Women of Troy capture a pair of weekend matches

Delayed by the rain on multiple occasions, the Women of Troy returned to the court seemingly without having missed a step.

On Monday afternoon the Women of Troy caputred a rescheduled match against UC Irvine, as strong play from both singles and doubles players allowed the Women of Troy to clinch a victory early.

Freshman Danielle Lao and sophomore Alison Ramos opened the day with a convincing win in the No. 3 doubles slot with an 8-2 victory over the Anteaters doubles pair of junior Brooke Bartlett and freshman Kristina Smith.

The Anteaters captured the second doubles match of the day at the No. 2 slot, but the Women of Troy secured the doubles point after an 8-6 victory by the team of juniors Maria Sanchez and Lyndsay Kinstler.

Straight-set victories by No. 39  Ramos, No. 37 Valeria Pulido and No. 18 Danielle Lao secured the victory for the Women of Troy.

After No. 8 Maria Sanchez’s victory over the Anteater’s Hammel at the first singles slot, the Women of Troy were well on their way to the eventual 6-1 dominating victory.

After their previous matches had been postponed because rain, getting on the court was a welcome return for the Women of Troy.

“It feels good to be out there [with the rain gone] and to be winning,” Sanchez said. “It’s also a confidence boost.”

On Sunday, No. 9 USC (2-0) bounced out to win in its first dual match of the season, knocking out a 6-1 win over the visiting No. 50 Long Beach State 49ers at USC’s Marks Stadium.

The Women of Troy opened in doubles play with two blowout wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, and a much closer game at the top singles slot. The Women of Troy eventually completed the sweep to give them their first team point. At the No. 2 doubles slot for USC, senior Sarah Fansler and freshman Valeria Pulido teamed up for an 8-0 triumph over LBSU’s Deborah Armstrong and Anais Dallara. Following their shutout, Lao and sophomore Ramos followed suit with another dominating doubles victory over Sarah Cantlay and Julie Luzar at 8-1.

Meanwhile, the No. 1 doubles team, comprised of Kinstler and Sanchez, had a little more trouble closing out LBSU’s No. 58 duo Jaklin Alawi and Rachel Manasse. But by the end of the set, USC outlasted the pair with a 9-8 (6) win.

Soon after, USC took five of the six singles matches as four players posted straight-set victories over the 49ers. The nation’s No. 8 player Sanchez set the tone with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Deborah Armstrong at the top singles slot. At the same time, No. 37 Pulido snagged a commanding 6-3, 6-0 win. Juniors Cristala Andrews and Kinstler posted two more singles wins at the No. 5 and 6 positions, respectively, as Andrews topped her opponent 6-4, 6-0 win in her spot and Kinstler beat Anna Jeczimionka 6-2, 6-4.

In a three-set match, USC’s     No. 39 Ramos triumphed to take the sixth singles point for her team, posting a 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 win over Alawi. Last up was Fansler, who fell 2-6, 2-6 to Dallara, giving the 49ers their only team point of the day.

The Women of Troy will be staying at home as they host the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Kick-Off Weekend starting Friday against San Diego and then will play either in the consolation or championship game against either LSU or Auburn the next day. After this weekend’s action, however, two matches in two days shouldn’t be a problem for the Women of Troy.

“These two matches gave us a little bit of momentum and confidence for our upcoming matches this weekend,” Ramos said. “They were good practice for us to compete under pressure, but it’s only getting tougher as we get further along in season.”