The Women of Troy beat Long Beach State

The No. 19 USC women’s tennis team defeated its second dual meet opponent of the season Friday, beating Long Beach State 6-1.

The Women of Troy (2-0) swept the doubles competition and won five out of six in the singles competition, earning the singles point.

Sophomore Danielle Lao and freshman Kaitlyn Christian took home two of five singles wins and the pair of junior Alison Ramos and sophomore Valeria Pulido won the No. 1 doubles slot.

USC coach Richard Gallien applauded the team’s efforts, but with some reservations.

“The girls competed very well,” Gallien said. “I’m not saying Long Beach State is UCLA, but I thought we performed very well.”

Over the last year, the Women of Troy have been known to fare well in doubles play, and Friday, they did not leave CSLB any breathing room.

“I’d say one of our big strengths is our doubles,” said senior Maria Sanchez. “We have three strong doubles teams so that will help a lot since doubles is so important.”

Although Sanchez did not participate in the competition against Long Beach, the rest of the team found success even without its top player.

CSLB’s sole point came from a singles match against senior Cristala Andrews, who was just coming back into action after sitting out due to an injury.

Given all these circumstances, the team fared well.

“[The dual meets] were certainly challenges because Maria missed these matches,” Gallien said. “In a way it’s turned out to be good since it put more pressure on us.”

Two weeks have passed since the end of winter break and Gallien credited the team’s dedication over the break as a reason for their success as well.

“We just finished this huge break without a lot of practice,” he said. “This time of year you are in big trouble if your team didn’t prepare over break.”

With this victory, the Women of Troy will now focus on their next competition. They will fly to Ann Arbor, Mich. next weekend to participate in their ITA Kick-Off Weekend.

They will face host Michigan, Auburn and NC State.

The team is confident it will be prepared for the upcoming NCAA tournament by competing and playing more matches.

“I think as we get more matches under our belt, we will continue to get into more of a rhythm and really be playing well by NCAAs,” Sanchez said. “Our goal is to win the NCAA tournament.”