The No. 13 USC women’s tennis team returns to conference competition Saturday in Tempe, Ariz. with a dual match against the No. 32 Arizona State Sun Devils.
The Women of Troy (8-5, 1-0) are trying to get back into the swing of things after their 5-2 loss to No. 9 Baylor on Tuesday.
USC features a handful of ranked singles players, including junior Maria Sanchez, the nation’s No. 3 singles player with an 11-1 record this season, along with No. 21 sophomore Alison Ramos, No. 22 freshman Danielle Lao and No. 91 freshman Valeria Pulido.
Sanchez is also ranked on two different doubles teams with junior Lyndsay Kinstler and Pulido, at No. 36 and No. 40, respectively.
The Women of Troy are hoping to put a damper on the Sun Devils’ stellar week. ASU (7-2, 2-0)defeated Washington State, 5-2, and then posted an upset over No. 18 Washington, 5-2. With these two big wins last weekend, ASU jumped in this week’s rankings from No. 44 to No. 32.
Michaela Hein of ASU has also been named the Pac-10 Women’s Tennis Player of the Week after pounding out wins in her singles and doubles matches against both schools last weekend.
The Sun Devils also have No. 104 Kelcy McKenna ranked in singles but none of their players are ranked in doubles.
USC is 42-19 all-time against ASU, having won the past 14 straight matches against the Sun Devils, including 4-2 and 5-2 wins over the Sun Devils last season.
“Our team goal for taking on ASU is to win the doubles point,” said Sanchez. “It’s a really important point. It gives us more momentum going into singles play.”
USC has only won the doubles point twice in its last seven matches.
USC will head to ASU for a noon match Saturday.
Next Wednesday, March 17, the Women of Troy will come back home to take on unranked Fresno State, featuring No. 12 Anastasia Petukhova.
The Bulldogs will face off against Pepperdine before coming to Marks Stadium for the mid-week match.