May 29, 2004
Athens, Ga. - UCLA's Daniela Bercek and Lauren Fisher defeated Marshall's Jessica Johnson/Ashley Kroh 6-4, 6-4 in the NCAA doubles final Saturday at the University of Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
With the victory, Bercek and Fisher, unseeded in the 32-team tournament, give UCLA the all-time lead in total NCAA doubles team championships. Five Bruin duos have now won NCAA doubles titles, one more than California, Florida and Stanford.
"I am just so happy that we were able to have pulled through this thing," said Fisher. "I was really looking forward to this match. It wasn't fun sitting out last year (elbow surgery), and after getting here in 2002, I was anxious to get back."
It is the second time in three years that Fisher has reached the NCAA doubles championship. In 2002, she teamed with MeganBradley to advance to the final before losing to Lauren Kalvaria and Gabriela Lastra of Stanford, 6-2, 6-3.
Added Bercek after the match: "I was scared that I would not be able to give my best to (Lauren) because of my hamstring. I am glad I was able to pull through for her. We get along great. After I saw how we played in the first match of the tournament, I knew that we would do very well and that we had a shot to win it."
Previous UCLA doubles tandems to win national titles include: Heather Ludloff and Lynn Lewis in 1982, Allyson Cooper and current UCLA coach Stella Sampras (Webster) in 1988, Mamie Cenezia and Iwalani McCalla in 1992 and Keri Phebus and Susie Starrett in 1995.
Bercek and Fisher become the 14th doubles team from the Pac-10 Conference to claim the NCAA doubles title in the 23 years the NCAA has conducted a championship for women's tennis.