The USC women’s tennis team posted strong individual showings at the Milwaukee Classic. Held from Sept. 20-23, the Milwaukee Classic hosted its 44th annual Intercollegiate Tennis Association gold-level national intercollegiate tournament at the Milwaukee Country Club.
The Trojans trumped the competition. Kulikov took home the singles title as the 13th seed and reached the doubles semifinal with partner Danielle Willson. Willson also reached the semifinals in singles where she knocked out three seeded players. The strong showing left fellow Trojans and coaches proud of their tournament successes.
“We had great results from everyone representing USC at the tournament,” said head coach Alison Swain. “It's exciting to begin the year by taking home a title in our first event."
Willson’s path to semis was halted by University of Miami freshman Daevenia Achong. Kulikov exacted revenge, however, on Achong with an emphatic 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory to capture the title.
Kulikov’s win at the Milwaukee Tennis Classic on Sept. 23 allows her to continue with a wild card (a tournament entry awarded to a player at the discretion of the organizers) to the 2019 ITA Fall Nationals in Newport Beach, Calif. this November.
Swain commented on Kulikov’s performance, stating, “Angela came into the tournament prepared to compete and executed her game plan throughout the event, it was tough to transition from indoors to outdoors throughout the weekend, but Angela handled it well and competed at an exceptionally high level.”
Though Wilson did not move onwards in singles, she and partner Kulikov gave the doubles tournament a run for its money. Along with the fellow Trojan pairing of Constance Branstine and Ana Neffa. Kulikov and Willson reached the semifinal round but fell short 6-8 to Korashvili and Asghar from Syracuse.
The ITA released its national preseason rankings on Sept. 17, placing sophomore Salma Ewing at No. 36, Kulikov at No. 52, Willson at No. 104 and Neffa at No. 111 in the singles division. With Carson Branstine coming as the No. 2 freshman/newcomer. In doubles, the duo of Kulikov and Willson began the season ranked No. 18.
The USC women’s tennis team is currently ranked No.16 after posting an overall record of 20-8, and a Pac-12 record of 7-3 last season. The team will look to build upon its 4th place finish in Pac-12 last season.
The next tournament featuring the Trojans begins on Thursday, Sept. 26 as freshman Carson Branstine competes at the ITA Oracle Masters in Malibu, Calif.