Urbana, Ill. - The seventh-seeded UCLA women's tennis team saw its season come to an end in the semifinals of the NCAA Championships on Monday evening, suffering a 4-3 loss to No. 3 Texas A&M at the University of Illinois' Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex. With the loss, UCLA ends its season with a 20-6 overall record. The Aggies (26-3) advance to Tuesday's title match and will face 12th-seeded Stanford.
UCLA was able to grab the doubles point in Monday's contest, clinching the point when freshmen Catherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips posted a 9-7 win over Texas A&M's sister duo of Ines and Paula Deheza at court No. 3. That win was preceded by an 8-5 victory from 25th-ranked Robin Anderson and Skylar Morton over 18th-ranked Stefania Hristov and Cristina Stancu at court No. 1.
Court No. 1 would be the first to finish in singles, as Anderson was beaten in straight sets by Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, 6-1, 6-3. It was a battle of top 5 opponents, with Anderson checking in at No. 3 nationally followed by Sanchez-Quintanar at No. 4.
Like they did in doubles, UCLA's
freshmen came through in singles to put the Bruins up 3-1. Harrison was a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Anna Mamalat at court No. 4, while McPhillips, who lost the first set 6-2 to Stancu, rallied to win 11 of the final 12 games of the match, storming back for a 2-6, 6-0, 6-1 victory.
It was at this point that Texas A&M began to rally, taking the next two matches to tie the dual match score at 3-3. Wins by Hristov at Nazari Urbina at court Nos. 5 and 3, respectively, brought all the attention to court No. 4, where UCLA's Chanelle Van Nguyen and Ines Deheza were in a tight second set.
Deheza struck first, claiming the opening set 6-3. Van Nguyen stayed alive in the second, however, eventually forcing the set to a tiebreaker. Deheza earned her first match point up 7-6 in the breaker, however Van Nguyen hit a beautiful drop volley at the net to fight it off and tie the score at 7-7. Van Nguyen would take a 10-9 lead and an ensuing double fault by Deheza sent the match to a third and deciding set.
After going down 0-2 to start the third, Van Nguyen made a huge comeback, winning four-straight games for a 4-2 lead. Deheza would answer, however, breaking Van Nguyen and then holding to tie the score at 4-4. It was at that point when the match took a huge turn in Deheza's favor, as Van Nguyen began to cramp while serving at 15-40. When Van Nguyen failed to get back and serve the next point in a timely manner, she was given a point penalty for exceeding the time limit, resulting in Deheza winning that game to take a 5-4 lead. With Van Nguyen physically not at 100 percent, Deheza capitalized, serving out that final game to give the Aggies a 4-3 victory and a spot in the NCAA Final for the first time in school history.
NCAA Women's Tennis Championships (Semifinals)
#3 Texas A&M 4, #7 UCLA 3
May 20, 2013 at Urbana, IL (Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex)
1. #25 Anderson/Skylar Morton (UCLA) def. #18 Hristov/Stancu (TAMU) 8-5
2. #38 Dolehide/Montez (UCLA) vs. #49 Sanchez-Quintanar/Sun Wen (TAMU) 7-4, unfinished
3. Harrison/McPhillips (UCLA) def. I. Deheza/Paula Deheza (TAMU) 9-7
UCLA Wins Doubles Point
1. #4 C. Sanchez-Quintanar (TAMU) def. #3 Robin Anderson (UCLA) 6-1, 6-3
2. #20 Kyle McPhillips (UCLA) def. #68 Cristina Stancu (TAMU) 2-6, 6-0, 6-1
3. #52 Nazari Urbina (TAMU) def. Pamela Montez (UCLA) 6-4, 6-2
4. Ines Deheza (TAMU) def. Chanelle Van Nguyen (UCLA) 6-3, 7-6 (11-9), 6-4
5. #93 Catherine Harrison (UCLA) def. Anna Mamalat (TAMU) 6-4, 6-2
6. Stefania Hristov (TAMU) def. Courtney Dolehide (UCLA) 7-6, 6-1
Texas A&M 26-3; National ranking #3
UCLA 20-6; National ranking #7
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,5,2,6,3,4)