USC and Arizona State to duke it out in the desert

A two-match sweep of Oregon and Washington State last weekend should give the USC women’s tennis team the momentum it needs to power through the final leg of its road trip, as it takes on Arizona State.

USC (13-5, 2-3) looks to avenge its early-season loss to the No. 15 Sun Devils (13-5, 3-2), who beat the Women of Troy on March 16.

The Wildcats could not field a full roster, which resulted in a victory for the Women of Troy (13-5, 2-3).

Led by No. 11 Jacqueline Cako, ASU boasts four ranked singles players and two ranked doubles teams this season.

Senior Maria Sanchez will likely face off against No. 19 Kelcy McKenna, who she beat decisively 6-0, 6-3 in their first matchup.

Sophomore Danielle Lao will look to keep her two-match winning streak going, as she seeks revenge against Cako after falling 6-3, 6-3 when the two met earlier in the season.

The two stars of the road trip, freshman Kaitlyn Christian and junior Alison Ramos, will have their hands full as they square off against No. 106 Micaela Hein and No. 120 Hannah James, respectively.

Ramos earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this week for her accomplishments against Oregon and Washington State last weekend, as she went a perfect 4-0 in doubles and singles en route to back-to-back USC victories.

It remains to be seen whether sophomore Valeria Pulido will be healthy enough to participate in today’s match, as she suffered against Stanford.

The team is looking to build on its two most recent victories.

“ASU will be a challenge, but it will be a great opportunity to beat a very tough team on the road,” USC coach Richard Gallien said. “Their team is disciplined and we will need to play well to beat them.”

The Women of Troy were supposed to play two matches this weekend, but Arizona was forced to forfeit Saturday’s match because its student-athletes reached a maximum participation limit for the season. Student-athletes playing tennis are only allowed to participate in 25 matches, including tournaments.

With a rematch against UCLA looming when the Women of Troy return home, a win in Tempe would be a huge boost to USC’s ego.

First serve is at 12:30 p.m.