyin Christian.
LOS ANGELES — In absence of the steps that the world can see, for now, the Lakers are settling for those behind closed doors for their injured players.Not too much progress has been made in the medical report for the Lakers in the last week: Rajon Rondo still sat out against the Jazz after being listed as questionable earlier in the day. Kyle Kuzma and Talen Horton-Tucker remain shelved as well.But Coach Frank Vogel expressed hope that some of them will be making steps toward the rotation soon.Rondo is the closest of any. Vogel said he practiced the last two days with “an extra bounce in his step,” but that the decision to not play him was based primarily on how he felt afterward. Once he returns from a sore calf, he’ll be in line to play 25 to 30 minutes per night, and possibly start based on matchups. Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs “We got a lot of depth,” he said. “We got a lot of good players who are deserving of big roles, that said we’re just going to have to choose the guys we think can help us win that game that night.”VOGEL REFLECTS ON JAZZ VISITDuring his year out of coaching last season, one of many NBA stops Vogel made was a three-day stint with the Utah Jazz. He sat in on coaches meetings and other sessions, and even offered his opinion to Coach Quin Snyder.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersKuzma has been more tricky. He’s come along slowly since suffering a stress reaction in his left foot in August and has mostly been confined to non-contact work. But Vogel said on Friday, Kuzma was able to do a four-on-four half-court scrimmage with assistant coaches.It’s the most on-court work Kuzma has been able to do since his injury.“He took a big step today,” Vogel said. “And hopefully he can continue to ramp that up.”Horton-Tucker, the team’s only draft pick from June, has been doing more on-court work, Vogel said, and could be approved to practice by next week.Alex Caruso has been available in both games since suffering a fall that bruised his pelvis in the preseason finale. He didn’t play on Tuesday night against the Clippers, but it wasn’t because he wasn’t ready to play. Vogel said he nearly played him in the opener, and that Caruso, though he’s started the year outside of the rotation, could get thrown in soon. A year later as he prepared to face off against the Jazz as an opponent again, Vogel was reflective of everything he soaked in during his time in Salt Lake City.“I spent some time with them last year, so I feel like I’m visiting one of my old teams even though I never worked for them,” he said. “And I’ve got a great respect for their organization and culture and style of play on the court. They work hard on the defensive end and are really tied together and they play offensively the right way. They’re not the most elite or a top-three offense but they play the right way and they’re very, very difficult to guard.”Snyder and Vogel weren’t too close before Vogel visited last year, but the two coaches said they meshed quickly. Snyder said he valued having another NBA coaching mind in the building to bounce ideas off, which rarely happens because franchises are so competitive.“It was a really good thing for us on a lot of levels,” Snyder said. “We probably got a lot more from him than he got from us.” Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers