March 3, 2004
LOS ANGELES - The No. 11-ranked UCLA women's tennis team won the doubles point but managed just one victory in singles play, falling 5-2 to No. 13 USC Wednesday in the Pac-10 opener for both teams at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. With the loss, UCLA falls to 6-5 overall and 0-1 in Pac-10 play. The Women of Troy improve to 6-3 overall and 1-0 in conference action.
The Bruins started strong by claiming a 1-0 advantage in the match with a pair of doubles victories at the top two courts. First to finish was court No. 2, where Lauren Fisher and Laura Gordon posted an 8-4 win over USC's Judy DeVera/Melissa Esmero. The Women of Troy answered with an 8-3 decision at the No. 3 court. The doubles point was decided at the No. 1 position, where UCLA's Jackie Carleton/Feriel Esseghir defeated Luana Magnani/Carine Vermeulen, 8-3.
Despite the early 1-0 UCLA advantage, USC bounced back strong in singles play. The Women of Troy tied the dual match at 1-1 when DeVera defeated Gordon, 7-5, 6-1 at court No. 5. UCLA's Lauren Fisher then put the Bruins back in the lead when she knocked off Dianne Matias, 6-4, 6-2 at court No. 4.
From that point on however, it was all USC. The Women of Troy posted a pair of wins at the Nos. 3 and 6 courts to go ahead 3-2 in the dual match. At that point, both remaining matches were headed to a third set.
The match was clinched at the No. 2 court, where Vermeulen knocked off Esseghir, 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-4. Already leading the dual 4-2, Magnani capped things off for USC at the No. 1 court, defeating Carleton, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
USC, which beat UCLA, 4-3 back on Jan. 30, gets the full five points in the Lexus Gauntlet Cup standings.
The Bruins return to action this Saturday at the LATC and will host Oregon at Noon.