Anca Anastasiu and Julie Smekodub Claim ITA Western Doubles Title|
Oct. 26, 2006
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - In an all-USC doubles final, the senior Trojan pair of Anca Anastasiu / Julie Smekodub was able to edge out teammates Sarah Fansler / Dianne Matias 9-7 to claim the ITA Western Regional Doubles Championship on Thursday at USC's Marks Stadium. The two sets of Trojan doubles duos had emerged victorious in the semifinals, which were held on Sunday (Oct. 22) in San Diego, Calif., sparking the final match to be moved to USC's home courts to determine the championship team. The teams took nine games to deuce in the match before Anastasiu/Smekodub were able to pull ahead late in the match for a 9-7 championship victory.
To claim the crown, Anastasiu/Semkodub had to fend off a tough pair in Fansler/Matias. Freshman Fansler already had proven her place among the ITA elite by winning the ITA Western Regionals Singles Championship on Monday (Oct. 23), but to get a clean sweep of the tournament, Fansler would have to get past Anastasiu/Smekodub. After Anastasiu/Smekodub took an early 2-0 lead in the match, Fansler/Matias powered up and won three straight to get ahead 3-2. The teams traded breaks next, and then Fansler held serve to pick up a 5-3 lead.
Seniors Anastasiu/Smekodub responded, however. Anastasiu held her serve through deuce again to cut the lead to 5-4, and then the pair broke Matias to tie it up 5-5. Smekodub took care of business next from the service line, and then another break put Anastasiu/Smekodub back on top 7-5. Again, their Trojan teammates pushed back. Anastasiu/Smekodub reached match point twice, but Fansler/Matias battled back and stole away that game and the next for a 7-7 lockup.
After a powerful rally and strong net play on both sides, Smekodub put the finishing touches on the next game with a shot down the line that gave Anastasiu/Smekodub an 8-7 lead. The team played tight again in the next game, but Anastasiu/Smekodub held strong and closed out the game to lock away the 9-7 championship victory.