Women of Troy end break with dominating victory

first_imgWhile the rest of campus was on spring break, the No. 21 USC women’s tennis team pounded out a dominant 6-1 win over Fresno State Wednesday afternoon at Marks Stadium.After losing the doubles point five times in its last eight matches, USC gained the momentum by snagging the doubles point over Fresno State.Trend setter · Freshman Danielle Lao’s easy 8-1 victory set the tone for the USC’s bounceback win over Fresno State on Wednesday. – Geo Tu | Daily TrojanThe No. 2 USC duo of sophomore Alison Ramos and freshman Danielle Lao set the tone with an easy victory, 8-1. The other two doubles matches were a lot closer but ended in USC’s favor, both at 8-6.Then, up 1-0 heading into singles, USC orchestrated a string of straight-set singles wins, enabling the Women of Troy (9-6) to rack up wins in five of their six singles matches rather quickly.At the top spot in singles for USC, nationally ranked No. 3 junior Maria Sanchez tallied in her 13th singles win of the season by upending her Fresno State opponent, 6-0, 6-1.Meanwhile, Fresno State freshman Julia Gragera-Cano defeated USC junior Lyndsay Kinstler for the Bulldogs’ only point of the day. Gragera-Cano won the first set 6-3 and was ahead 3-0 in the second when Kinstler retired.Up 2-1, USC didn’t let its momentum waver. USC senior Sarah Fansler defeated her opponent on court five, 6-1, 6-3. On court three, No. 32 Lao powered a 6-3, 6-2 victory to seal the match win for USC.The day ended as No. 82 freshman Valeria Pulido finished her opponent on court four, 6-0, 6-4, as did No. 20 Ramos with a 6-1, 6-3 win.The victory was a much-needed win for the Women of Troy who were upset by Arizona State just days before the USC dueled the Bulldogs on March 13.Against ASU, USC barely came away with the doubles point winning matches on court two, 9-7, and on court three, 8-6. The No. 40 nationally ranked duo for USC, Sanchez and Pulido, fell 8-5 to ASU.Even with the doubles point in hand, USC couldn’t keep up with ASU during singles action. ASU won the first two singles matches to get ahead of the Women of Troy 2-1.But then it was USC’s turn to take the lead.Ramos held strong on court two for a 6-1, 0-6, 6-3 win over ASU’s Nadia Abdala, locking the score at 2-2.At the No. 1 singles spot, Sanchez pulled off a comeback win over ASU’s junior Micaela Hein. Sanchez outshined her opponent, taking a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 win, putting USC ahead 3-2, leaving battles at the No. 3 and No. 4 positions.On court four, USC’s Pulido was edged out in a nail-biter of a match. Pulido took the first set 7-5 but couldn’t put away her opponent in the second, falling 4-6. The match ended in a third-set tiebreaker in ASU’s favor.With the match tied 3-3, this left the decider on court three in a close battle between Lao and ASU’s No. 102 Kelcy McKenna. This was the second time this season that the deciding match was in Lao’s court.But in the back-and-forth, hard-fought battle, it was McKenna who was able to clinch the match for the Sun Devils with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 win.This was the first time this season that USC won the doubles point but did not come away with the match.“The doubles point is a really important point,” Sanchez said. “We are going to continue to make doubles one of our main focuses in practice for the remainder of the season.”The Women of Troy might go with a different look in their doubles pairings.“Our team is thinking of switching the doubles positions, maybe at the No.1 and No. 2 spots, but nothing is finalized yet,” Lao said.Following USC’s loss, the Women of Troy’s team ranking fell from No. 13 to No. 21, while ASU rose from No. 32 to No. 18.“Everyone is getting healthy and recovering from their injuries now, so I’m very hopeful that we will perform much better from here on out,” Ramos said. “The past losses have just made us hungrier.”The Women of Troy have the week off but have a pair of matches set for the weekend against Washington and Washington State at Marks Stadium.last_img

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