No. 11 USC Tops No. 8 Cal 6-1|
Feb. 29, 2008
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - After dropping the doubles point to No. 8 California, the No. 11 USC women's tennis team fired back by sweeping singles play en route to a 6-1 win over the visiting Bears on Friday afternoon at Marks Stadium. Straight-set wins from Lindsey Nelson, Maria Sanchez and Leyla Entekhabi put USC within reach of victory, and then Amanda Fink pinned up a three-setter to clinch the match for the Women of Troy. USC improves to 9-2 overall with the win.
USC opened the match with a strong 8-2 win by #5 Fink/Niculescu at No. 1 over #53 Babos/Kusano. At No. 3, however, Cal's Bobusic/Dillon edged Fansler/Kinstler 8-6 to pull even, and the match at No. 2 went into a tiebreaker. The Bears managed to grab a late advantage, as Ilcinkas/Cossou pulled out the 9-8 (5) victory over USC's Nelson/Sanchez to get Cal a 1-0 lead going into singles.
Lindsey Nelson came out firing against a familiarly competitive opponent, #7 Susie Babos. Babos had beaten Nelson in the 2006 NCAA Singles Champiognhip game, but Nelson returned the favor with a win in the 2007 Pac-10 Singles Championship. On Friday, Nelson kept control of the match at the No. 1 slot, beating Babos 6-4, 6-3 to tie the overall match 1-1. Freshman Maria Sanchez got a win of her own over a ranked Cal opponent, grabbing a 6-4, 6-4 victory at the No. 5 position over #87 Bojana Bobusic for a 2-1 USC lead. Her win was followed by a 7-6, 6-0 decision from the No. 6 spot, as freshman Leyla Entekhabi drilled out her 10th straight singles win to remain undefeated in dual match singles play this year.
It took three sets to decide the remaining three matches, and all three were pulled out by the Women of Troy. Clinching the match was #17 Amanda Fink, who bounced back from a slump in the second set to beat #52 Marina Cossou 6-1, 0-6, 6-3 and secure victory for USC. #97 Gabriela Niculescu performed a similar response, taking down #83 Claire Ilcinkas 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 from the No. 4 position. And wrapping things up for the Trojans was Sarah Fansler at the No. 3 slot. Fansler tacked up a strong comeback against #41 Cristina Visico for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 win that put the finishing touches on USC's dominant dual match win.
USC next faces #6 Stanford in nonconference play on Saturday (March 1) at noon at Marks Stadium.
#11 USC 6, #8 California 1