No. 10 USC Falls 5-2 To No. 3 Cal|
Feb. 26, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The No. 10 USC women's tennis team took its first loss of the year at Marks Stadium, coming up against No. 3 California and falling 5-2 to the Bears on Friday afternoon. Cal pulled ahead early in the match while remaining singles action stretched into third sets. USC goes to 7-3 overall with the loss.
Doubles play opened to Cal's advantage with a quick win at the No. 1 position by Cal's #13-ranked pair. USC's Lao/Ramos fought back from trailing 0-6 in the match and pinned up a 9-7 upset over Cal's #54 Cossou/Siwosz at No. 2, but the Bears would manage a tight win at No. 3 to clinch the point. USC's Fansler/Pulidoalso fought back to force a tiebreaker, and the teams battled hard until the Bears managed to squeak out an 11-9 tiebreak to claim a 9-8 (9) win that got Cal a 1-0 lead and brought up singles action.
Three straight-set singles wins by the Bears secured victory fairly early for Cal, with #20 Marina Cossou getting out of the gates with a 6-2, 6-2 win over USC's #19 Alison Ramos at the No. 2 spot. Nelly Radeva and Tayler Davis both managed 6-4, 6-4 wins over their Trojan opponents - Lyndsay Kinstler and Cristala Andrews, respectively - to secure victory for Cal with three matches still going and extending into third sets. At the No. 4 position, meanwhile, USC's #51 Valeria Pulido pushed for a third set against Kasia Siwosz. Pulido took a lead in the third, and Siwosz retired from the match as the Trojans notched a point to make it 4-1 Cal.
In the marquee match of the day, USC's #3 Maria Sanchez went up against Cal's #2 Jana Juricova. The clash lived up to expectations, going three sets and rife with hard-fought points. When Juricova answered Sanchez' first-set win by taking the second set, Sanchez pulled ahead 2-0 in the third. Juricova responded to tie it 2-2, but Sanchez blasted out the next three games with a pair of breaks to go up 5-2. Juricova broke her back, but Sanchez had the last word with one more break to claim a strong 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 victory at the No. 1 slot and make it a 4-2 match.
That left the No. 3 singles match also raging in a third set with #31 Danielle Lao looking to reel in #75 Mari Andersson. Andersson pulled ahead late in the match, however, getting a 6-1, 2-6, 7-5 victory that rounded out a -2 Cal win on the day.
USC now turns to host No. 11 Stanford in another hotly anticipated match, as the Women of Troy beat the Cardinal at Marks Stadium last season en route to capturing USC's first Pac-10 championship. USC hosts Stanford tomorrow (Feb. 27) at 12 p.m. at Marks Stadium.
#3 California 5, #10 USC 2