MORAGA, Calif. - The No. 20 Saint Mary's women's tennis team hits the road for a pair of difficult matches this weekend at No. 27 Arizona State and No. 29 Arizona. The Gaels reached No. 20 in this week's ITA poll, the highest ranking in program history, and look to earn two more top-30 wins this weekend.
SMC will play No. 27 Arizona State on Saturday, March 3 at 11 a.m. (PT) at the Whiteman Tennis Center. The Gaels will then head to Tucson the following day to take on the Wildcats at 10 a.m. (PT).
No. 20 Saint Mary's enters the weekend with a 5-3 record and the highest ranking in the history of the women's tennis program. After the ITA rankings moved to a computerized poll this weekend, the Gaels' very strong strength of schedule provided a big jump in the poll. The only SMC losses of the season were to No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 USC and No. 11 Stanford.
The Gaels have a pair of top-30 wins this season that helped in the big jump as well. Saint Mary's defeated No. 29 Washington last weekend in Seattle and also defeated No. 25 Oklahoma in the first match of the season.
SMC also has two players ranked in the most recent ITA singles poll. Jenny Jullien comes in at No. 97 with a 5-2 singles record in dual matches this spring, while Catherine Isip is ranked No. 112 this week after playing all spring at the Gaels' top singles position.
Arizona State enters the week with a 6-2 record and will play Sacramento State on Friday before the match against the Gaels. Saint Mary's is 0-1 all-time against the Sun Devils, with the only matchup between the two schools coming as an ASU win in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
Arizona enters the weekend with a 7-3 record and will also play the Hornets before the match against the Gaels. Most recently, the Wildcats earned wins over No. 57 SMU and No. 58 Illinois and fell to No. 12 Virginia at the Blue-Gray Classic in Montgomery, Ala. The Gaels are 0-2 all-time against the Wildcats, with the last loss coming in 2011 in Seattle.
Following the weekend in Arizona, the Gaels will return home next weekend to host San Francisco on Saturday, March 10 at 11 a.m. and then play at Pacific the following day