No. 8 USC Women Come Up Just Short Of No. 13 Fresno State

March 21, 2007

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - A winning comeback barely eluded the No. 8 USC women's tennis team on Wednesday afternoon, as No. 13 Fresno State pulled out a 4-3 win over the Trojans at Marks Stadium. First it was the doubles point that hung in the balance, as Lindsey Nelson / Julie Smekodub dug out of a two-game hole to force a tiebreaker. Fresno State's #41 Gloria/Rowe managed to eke out the win, however, sealing the doubles point and a 1-0 lead for the Bulldogs. Later, with the match tied 3-3, #12 Sarah Fansler fought back to pull into a third set with #71 Renata Kucerkova, only to have the Bulldog steal away the match-clinching win in a 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 decision. USC moves to 12-3 overall with the loss, which also snaps a seven-match winning streak by the Women of Troy.

USC took the first step ahead during doubles play as #59 Judy DeVera / Amanda Fink tacked up an 8-4 win ,as DeVera held serve to put the Trojans pair into position before the duo broke Fresno State and won with a winner down the line by Fink. The Bulldogs pulled even when Beatty/Heroux topped Anca Anastasiu / Sarah Fansler 8-4 at the No. 3 position, leaving the double point in the hands of the No. 1 teams. Nelson/Smekodub had trailed 4-2 in the match, but powered back and locked up the match 8-8 to bring up a tiebreaker. A see-saw battle ensued as USC held match point twice only to have Fresno State work back into the game. The Bulldogs won out in the end, claiming an 11-9 win in the tiebreaker to claim the doubles point for Fresno State.

In singles play, it was apparent early that it would be a tight race to the finish. #92 Dianne Matias leveled the match 1-1 with her 6-1, 6-0 win at the No. 5 spot over Vanessa Heroux, only to have #70 Anastasia Petukhova top USC's Anca Anastasiu 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4 to take back the lead 2-1. USC then moved back ahead on a 6-0, 6-0 rout by #117 Amanda Fink at No. 3 and a 6-2, 6-1 win by Julie Smekodub at No. 6. At the No. 1 position, #8 Lindsey Nelson was taking on the nation's third-ranked singles player, Melanie Gloria. #3 Gloria managed a 6-2, 6-2 win over Nelson to hand the junior just her fourth loss of the year. That left the deciding match raging on at the No. 2 slot. Fansler was able to push her match into a third set, but got in a 4-0 hole in the third. She regrouped and tacked up three straight games to make it 4-3, but Kucerkova fought off the comeback attempt and grabbed the match-clinching win with the 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 decision.

USC returns to action next week with a trip to Oregon to face the Ducks at noon on Saturday (March 31) in Eugene.

#13 Fresno State 4, #8 USC 3
DOUBLES
(1) #41 Gloria/Rowe (FSU) def. Nelson/Smekodub (USC) - 9-8 (11-9)
(2) #59 DeVera/Fink (USC) def. #50 Kucerkova/Petukhova (FSU) - 8-4
(3) Beatty/Heroux (FSU) def. Anastasiu/Fansler (USC) - 8-4
FSU wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1

SINGLES
(1) #3 Melanie Gloria (FSU) def. #8 Lindsey Nelson - 6-2, 6-2
(2) #71 Renata Kucerkova (FSU) def. #12 Sarah Fansler (USC) - 6-1, 2-6, 6-3*
(3) #117 Amanda Fink (USC) def. Tinesta Rowe (FSU) - 6-0, 6-0
(4) #70 Anastasia Petukhova (FSU) def. Anca Anastasiu (USC) - 6-1, 6-2
(5) #92 Dianne Matias (USC) def. Vanessa Heroux (FSU) - 6-1, 6-0
(6) Julie Smekodub (USC) def. Danon Beatty (FSU) - 6-2, 6-0
Order of finish: 5, 4, 3, 6, 1, 2*

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