No. 18 USC Women Work Ahead Of NC State 4-3|
Jan. 29, 2011
ANN ARBOR, MICH. -- The No. 18 USC women's tennis team secured the crucial first four points of the match to lock in on a win over No. 46 NC State in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend action in Ann Arbor, Mich. The win earns the Trojans a championship slot against this afternoon's Michigan-Auburn winner for the right to move into next month's ITA National Team Indoor Championships. USC improves to 3-0 overall with today's victory.
USC took control of the match in doubles, sparked by a strong 8-4 win by the freshman-senior tandem of Kaitlyn Christian and Maria Sanchez at the No. 1 position, as the Trojan pair upset NC State's #7 Nagaraj/Bhambri. Coming through with the clincher from the No. 3 slot was USC's Cristala Andrews and Alison Ramos, who beat NC State's #86 Sipes/Miller 8-4, and the Trojans were off to singles play with a 1-0 lead.
USC's top gun in singles, #3 Maria Sanchez, powered through #53 Sanhya Nagaraj on court one with a 6-2, 6-2 win that pushed the Trojans ahead 2-0. Freshman Kaitlyn Christian served up a similarly powerful win from her No. 4 spot next, beating Tana Illova 6-4, 6-2 to make it 3-0. And coming through with the deciding win -- which rendered NC State's late-match push meaningless -- was Alison Ramos, who topped Lenka Hojckova 6-0, 6-3 on court three to pocked another straight-set win for the Trojans.
The Wolfpack managed to pull out wins on the remaining courts, but the match was already in Trojan hands. Lyndsay Kinstler fell in three at the No. 6 position, while Danielle Lao was edged in a tight 10-game pro set decider on court two. Cristala Andrews withdrew from her match during the third set.
USC will face either Auburn or host Michigan at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday (Jan. 30) for the right to a place at ITA Team Indoors.
ITA KICK-OFF WEEKEND