No. 11 Cal Tops No. 18 USC Women 5-2|
April 3, 2010
BERKELEY, CALIF. - The No. 18 USC women's tennis team took a tough loss to a tough No. 12 Cal team, falling 5-2 on the road to the Bears in Pac-10 action. The loss is the Trojans' first conference loss of the year, as USC moves to 11-7 overall and 3-1 in Pac-10 play. USC freshmen Danielle Lao and Valeria Pulido accounted for USC's points in the match, as the pair each won in straight sets in their singles slots. Cal goes to 14-4, 2-1 with the win.
The Bears opened up doubles play with a sweep of the Trojans to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Cal would go up 2-0 as Nelly Radeva topped USC's Lyndsay Kinstler 6-3, 6-1 at the No. 6 position, but USC closed in as #30 Danielle Lao shoved her way past Kasia Siwosz on court three for a 6-1, 6-1 win that made it 2-1 Cal. The Bears answered with Tayler Davis' 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 5 over Sarah Fansler to take a 3-1 lead, but the Trojans made it interesting again by cutting it to 3-2. At No. 4, #103 Valeria Pulido joined her fellow freshman Lao with a straight-set run past Annie Goransson with a 6-3, 7-5 victory for the Trojans.
With the match hanging in the balance as Cal held a slim 3-2 lead, the top two courts both went into dramatic deciding third sets. On court one, a high-powered rematch between USC's #2 Maria Sanchez and Cal's #3 Jana Juricova was underway. Sanchez had upended Juricova in Los Angeles with a three-setter while the pair held the opposite rankings from today. This time, it was #3 Juricova who caught up with #2 Sanchez. Sanchez gutted out a second-set comeback to force the third, but got behind a break to Juricova, as the Bears got to their win with Juricova's 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win over Sanchez. Meanwhile, #26 Alison Ramos was waging war against Cal's #44 Mari Andersson, who was pushing for a comeback win on court two. Andersson managed the comeback, topping Ramos 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to wrap up the Bears' second 5-2 decision over the Trojans this season.
USC will now head back to Palo Alto for another shot at its Pac-10 clash with No. 12 Stanford. The teams had made it no more than two games into singles play - with doubles postponed - before rain washed out action. The Trojans and the Cardinal are scheduled to resume their match at 10 a.m. on Sunday (April 4) as long as weather permits tomorrow.
#11 California 5, #18 USC 2