USC Women Slip 4-0 To UCLA In NCAA Round of 16|
May 15, 2008
TULSA, OKLA. - The USC women's tennis team saw its comeback efforts stopped short on Thursday, as UCLA managed a 4-0 win over the Trojans in the NCAA Round of 16 in Tulsa, Okla. The crosstown rivals clashed for the third time this season, this time looking for the right to move on in NCAA Championship competition at Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center. But while the Women of Troy were working on pushing through three-setters in three singles matches, the No. 7 seeded Bruins were able to capture the Round of 16 victory at 4-0, leaving No. 10 seed USC with a 19-8 overall record for the 2008 season.
The Trojans were making their 10th straight appearance to the NCAA Round of 16 - a feat achieved by only one other team since the NCAA tournament's expansion to a 64-team field. USC was ousted in the Round of 16 last season as well in a 4-3 loss to Miami. With this 26th overall appearance in the NCAA tournament, USC now holds a 56-25 all-time record in NCAA competition.
This year's Round of 16 trip saw the Trojans come up against a higher seeded UCLA squad coming off its first Pac-10 title. USC held the advantage in the early stages of doubles play, only to see the Bruins move ahead down the stretch. The Trojans' #5 ranked team of Amanda Fink / Gabriela Niculescu got ahead 3-0 and then 5-2 in the match at the No. 1 position, but UCLA's top-ranked pair of Lin/Zalameda worked out to a 7-6 lead just before the point was actually decided by UCLA wins at No. 3 and then No. 2. At the No. 3 match, USC's freshman pair of Cristala Andrews / Maria Sanchez powered to a 7-2 lead against McGoodwin/Schnack, but the Bruins charged back and stole away the win with a 9-7 decision that got UCLA an edge in the doubles race. At No. 2, UCLA's #56 Lumpkin/Wetmore held onto an early lead against USC's Lyndsay Kinstler/Lindsey Nelson to claim an 8-3 win that clinched the doubles point for the Bruins.
In singles play, UCLA moved up 2-0 on a 6-1, 6-1 win by #42 Yasmin Schnack over USC's ITA West Region Player to Watch Gabriela Niculescu at the No. 3 position. The Bruins managed to pull out first-set tiebreakers at the No. 1 and No. 4 positions to give the Bruins an edge in those matches. But at the No. 1 slot - which featured a rematch of the Pac-10 Singles Championship - USC's #6 Amanda Fink bounced back and forced a third set against Pac-10 champ #8 Riza Zalameda. At No. 5, USC freshman Maria Sanchez also answered back to force a third set, firing back from an 0-6 loss in the first to take Elizabeth Lumpkin into a third.
The third three-setter to rage on was at the No. 2 slot, where USC senior Lindsey Nelson went up 6-4 in the first but dropped the second 3-6 to Tracy Lin to bring up a third on that court. But while those matches remained up for grabs, UCLA was able to close things out with straight-set wins at the No. 4 and 6 positions. Already up 2-0 on Schnack's win at No. 3, UCLA grabbed some momentum out of a hard-fought first-set tiebreaker at No. 4. There, #54 Andrea Remynse pulled out a 7-6 (5), 6-0 win over USC's Sarah Fansler to make the match score 3-0 in UCLA's favor. At No. 6, Leyla Entekhabi warded off a pair of match points, only to have UCLA's Alex McGoodwin clinch the Bruin win with a 6-4, 7-5 win, holding serve to end the Round of 16 match and suspend the remaining three-set battles in action.
Now that NCAA Team Championship competition has closed down for the Trojans, USC has three players setting up for the NCAA Individual Championships set to run May 21-26. Junior Amanda Fink is the tournament's No. 6 seed in singles competition and is joined by senior Lindsey Nelson - making her fourth straight appearance in NCAA singles action - and sophomore Gabriela Niculescu. Fink and Niculescu are also teaming up in doubles as a 5-8 seed into the doubles play also set to begin next week at Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
NCAA Round of 16