No. 1 Women's Tennis Upset by No. 4 USC, 6-1
LOS ANGELES - The top-ranked UCLA women's tennis team suffered an upset in its final regular-season match on Friday afternoon at the Los Angeles Tennis Center, as No. 4 USC pulled off a 6-1 victory to claim the 2012 Pac-12 Championship. The result marks just the second loss of the year for the Bruins, who end the regular season 21-2 overall and 8-2 in the Pac-12. With the win, USC improves to 20-3 and 9-1 in conference play.
USC became just the third team to take the doubles point from the Bruins this year, as the Trojans notched victories at court Nos. 1 and 3 to clinch the point. All three matches were extremely close, and USC struck first when Danielle Lao and Alison Ramos edged Bruin seniors McCall Jones and Carling Seguso, 8-6 at court No. 3. After falling behind 1-6, Jones and Seguso fought back to bring the match back on serve at 6-7, however the Trojans broke the Bruins serve in the final game to take the win. The next two matches finished within seconds of each other, as UCLA evened things up when ninth-ranked Courtney Dolehide and Pamela Montez downed Valeria Pulido and Zoe Scandalis, 8-6 at court No. 2. At the time of that Bruin win, the Trojans held match point at court No. 1 and seventh-ranked Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria converted it, beating 11th-ranked Robin Anderson and Skylar Morton, 8-6. UCLA had won the doubles point in both prior meetings with USC this season.
After dropping the doubles point, UCLA suddenly found itself needing to win four of six singles matches to pull off the win. The Bruins, however, never really found their footing after doubles, and the Trojans reeled off five first sets to start singles play. Straight-set victories by Santamaria and Christian gave USC a 3-0 lead and brought the Trojans within a point of clinching the upset. USC would get the clincher at the No. 6 position, where Pulido was a 6-3, 7-5 winner over Bruin freshman Kaitlin Ray. It marked Ray's first dual-match loss of the season and also halted her 26-match winning streak.
UCLA's lone point on the afternoon came from Chanelle Van Nguyen at court No. 5, as she downed Gabrielle DeSimone, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.
The Bruins were seeking their first conference title since 2008. UCLA will now focus its attention on winning some individual titles, as the team heads to Ojai next week for the annual Pac-12 Championships.
#4 USC 6, #1 UCLA 1
Apr 20, 2012 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
1. #7 Christian/Santamaria (USC) def. #11 Anderson/Morton (UCLA) 8-6
2. #9 Courtney Dolehide/Montez (UCLA) def. #49 Pulido/Scandalis (USC) 8-6
3. Lao/Alison Ramos (USC) def. Jones/Carling Seguso (UCLA) 8-6
USC Wins Doubles Point
1. #20 Zoe Scandalis (USC) def. #3 Robin Anderson (UCLA) 6-2, 7-5
2. #18 Danielle Lao (USC) def. #96 McCall Jones (UCLA) 7-6(1), 6-3
3. #29 Sabrina Santamaria (USC) def. #109 Pamela Montez (UCLA) 6-2, 6-1
4. #75 Kaitlyn Christian (USC) def. #107 Skylar Morton (UCLA) 6-4, 6-3
5. #110 Chanelle Van Nguyen (UCLA) def. Gabrielle DeSimone (USC) 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
6. Valeria Pulido (USC) def. #118 Kaitlin Ray (UCLA) 6-3, 7-5
USC 20-3; 9-1 Pac-12; National ranking #4
UCLA 21-2; 8-2 Pac-12; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (3,4,6,1,5,2)