LOS ANGELES, CALIF. — No. 4 USC has matched its best stretch of tennis since 2003 in taking its 2012 overall record out to 18-2 with Saturday’s 6-1 win against visiting No. 29 Arizona State. Now 7-0 in Pac-12 play, the Women of Troy will play out the rest of the regular season on the road.
Saturday’s Pac-12 clash with Arizona State presented an injury-depleted Sun Devil lineup, with only four healthy players in action. That left ASU forfeits at the No. 3 doubles position and the No. 5 and 6 singles spots. So when the Trojans opened doubles play with an 8-2 win by No. 52 Valeria Pulido / Zoe Scandalis against Sun Devils James/Sahugan, USC would take the doubles point and an extra lead going into singles play up 3-0 in the match.
On court two, USC’s No. 22 junior Danielle Lao got down to business quickly and decidedly as she rattled off a 6-0, 6-1 win against Joanna Smith to get the clinching win for the Trojans, up 4-0 on the Sun Devils.
No. 36 freshman Sabrina Santamaria served up a straight-set win of her own next, speeding to her seventh consecutive singles victory on a 6-1, 6-2 decision against ASU’s Hannah James at the No. 3 spot.
Meanwhile, No. 76 sophomore Kaitlyn Christian was finding her groove on court four after a slump in the first set with ASU’s Leighann Sahagun. Christian got shut out in the first set, but made a powerful rally in the next stretch to put USC’s sixth point on the board with her 0-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-5) comeback effort.
At the No. 1 spot, USC’s No. 15 freshman Zoe Scandalis had her hands full with a hard-hitting Michelle Brycki, who managed to edge out Scandalis in the first set with a tiebreaker before fighting back to get the win for the Sun Devils on a 7-6 (2), 6-4 victory against Scandalis to close out the day’s action.