May 15, 2004
LOS ANGELES - The ninth-seeded UCLA women's tennis team earned a spot in next week's 16-team NCAA Championships, defeating Pepperdine, 4-2 Saturday in an NCAA Regional Final at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Bruins (18-7) will face eighth-seeded USC (18-6) next Thursday in Athens, Ga.
Unlike its 4-0 decision over Long Beach State a day earlier, UCLA was tested on Saturday and was forced to come from behind to pull out the win. The Waves came out strong, registering a pair of doubles victories to earn the one point awarded for doubles play.
The Bruins were able to answer back quickly in singles play however, as sophomore Laura Gordon got UCLA on the board with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Eva Dickes at court No. 6. Junior Sarah Gregg then put the Bruins up 2-1 when she knocked off Karin Schlapbach, 6-1, 6-2 at court No. 4.
UCLA and Pepperdine then traded a pair of straight-set victories on court Nos. 2 and 3, making it 3-2 in favor of UCLA. At that point, both remaining matches were in a third set. Bruin junior Lauren Fisher was able to clinch the match for UCLA at the No. 5 position, as she came back from a set down to defeat Merve Asimgil, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. When play was suspended, UCLA's Daniela Bercek was up 4-3 in the third set of her match with Natalie Braverman.
Saturday marked the second year in a row that UCLA has defeated Pepperdine in the NCAA Tournament, as the Bruins posted a 4-1 victory over the Waves in last year's regional final. UCLA reached the quarterfinals at last year's NCAA Championships, falling to third-seeded Duke, 4-0 at Stanford, Calif.
|1.||Raba/Vernaz (Pepp) def. (23) Bercek/Fisher (UCLA)||9-7|
|2.||(43) Carleton/Esseghir (UCLA) vs. Asimgil/Braverman (Pepp)||Susp.|
|3.||Dickes/Schlapbach (Pepp) def. Gordon/Gregg (UCLA)||8-2|
|Pepperdine Wins Doubles Point|
|1.||(31) Daniela Bercek (UCLA) vs. (27) Natalie Braverman (Pepp)||Susp.|
|2.||Caroline Raba (Pepp) def. (18) Jackie Carleton (UCLA)||6-4, 6-2|
|3.||Feriel Esseghir (UCLA) def. (100) Charlotte Vernaz (Pepp)||6-4, 6-3|
|4.||Sarah Gregg (UCLA) def. Karin Schlapbach (Pepp)||6-1, 6-2|
|5.||Lauren Fisher (UCLA) def. Merve Asimgil (Pepp)||3-6, 6-3, 6-2*|
|6.||Laura Gordon (UCLA) def. Eva Dickes (Pepp)||6-0, 6-3|
|* Denotes Clinching Match - Singles Order of Finish: 6, 4, 3, 2, 5|