USC Women's Tennis Overcomes Huge Deficit To Beat UCLA In NCAAs

May 19, 2005

The No. 7-ranked USC women's tennis team (19-3) swept its final four singles matches for a 4-3 comeback victory over No. 12 UCLA (17-6) in a Round of 16 match of the 2005 NCAA Women's Division I Tennis Team Championships at Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex on Thursday (May 19).

The Women of Troy next will face No. 2 Florida, a 4-2 winner over Baylor, in a quarterfinal match on Friday (May 20) at 3 p.m. ET. That winner advances to the May 21 semifinals, with the national championship match on May 22.

It was the third time in the last four years that crosstown foes USC and UCLA met in the Round of 16 (the Bruins won in 2002 and 2004).

It also is the fifth time in the past seven years that head coach Richard Gallien's Women of Troy have advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals.

USC had to climb back out from a 3-0 deficit against the Bruins. UCLA started off by winning the doubles point behind wins by No. 4 Daniela Bercek and Fiza Zalameda over USC's No. 45 Lindsey Nelson and Anca Anastasiu on court 1 (8-4) followed by Laura Gordon and Alex McGoodwin over USC's Nicole Leimbach and Dianne Matias in the second position (8-6).

The Bruins then captured the first two singles matches, as No. 96 Gordon beat USC's Judy DeVera, 6-1, 7-6, on court 6 and No. 11 Bercek defeated No. 9 Leimbach, 6-3, 6-2, on the first court. The Women of Troy then took over the match. First, No. 16 Nelson beat UCLA's No. 26 Zalameda, 7-6, 6-4, on court 2. Then on court 3, No. 53 Anastasiu battled back to beat UCLA's McGoodwin, 2-6, 7-6, 6-0. USC's Carine Vermeulen tied the match with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 comeback win over Tracy Lin on court 5. The match was decided by No. 94 Matias' hard-fought 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 win over UCLA's Tracy Lin on court 4.

'It is unbelievably exciting to win this match,' said Gallien. 'When you play against your rival under these circumstances there is just that much more riding on it. No one on our team panicked; they just stayed the course. We had to get a little lucky sometimes, too. It was really a gutsy performance, especially by Dianne (Matias). She was cramping up so she wanted to come to the net more and shorten the points.

'You have to give a ton of credit to UCLA. That was just a heart-breaking loss and they played very tough throughout.'

Said UCLA coach Stella Sampras Webster: 'We just let this one slip away. We had plenty of opportunities to win but we just couldn't get it done. You have to give a lot of credit to USC. They never stopped; they hung in there the whole time and made us play and try to earn it. They have a lot of heart.'

#7 USC 4, #12 UCLA 3

May 19, 2005 - Athens, Ga.


(1) #4 Daniela Bercek/Riza Zalameda (UCLA) def. #45 Lindsey Nelson/Anca Anastasiu (USC) 8-4

(2) Laura Gordon/Alex McGoodwin (UCLA) def. Nicole Leimbach/Dianne Matias (USC) 8-6

(3) Judy DeVera/Carine Vermeulen (USC) vs. Sarah Gregg/Tracy Lin (UCLA) 5-6 suspended

UCLA wins doubles point.

Doubles order of finish: 1, 2


(1) #11 Daniela Bercek (UCLA) def. #9 Nicole Leimbach (USC) 6-3, 6-2

(2) #16 Lindsey Nelson (USC) def. #26 Riza Zalameda (UCLA) 7-6, 6-4

(3) #53 Anca Anastasiu (USC) def. Alex McGoodwin (UCLA) 2-6, 7-6, 6-0

(4) #94 Dianne Matias (USC) def. Sarah Gregg (UCLA) 6-4, 6-7, 6-3*

(5) Carine Vermeulen (USC) def. Tracy Lin (UCLA) 4-6, 7-5, 6-2

(6) #96 Laura Gordon (UCLA) def. Judy DeVera (USC) 6-1, 7-6

Singles order of finish: 6, 1, 2, 3, 5, 4

*Match-clinching victory.

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