The USC women’s tennis team is coming off a successful Pac-10 weekend at home after beating both Arizona and Arizona State.
The No. 16 Women of Troy (13-7, 5-1) will wrap up the regular season today in Westwood, Calif., with a match against crosstown rival UCLA.
For USC to have any chance at the Pac-10 title this year, it has to beat No. 7 UCLA (18-3, 5-1). If USC wins, it will most likely play against Stanford during the Pac-10 tournament in Ojai, Calif., this weekend. At 6-0, No. 10 Stanford is the only undefeated team in the Pac-10 and can guarantee itself at least a share of this year’s Pac-10 title if it beats No. 12 California on Saturday.
USC will have to play Stanford if the teams are both in contention for the Pac-10 crown after this weekend’s dual meets. The teams played earlier this month, but rain postponed the doubles play with the singles tied 3-3. According to Intercollegiate Tennis Association rules, their match will have to be resumed at 0-0 only if the Stanford-USC match is a determinant for the 2010 Pac-10 title.
As for the weekly team rankings issued by the ITA, USC moved up one spot from No. 17 to No. 16. Individual rankings were also released Tuesday for the first time since March 30 where USC boasts four nationally ranked singles players.
In singles, junior Maria Sanchez continues to be the highest-ranked singles player for the team, checking in at No. 3 in the nation with a 17-2 singles record for this season. Sophomore Alison Ramos is settled just inside the nation’s top 25 at No. 24 and is followed by two Trojan freshmen, No. 28 Danielle Lao and No. 100 Valeria Pulido.
In doubles, Sanchez is also ranked on three different doubles teams with Lao at No. 55, Pulido at No. 70 and junior Lyndsay Kinstler at No. 80.
Just like the Trojans, the Bruins are also up one spot this week, from No. 8 to No. 7. In singles, Yasmin Schnack leads the Bruins at No. 8, followed by No. 26 Andrea Remynse and No. 51 Noelle Hickey. In doubles, Remynse and Schnack keep their No. 4 ranking, while Hickey and Nina Pantic enter the rankings at No. 77.
For today’s matchup, the Bruins will bring some tough competition for the Women of Troy. Although USC is 42-32 all-time against the Bruins, UCLA edged USC with a 4-3 win when the teams first clashed previously this season.
“We know it’s a big match, but we’re going to approach it wanting to win like any other match and not put any added stress on ourselves,” Sanchez said.
During the teams’ last meeting, UCLA easily grabbed the doubles point, but since then USC has juggled the doubles duos and changed up all the pairs at every position.
“The team has been playing really well lately so that gives us confidence,” Pulido said. “We know that this is not going to be an easy match, but we are prepared for it.”
Unlike the earlier meeting, today’s contest will play a huge role in determining the Pac-10 standings. Their match will start at 1:30 p.m. at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.