The No. 17 women’s tennis team can celebrate a weekend sweep after defeating both No. 56 Arizona, 7-0, and No. 21 Arizona State, 5-2.
In Saturday’s match against Arizona, the Women of Troy (13-7, 5-1) largely dominated the competition, winning all six singles matches in two sets.
The greatest suspense could be found in the first singles slot, where No. 2 junior Maria Sanchez from USC faced off against No. 105 Natasha Marks. By the time all the other matches were over, the two were only in the fourth game of the second set, as many of the games went to deuce multiple times.
Buoyed by vocal support from the crowd and her teammates, Sanchez ended up winning in two sets, 6-1, 6-3, but it was not an easy victory. In fact, Sanchez was down 1-2 in the second set before pulling ahead.
“It was definitely a tough match,” Sanchez said. “I knew I just had to fight for every point because it wasn’t going to come easy, so I felt lucky to have won the way I did.”
The only loss on the day for the Women of Troy came in the No. 3 doubles match. Senior Sarah Fansler and junior Lyndsay Kinstler were up 7-3 against Marks and her partner Debora Castany, but the duo from Arizona was able to fight back and eventually beat the Trojans in a tiebreak.
Despite the disappointing finish, both quickly bounced back. In their singles matches, Fansler won in two sets, 6-1, 6-1, while Kinstler won the first set, 6-1, before winning all six games in the second.
On Friday, USC came away with the victory against Arizona State. The win came almost a month after the Sun Devils defeated USC in Tempe, Ariz.
“I think all of us came in really pumped and really ready to get them back for the loss that we had to them a month ago,” freshman Danielle Lao said.
However, importance of the match stretched beyond just beating the Sun Devils.
“It was a huge match for the Pac-10s and for the rankings … I’m really glad we got our revenge,” said sophomore Alison Ramos.
While Ramos showed a lot of excitement regarding the team’s victory, she also acknowledged the struggles she and partner freshman Valeria Pulido had in their doubles match.
“We definitely didn’t return as well because both our opponents served really well,” Ramos said.
While Ramos and Pulido lost, USC won its other doubles matches but had to come back from early deficits in order to do so. Fansler and Kinstler were down 2-0 early, while Sanchez and Lao fought back after being down 5-3.
The Women of Troy next hit the courts Friday on the road against crosstown rival UCLA.