Women Of Troy Rally To Beat UCLA, 5-2
March 3, 2004
LOS ANGELES - After dropping the doubles point, the 13th-ranked USC women's tennis team (6-3, 1-0 Pac-10) rallied to win five singles matches and defeat crosstown rival No. 11 UCLA, 5-2, on Wednesday afternoon at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. With the win, the Women of Troy complete a season sweep of the Bruins (6-5, 0-1 Pac-10) and secure all five points towards the Lexus Gauntlet.
The Bruins grabbed a pair of victories to earn the doubles point in what seemed like a strong start. First to finish was court No. 3, where Judy DeVera and Melissa Esmero fell to UCLA's Lauren Fisher and Laura Gordon, 8-4. Despite a USC win at the No. 3 spot, the doubles point was decided at center court as UCLA's Jackie Carleton and Feriel Esseghir defeated Luana Magnani and Carine Vermeulen, 8-3.
Down 1-0, USC took advantage of every opportunity in singles play. The Women of Troy tied the match at 1-1 when DeVera got a little payback by defeating Gordon, 7-5, 6-1, at court five. In the first meeting with the Bruins on Jan. 30, DeVera suffered a sprained ankle and was forced to retire a match in which she led convincingly.
UCLA pulled back in the lead when Fisher beat Dianne Matias , 6-4, 6-2, at No. 4, but that was the last advantage the Bruins would hold. Anca Anastasiu and Bernadette Bayani posted a pair of wins at courts 3 and 6, to give the Women of Troy a 3-2 advantage.
With only one more victory necessary, USC was forced to wait quite a while for a final decision. In a match that lasted nearly six-and-a-half hours, it was Vermeulen who eventually collected the deciding point. Vermeulen defeated Esseghir, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4, at No. 2. To top off the afternoon for the Women of Troy, Magnani posted one final victory by upsetting UCLA's 13th-ranked Carleton, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, at center court.
USC returns to action this Friday, March 5, when it hosts Oregon at 1:30 p.m. at Marks Tennis Stadium.
#13 USC 5, #11 UCLA 2
Order of finish: 5, 4, 3, 6, 2, 1