Feb. 12, 2008
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - After years as rivals at the Division II level, Presbyterian and USC Upstate are now set to meet at the next level up for the first time after both schools made the transition to the Division I level at the beginning of the academic year. Now, Presbyterian and USC Upstate will meet in a dual meet on Friday at 3 p.m. at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex.
The Upstate men's team has posted two straight convincing wins, taking out crosstown rival, Wofford, and MEAC power South Carolina State, last week. The Blue Hose are 1-1 with their lone win coming over North Greenville. The Upstate women have won three straight matches, including a 5-2 win over Wofford and a 7-0 win over defending MEAC champions S.C. State last week. In 2007, the school's met in women's tennis, with the Upstate women posting a 7-2 win, dropping a match at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles.
Head coach Alessandro De Marzo became the third coach in school history to reach 100 career wins with the women's teams win at Wofford on Feb. 7, joining Alan Ferguson (1988-97) and Tami Matheny (1998-2004) in the club. DeMarzo has helped USC Upstate rise to sights unseen, as he led the Spartan men to the 2007 NCAA Division II quarterfinals and took the women's team to the 2007 NCAA Division II Nationals for the first time in school history. DeMarzo has a 54-21 career record with the men's team and a 49-22 record in four years as the women's coach, giving him 103 wins in his four-year career. Ferguson, the school's winnigest coach, posted 126 wins as the men's coach and 38 with the women for 164 career wins. Matheny, who currently assists the program, posted 70 wins as the men's coach and 57 as the women's coach for 127 career wins.
A 2002 graduate of USC Upstate, De Marzo played for Matheny for three seasons, posing a 63-48 combined record for the Spartans and leading them to two NCAA Regionals as a player.
Junior Anna Novo enters Friday's match with Presbyterian with a chance to become the seventh player in school history with 90 wins in their career. The No. 1 singles and doubles player has posted an impressive 50-16 mark in singles play during her career and has added a 39-27 mark in doubles. Novo needs to post one win during the dual meet to reach the mark. Novo, a two-time Division II All-American, won singles tournament titles at the Upstate Fall Tournament and the Wolfpack Invitational and added doubles titles at both tournaments as well.
Last week, Novo became just the fourth player in school history to reach 50 career singles wins, posting wins over Wofford's Merry Ellen Henry and S.C. State's Mirian Cruz. She is currently tied for fourth in school history with 50 wins and joins teammates seniors Diana Martinez and Susana Hernandez in the 50-win club.
Martinez Reaches 60, Gets A-Sun Weekly Honor
Thanks to a historic win, senior Diana Martinez wrapped up the USC Upstate women's tennis team's first Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week award for the week of Feb. 8. Martinez was a perfect 2-0 in both singles and doubles during the week and she became the first Upstate tennis player (male or female) to reach 60 career wins with her win over Wofford's Haley Baird at No. 5 singles on Thursday. Martinez also posted two doubles wins with junior partner Maria Herrera. Martinez has a combined 116 wins at Upstate, which is currently three wins from passing Stefan Dumitrescu (2003-07), who posted a school-record 119-32 career record for the men's team.
Sebastian's Assault On The Record Book
Senior Sebastian Gonzales-Orbegoso is quickly rising through the USC Upstate record book. The No. 5 singles player has a 44-28 career singles record, which is eighth in school history in singles wins, as Gonzales-Orbegoso passed Rudy Vargas (1991-95), with his three-set win over Georgia Southern's Mark Paetz on Feb. 2. His 49-27 career doubles record is currently fourth in wins in school history, just four short of Diego Sist (2002-06) and third place. His 93 combined wins is fifth in school history, one shy of passing Jorge Ventura (1993-96) for fourth. Gonzales-Orbegoso's fast start helped him become the first Spartan to earn Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week honors.
Franz Earns Spartans First DI Ranking
Thanks to two wins over ranked players in the fall, junior Sandy Franz has earned USC Upstate's first individual ranking as a Division I program, as he is currently 96th in the ITA Singles Rankings. Paced by a tremendous fall, Franz finds himself in the ITA rankings after winning tournament titles at the USC Upstate Fall Invitational and the USC Fall Invitational, compiling an 11-2 singles mark. He posted a three-set win against Florida's 91st-ranked Nestor Briceno, 3-6, 6-0, 6-4, at the Southern Intercollegiates. In another meeting against a ranked opponent, Franz downed Charlotte's 62nd-ranked Roy Sichel in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5.