Over the weekend, the USC women’s tennis team traveled to Columbia, S.C. to compete in the ITA Kick Off Weekend. In the tournament, the Women of Troy fell to Clemson 4-2 on Friday and swept Oklahoma 7-0 on Saturday. Following their recent matches, the Trojans now sit at 3-2 this season.Sophomore Becca Weismann (right) and senior Gabby Smith (left) celebrate. Sunny Dong | Daily TrojanAgainst Clemson, USC came out fighting early, securing the doubles point with both teams winning their respective matches. Although the Trojans dominated in doubles, the team was inconsistent in its singles matches. Only sophomore Becca Weissmann won her match, and Clemson ultimately took home the win.“From the beginning, coming out on the court, even prior to the match, the energy was just great and I could feel it,” Weissmann said. “That definitely translated into doubles. [Gabby Smith] and I had a great doubles match, and coming into singles I felt really great about my energy, and from there I honed in and zoned in and I felt really great throughout.”Hungry for a win, the Women of Troy looked unstoppable against Oklahoma. The Trojans posses an all-time record of 3-0 against the Sooners. The team got off to a hot start picking up the doubles point easily and then followed by sweeping the singles. Weissmann secured the first win, which was quickly followed by senior Madison Westby winning her match 6-3.“I don’t think anything really changed,” Westby said. “We came out to Clemson with a lot of energy; that was our main goal — to have a lot of energy and start out strong. We did that in the Clemson match, we just unfortunately didn’t come out on top. But we still liked how we competed and so we just made an effort to do the same thing the next day.”According to coach Alison Swain, the Women of Troy were able to rebound against Oklahoma after analyzing their first match.“We talked about those momentum shifts after the match, and we talked about being really focused and on it when we’re trying to close things out,” Swain said. “[Westby’s] match was a great example of that — her match went three sets against Clemson. Against Oklahoma she finished her match and got the win in two sets and really closed it out well. Those kinds of things make a big difference and that was a big improvement for our team into day two.”The team has two and a half weeks until their next game. Swain plans to make the most of the training time available. “We’ve played five matches. Everybody has a sense of where they’re at, how they want to improve, and so this training block gives us some time to work on those things,” Westby said. “That started today, and Chris and I put together a three-week plan for the girls. Number one, we’ll make sure everybody’s healthy, number two we’ll push our fitness, and number three work on some tactical things to implement before our matches in late February.”Westby already knows how she wants to improve in the next few weeks.“Going forward with our next three-week training block, I’d really focus on having a higher first serve percentage, so that’s my goal before the next match,” she said.The team will play its next match at San Diego State — whose team currently sits at 3-0 on the season — on Feb. 16.Instead of scouting San Diego State, Swain prefers to keep the focus on her own team.“It’s good to know some information about the teams you’re playing, but it’s more important to know where we are, and how we want to get better,” Swain said. “It’s really about focusing on us and how we can take our tennis to the next level, and a lot of that is how we’re competing. We’re going to work on that in the next three weeks, and if we’re doing that well, we’re going to have a great match with San Diego.”
Ramel ‘Sub Zero’ Lewis will be making an effort to end 2016 on a positive note tonight when he clashes with Barbadian Christopher ‘Shaka’ Henry in an eight-round junior middleweight main bout on a Pro-Am Dinner-Boxing show at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in St Michael, Barbados. Also on the card will be amateur bantamweight boxer Felice Groves.Lewis and Henry know each other as they have been together in the Wray and Nephew Contender series, but they never met before. Henry last fought here in 2015 when he lost by retirement in the fourth round in a bout against Tsetsi Davis.Lewis fought in the Contender series this year, and after defeating Fred Muhammad by technical knockout in his first fight, he lost to Michael Gardener on points. He has always been a Contender favourite because of his aggressive style of boxing and reached the finals in 2012, where he lost on points to Donovan ‘Police’ Campbell over 10 rounds.Before leaving Jamaica on Wednesday, Lewis said he was confident of victory.”I have been training hard for this fight, and I will be going in with one goal, and that is to win. Shaka is a good fighter, but I am going to pressure him all the way,” Lewis said.A close, hard-fought contest is expected.