Women's Tennis Unable to Upset No. 2 USC

March 8, 2003

EUGENE - Once again, the No. 36 Oregon women's tennis team played a top-10 team tough but lost, this time to No. 2 USC, 5-2. The Ducks (9-7, 2-6) lost their fourth-straight match, all against teams ranked in the top 10.

'We played very well today,' head coach Nils Schyllander said. 'I give a lot of credit to USC. They showed why they are No. 2 in the nation. Our girls did not back down and went out there and played to win.'

The match was back-and-forth throughout both the doubles and singles action. The Women of Troy won the doubles point by winning at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. At No. 1, the No. 38-ranked team of Courtney Nagle and Daria Panova upset the No. 20-ranked team of Tiffany Brymer and Jewel Peterson, 8-4. The Women of Troy took the match at No. 2 by the same score, meaning the doubles point would come down to the No. 3 position. At No. 3, Oregon's Ester Bak and Anna Leksinska had a 7-6 lead and were serving, but could not pull out the win. USC's Melissa Esmero and Carine Vermeulen forced a tiebreaker, which they eventually won, 7-1, to get USC a 1-0 lead.

Knowing they would need to win four matches in singles play, the Ducks seized the momentum by winning the first set in four of the six matches. Nagle, the No. 52-ranked player in the nation, defeated No. 32 Luana Magnani at No. 2, 6-3, 6-4, and tied the team score, 1-1.

USC was able to grab the momentum back and won the next three singles matches off the court, at No. 1, 6 and 3. No. 4-ranked Peterson came back to defeat No. 16 Panova, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, while No. 96 Maureen Diaz defeated No. 89 Monika Gieczys in straight sets in the other ranked match-up.

Bak picked up Oregon's other point at No. 5 by upsetting No. 90 Tiffany Brymer. Bak won the first set and won the match when Brymer was forced to retire after spraining her ankle early in the third set. Anita Loyola defeated Oregon's Jamie Marshall at No. 4 in the final match on the court, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

'We've played four matches in a row against top-10 competition and we are right there,' Schyllander said. 'I think this gives our team a lot of confidence. Our team believes we can win any match, and if we keep the right attitude, we'll get a couple more upsets down the road.'

SINGLES
1. No. 4 Jewel Peterson (USC) def. No. 16 Daria Panova (UO), 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
2. No. 52 Courtney Nagle (UO) def. No. 32 Luana Magnani (USC), 6-3, 6-4
3. No. 96 Maureen Diaz (USC) def. No. 89 Monika Gieczys (UO), 7-5, 6-1
4. Anita Loyola (USC) def. Jamie Marshall (UO), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
5. Ester Bak (UO) def. No. 90 Tiffany Brymer (USC), 6-4, 5-7, 2-1 ret.
6. Carine Vermeulen (USC) def. Anna Leksinska (UO), 6-3, 6-4

DOUBLES
1. No. 38 Nagle/Panova (UO) def. No. 20 Brymer/Peterson (USC), 8-4
2. Loyola/Magnani (USC) def. No. 44 Gieczys/Merle (UO), 8-4
3. Esmero/Vermeulen (USC) def. Bak/Leksinska (UO), 9-8 (1)