Utah State women's tennis (2-1) heads to East Lansing, Michigan, this weekend where the Aggies will have four matches in three days. USU begins with a doubleheader Friday where it will face Detroit Mercy (0-3) at 10 a.m. MT and Michigan State (5-1) at 3 p.m. On Saturday, USU will take on Akron (3-2) at 10 a.m. The Aggies wrap up their trip to Michigan with a match against Oakland (0-1) on Sunday at 8 a.m.
"This is going to be a great but physically challenging weekend for our program," head coach Sean McInerney said. "We are getting the opportunity to play programs we never, or rarely, get the opportunity to compete against. It is the perfect chance to play a lot of players early in the spring and see what they bring to the table."
Utah State is led by senior Sabrina Demerath who is 3-0 in singles. Freshman Sasha Pisareva is 2-1 at the No. 1 singles spot, while sophomore Hannah Jones is 2-1 and sophomore Sophia Haleas, senior Maggie O'Meara and sophomore Rhoda Tanuiare are 1-1 in singles play. In doubles, Haleas and redshirt freshman Alexandra are 2-0 at the No. 3 spot, Demerath and Pisareva are 2-1 at the No. 1 spot, O'Meara and junior Jenna Kane are 1-0 at the No. 2 spot and Jones and O'Meara are 1-1 at the No. 2 spot.
This will mark the first meeting between Utah State and Detroit Mercy. Junior Pauline Van Herck is 2-1 in singles play at the No. 4 spot, junior Iris Thioux is 1-2 at the No. 1 spot and redshirt freshman Sophie Torcello is 1-2 at the No. 3 spot. In doubles, Herck and Thioux are 2-1 at the No. 2 spot, freshmen Chelsea Apawti and Jasmine Apawti are 1-2 and sophomore Sara Mitrakovic and Torcello are 1-1 at the No. 3 spot.
The Aggies and Spartans will also square off for the first time. Michigan State began the season 5-0 before falling, 4-0, to No. 4 Georgia. Sophomore Samantha Memije is 3-0, junior Davina Nguyen is 3-0, freshman Sara Kuuttila is 3-1, senior Lexi Baylis is 2-0, senior Habiba Shaker is 2-0, senior Aslina Chua is 2-1, junior Emily Metcalf is 2-1 and freshman Ava Thielman is 1-0. In doubles, Metcalf and Nguyen are 3-0, Kuuttila and Shaker are 2-1, Baylis and Thielman are 2-2 and three doubles tandems are 1-0.
Utah State won its only match in program history with Akron, 4-3, in 2015. Freshman Miruna Vasilescu is 4-0, junior Luisa Echeverry is 3-2, freshman Madison Wolfe is 3-2, junior Carla Flores is 2-1, senior Carli Knezevich is 2-1 and senior Waverly Wituski is 2-2 in singles play. In doubles, Echeverry and Vasilescu are 3-0, Flores and sophomore Rita Pedroso are 2-0 and Echeverry and Vasilescu are 1-0.
USU was also victorious in its sole matchup with Oakland, winning 6-3, in 2000. Oakland is led by freshman Darya Maltseva and sophomore Alexandra Whall who are 1-0 in singles action. Maltseva and Whall are also 1-0 at the No. 2 doubles spot.
Ashley Springer is a student at Utah State University studying journalism and communication. Springer is an intern with the USU athletic department's media relations.