Senior Maria Sanchez was handed her second loss this season, although her singles record still stands at 30-2.
Arizona State’s Kelcy McKenna, the No. 19 singles player in the country, matched Sanchez’s every move and recovered from a 1-6 second set loss to prevail in three sets, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.
In a rare doubles appearance, Sanchez was paired up with sophomore Danielle Lao to take on the No. 18 doubles squad of McKenna and Micaela Hein. The tandem of Sanchez and Lao fell 8-2 to the Sun Devils pair in the No. 1 spot, marking another usual loss for the Women of Troy (13-6, 2-4).
Lao, who has struggled as of late, had a strong outing on Friday, taking down No. 11 Jacqueline Cako 7-5, 3-2, with Cako retiring because of an injury midway through the second set.
Freshman Kaitlyn Christian was scratched from Friday’s match after a mishap in practice Thursday afternoon.
“[Christian] ran into a pole at the end of practice on Thursday and suffered a bad bruise overnight and she could barely walk on it Friday,” USC coach Richard Gallien said. “Since Valeria [Pulido] was only cleared to play singles, that’s why we were unable to have a third doubles.”
Filling in on court three was Pac-10 Player of the Week junior Alison Ramos, who was a perfect 4-0 last weekend. Against No. 106 Micaela Hein, Ramos fell easily 6-3, 6-2 on a day when nothing seemed to be going right for the Women of Troy.
In her return to singles play, sophomore Valeria Pulido fought hard, albeit in defeat, losing to Arizona State’s Hannah James 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
Senior Cristala Andrews had another three-set match, her third in the last two weeks, on court five. Andrews fell 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 to Michelle Brycki, while fellow senior Lyndsay Kinstler would also suffer a defeat at the hands of Ashlee Brown (6-4, 6-1) in the sixth spot.
“We will be fine,” Gallien said. “It’s easy to point out the bad luck we’ve had, but it just isn’t interesting. I expect a great week of practice and a very motivated group come Friday.”
With UCLA ahead, the Women of Troy look to avenge an earlier season loss to their crosstown rivals.