No. 12 USC Manages to Upset No. 3 UCLA, 4-2
March 8, 2013
LOS ANGELES - The third-ranked UCLA women's tennis team suffered just its second loss of the season on Friday evening, as No. 12 USC came away with a 4-2 victory over the Bruins in a non-conference match at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. With the loss, UCLA sees its record fall to 9-2 on the season, while the Trojans improve to 10-2. The result does not count in the Pac-12 standings, as the conference match between the two teams is scheduled for April 18 at USC.
Weather conditions made it tough for both teams on Friday, as rain in the Los Angeles Area wreaked havoc for much of the afternoon. The match was initially delayed nearly an hour and a half in order to dry the courts and once play did begin, the teams endured two separate rain delays which resulted in the match not ending until 8:15 p.m.
Despite the initial weather delay, UCLA started strong in doubles, capturing the point following a pair of decisive victories at court Nos. 2 and 3. The Bruins' 58th-ranked tandem of Courtney Dolehide and Pamela Montez got things started at court No. 2, notching an 8-3 win over Gabriella DeSimone and Zoe Scandalis. A pair of Bruin freshmen then clinched the point for UCLA at the No. 3 spot, where Catherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips were 8-3 winners over USC's Danielle Lao and Giuliana Olmos. Top-ranked Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria were leading Robin Anderson and Chanelle Van Nguyen, 7-4 at court No. 1 when play was suspended.
Both teams won three first sets to start singles play, with USC taking control on the top three courts and UCLA winning first sets at the Nos. 4-6 positions. Rain started to fall again during the second set of most singles matches, with the exception being at court No. 2, where Montez and Lao were still at 5-5 in the first set. Neither team owned a big advantage at the time of the delay, however Santamaria did move out to a 6-1, 5-1 lead over Anderson at court No. 1.
Following the two-hour rain delay, Santamaria quickly came out and evened the match at 1-1 when she beat Anderson, 6-1, 6-2. It was a surprising result between the two players, who are separated by just one spot in the ITA singles rankings, with Andrson checking in at No. 2 nationally and Santamaria at No. 3. The Trojans then picked up their second singles win of the day when Scandalis downed McPhillips, 6-3, 6-1 at court No. 3 to make it 2-1 USC.
Despite the momentum appearing to be headed in the Trojans' favor following the rain delay, Dolehide kept UCLA's hopes alive at court No. 6, where she beat Ellie Yates, 6-0, 6-3 to even things up at 2-2.
Although Harrison owned a set and a break lead over Giuliana Olmos at court No. 5, things didn't look good for UCLA at the remaining two courts, where USC moved out to big leads. The Trojans got their third point of the afternoon at court No. 4, where DeSimone battled back for an 0-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Van Nguyen.
Not long after DeSimone's victory, Lao would registered the clinching win for USC at court No. 2, where she downed Montez, 7-5, 6-1 to give the Trojans in insurmountable 4-2 lead.
Once USC clinched the victory, play was suspended at court No. 5 with Harrison leading Olmos, 1-0 in the third set.
The Bruins will look to rebound next week, as the team is scheduled to host Utah on Friday at 1:30 p.m.
#12 USC 4, #3 UCLA 2
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