TUCSON - With Arizona State commanding the first place position in the Territorial Cup Series 7.5-6, the No. 22 Sun Devils (18-6; Pac-12 5-4) women's tennis team will attempt to widen the gap over the No. 31 Arizona Wildcats on Saturday afternoon in Tucson, Ariz.
ASU enters their final match of the regular season with eighteen wins so far, five of those coming in Pac-12 conference play. The Sun Devils would like to tack on at least one more win to that number, especially after dropping two straight to conference powerhouses UCLA and USC last weekend.
Despite the two losses, Arizona State managed to earn yet another top-25 team ranking, two singles rankings and one doubles. Sophomore Desirae Krawczyk fell one position short of cracking the top-50 this week, coming in at No. 51 overall in singles. Stephanie Vlad came in fourteen spots behind that at No. 65 in the country.
In doubles, the pairing of Desirae Krawczyk and Kassidy Jump earned a No. 66 overall ranking -- the sophomore-freshman pairing has been the only ASU duo to earn a doubles ranking all season.
As is standard in the Territorial Cup, the match alternates between the two-instate rivals. Arizona will host this years match after the Arizona State hosted the Wildcats last year and put up a 4-3 victory on senior day.
Two Arizona singles players earned rankings this week as well. Lacey Smith, expected to compete on the No. 1 singles court against Vlad, earned a No. 58 ranking. Lauren Marker also posted a top-100 ranking, coming in at No. 74.
For Arizona State, the upcoming match means so much more than just the normal in-state rivalry. The Sun Devils are currently ranked sixth overall in the Pac-12 standings, falling one spot behind USC who posted a 7-2 conference record.
And while ASU can't catch the Trojans even with a win on Saturday, the senior-less Sun Devil squad is looking to put themselves in the best possible position for the upcoming conference tournament and a possible bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Saturday's match will be played on the campus of Arizona at the Robson Tennis Center. Live stats for the match are available courtesy the University of Arizona. More information can be found on the Territorial Cup here.