No. 8 USC Women Are Edged By No. 12 UCLA|
April 21, 2007
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The No. 8 USC women's tennis team forced its final regular-season dual match into a marathon match with crosstown rival No. 12 UCLA. After five hours of action, however, it was the Bruins that emerged with the win, eking out a 4-3 win over the Trojans with Ashley Joelson's third-set tiebreaker win over Dianne Matias at the No. 4 singles position. USC finishes the regular season with a 17-4 overall record and a 6-2 Pac-10 mark, while UCLA is now 15-7 and 6-2.
UCLA grabbed the first burst of momentum by sweeping the doubles point, and that extra boost looked to carry the Bruins through singles play as well. With Bruin wins by Elizabeth Lumpkin and Yasmin Schnack, and a Trojan victory from Anca Anastasiu, UCLA led 3-1 in the match at 3:05 p.m., but the deciding singles match was still a long time coming.
While the first three matches ended in straight sets, Lindsey Nelson and Riza Zalameda spent a solid amount of time battling out their first-set tiebreaker. The final point raged on until Zalameda pulled out the win with a 14-12 decision in the tiebreaker. But that first-set loss served as an adequate spark for Nelson. The junior powered back and ended up grabbing USC's second point of the match with a 6-7 (12), 6-4, 6-2 comeback win at the No. 1 slot. Barely 10 seconds later, USC freshman Sarah Fansler dealt out similar heroics with a comeback at No. 2 over Tracy Lin. Fansler trailed 0-4 in the second set before turning the tables and winning five straight games to take the lead and work on toward the win at 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. Her match tied things up 3-3 over an hour after the Bruins had taken their 3-1 advantage.
That left the No. 4 match between Dianne Matias and Ashley Joelson battling on. Down 0-3 in the decisive third set, Matias worked back into it and went up a break 4-3 and then held for a 5-3 lead. Joelson answered, however, and forced her way ahead 6-5. Again, Matias would even it up by holding serve to bring up the tiebreaker. Joelson was consistent in the tiebreaker and took an early lead that Matias was hard-pressed to eat into. Joelson capped off the match with a winning volley that secured the win for UCLA with her 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (2) comeback effort.
#12 UCLA 4, #8 USC 4
April 21, 2007 - Marks Stadium
(1) Zalameda/Schnack (UCLA) def. Nelson/Smekodub (USC) - 8-3
(2) Joelson/McGoodwin (UCLA) def. DeVera/Fink (USC) - 8-5
(3) #29 Wetmore/Lumpkin (UCLA) def. Fansler/Matias (USC) - 7-6 (4)
UCLA wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3