No. 15 USC Women Beat Washington 6-1|
March 4, 2011
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 15 USC women's tennis team took an important first step in Pac-10 action with a 6-1 win over visiting No. 20 Washington today at Marks Stadium. The Women of Troy got an impressive doubles sweep before gutting out singles play for a 6-1 win over the Huskies. That pushes USC to an 8-2 overall record and gives the Trojans a 1-0 mark in Pac-10 play.
USC took control of doubles with two decisive victories on courts two and three. The No. 1 match was leaning heavily in the Huskies' favor, while the Trojans took care of business on the other two courts. USC's Lyndsay Kinstler and Danielle Lao swept through Washington's Krsljanin/Radunovic for a 8-0 win. Soon after that, the #10 Trojan duo of Valeria Pulido and Alison Ramos took their 5-0 lead over Nemcevic/Smith at the No. 2 position out to an 8-1 victory to clinch that doubles point for USC. Meanwhile, momentum was shifting on court one. USC's #20 Kaitlyn Christian and Maria Sanchez had slipped behind 6-1 in their matchup with #6 Chan/Dy. Even with the doubles point already decided, the Women of Troy would not roll over. Christian/Sanchez rallied back with three straight points to trail 6-4. Chan/Dy got ahead again, up 7-4 and actually held match point several times down the stretch. The Trojans shook off each one, first with Sanchez at the service line with USC trailing 7-5. USC brought it back to deuce before rattling off the next two points to hold serve and make it 7-6 Washington. In the next game as well, the Trojans got behind -- this time trailing 15-40 with the match entirely in Husky hands. In a gutsy effort, Christian/Sanchez pinned up four straight points to take the game and lock it up 7-7, forcing a tiebreak in which the Trojans rolled to victory with a 7-3 advantage.
Singles play was a similarly competitive affair as the Huskies claimed the first set on four different courts to put the Trojans in a comeback situation. Cristala Andrews and Kaitlyn Christian, however, had set themselves up well with solid first set victories. Andrews wrapped up her opponent, Vanja Radunovic, with a 6-1, 6-1 decision from court six to pull USC ahead 2-0 in the match. Christian also cruised from her No. 3 singles slot. The freshman tacked up a 6-3, 6-2 win over Samantha Smith to get USC up 3-0, but the Trojans looked to have their hands full on the rest of the courts. Third sets look imminent across the board, as the Trojans were working toward second-set comebacks on the remaining courts. But an injury to Washington's Andjela Nemcevic during the second set forced the Husky to retire from her No. 4 singles match against USC's Valeria Pulido. That retirement gave USC the match-clinching victory for a 4-0 lead, and put the remaining matches in position for 10-point tiebreakers to decide a third set.
At No. 1, USC's #2 Maria Sanchez rallied out of a first-set hole and went on to win her matchup with #6 Denise Dy 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-6) -- giving the Trojan senior her 18th straight singles win. On court five, USC's Alison Ramos also had dug her way back into the match with Aleksandra Krsljanin, shrugging off a loss in the first set and going on to get a 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-4) victory that made it a 6-0 USC advantage. The final match underway was a No. 2 battle between USC's #18 Danielle Lao and Washington's #27 Venise Chan. The tug-of-war went to tiebreaks in both sets, and Chan was able to edge out Lao in a tight one to decide things as a 7-6 (2), 7-6 (6) win for Washington to wrap up the match as a 6-1 USC victory.
USC's next competition comes up next week when the Trojans first face Fresno State in a 1 p.m. match on Thursday (March 10) at Marks Stadium. On Saturday (March 12), USC heads to Malibu to face Pepperdine at 12 p.m.
#15 USC 6, #20 Washington 1