Bruins Reach ITA National Team Indoor Final
Charlottesville, Va. - The fourth-ranked UCLA women's tennis team is now one win away from capturing the program's first-ever ITA National Team Indoor title, as the Bruins downed cross-town rival USC, 4-0 in a semifinal showdown on Sunday at the Boars Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va. The second-seeded Bruins (8-0) will face top-seeded Duke (8-0) in the title match on Monday at 8:00 a.m. (PST). The Blue Devils were 4-1 winners over fifth-seeded Cal on Sunday.
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The Women of Troy jumped out to an early advantage in Sunday's doubles action, taking an 8-4 win at the No. 3 spot. UCLA didn't panic, however, storming back to take wins at the remaining two courts to claim the point. Freshmen Robin Anderson and Skylar Morton notched a huge win at the No. 1 position, upsetting third-ranked Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria, 8-6. That set up the clinching win at court No. 2, where Pamela Montez and Chanelle Van Nguyen were 8-5 winners over Danielle Lao and Alison Ramos.
With the doubles point in hand, UCLA needed just three wins in singles to take the match. Straight-set victories by Kaitlin Ray and Morton quickly put the Bruins ahead 3-0. Ray downed Ramos, 6-0, 6-3 at court No. 6, while Morton was a 6-4, 7-5 winner over Christian at court No. 4. Van Nguyen, who had already posted the clinching win in doubles, registered the decisive singles win on Sunday, beating Gabrielle DeSimone, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 to give UCLA the 4-0 victory.
"It is great to get the freshmen up to speed in a tournament like this," said UCLA head coach Stella Sampras Webster. "They definitely lack experience, but they are buying in and it is paying off. Chanelle just came in January. She is a great player and we are learning so much more about her as a player this week. The freshmen are showing us a lot. It is nice to have strong players at numbers four thru six."
When play was suspended, Anderson was up 4-2 in the third set over Zoe Scandalis at court No. 1, and Montez was leading Santamaria, 2-1 in the third set at court No. 3. McCall Jones had dropped the first set to Lao at court No. 2 and the two players were tied at 1-1 in the second set.
UCLA beat Duke in the quarterfinals of last year's NCAA Tournament at Stanford. The Bruins will be making their third appearance in the ITA National Team Indoor finals, following runner-up showings in 1990 and 1995.
"Duke is a strong team, so we will have to prepare our bodies for the match tomorrow," added Sampras Webster. "It is going to be tough. It is always nice to end a tournament with a win. It will be a good experience because we won't get a chance to see (Duke) again until NCAAs. We are going to be up for the challenge."
#4 UCLA 4, #16 USC 0
Feb 12, 2012 at Charlottesville, VA (Boars Head Sports Club)
1. #12 Anderson/Morton (UCLA) def. #3 Christian/Santamaria (USC) 8-6
2. Montez/Van Nguyen (UCLA) def. Lao/Ramos (USC) 8-5
3. Valeria Pulido/Scandalis (USC) def. Jones/Carling Seguso (UCLA) 8-4
UCLA Wins Doubles Point
1. #8 Robin Anderson (UCLA) vs. #19 Zoe Scandalis (USC) 6-4, 2-6, 4-2, unfinished
2. #62 McCall Jones (UCLA) vs. #42 Danielle Lao (USC) 6-7(7), 1-1, unfinished
3. #70 Pamela Montez (UCLA) vs. #18 Sabrina Santamaria (USC) 1-6, 6-3, 2-1, unfinished
4. Skylar Morton (UCLA) def. #99 Kaitlyn Christian (USC) 6-4, 7-5
5. Chanelle Van Nguyen (UCLA) def. Gabrielle DeSimone (USC) 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
6. Kaitlin Ray (UCLA) def. Alison Ramos (USC) 6-0, 6-3
USC 7-1; National ranking #16
UCLA 8-0; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (6,4,5)