Jewel Peterson Drops Championship Final To Georgia's Agata Cioroch

Nov. 10, 2002

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas - USC women's tennis senior Jewel Peterson fell to Georgia's Agata Cioroch, 6-4, 6-3, in Sunday's women's singles final at the Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, the second of three national championships for collegiate tennis this season.

Peterson, who is from College Park, Ga., is the first African American to reach a national women's singles final since Northwestern's Katrina Adams in 1986 (at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships), and only the second since the NCAA recognized women's tennis as a championship sport in 1982. She is also the first USC women's player to have reached the final at this tournament since 1986 when Caroline Kuhlman beat teammate Heliane Stedan in the title match.

In today's 75-minute final, the third-seeded Cioroch jumped up a break at 2-1 in both sets and maintained the lead each time thanks to a reliable serve, which Peterson was never able to break.

'My serve was working,' Cioroch said. 'Once I broke her (serve) I was really confident because of my serve.'

Peterson, a three-time ITA All-American and the tournament No. 4 seed, falls to 10-2 this season. She registered four top-100 wins en route to today's final. She lost in the second round at the first national tournament of the season, last month's Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

The Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, the nation's premier collegiate indoor tennis tournaments for Division I men and women, are presented by The Dallas Morning News and hosted by SMU at the Brookhaven Country Club in Farmers Branch.

The Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships began with a men's tournament in 1978 and the women's tournament began in 1984. The tournament can be followed at www.itatennis.com.

2002 Omni Hotels National Indoor Championship
Singles

First Round - Nov. 7
Jewel Peterson (USC) def. Chloe Carlotti (Fresno State) - 6-3, 6-4

Second Round - Nov. 8
Jewel Peterson (USC) def. Mira Radu (Ole Miss) - 6-0, 6-2

Quarterfinal - Nov. 8
Jewel Peterson (USC) def. Julie Smekodub (Tulane) - 7-6 (5), 6-4

Semifinal - Nov. 9
Jewel Peterson (USC) def. Alexis Gordon (Florida) - 4-6, 6-2, 6-2

Final - Nov. 10
Agata Cioroch (Georgia) def. Jewel Peterson (USC) - 6-4, 6-3

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