USC Edges Arkansas To Advance In National Indoors

Feb. 7, 2008

MADISON, WISC. - The No. 8 USC women's tennis team edged out No. 39 Arkansas in a tight 4-3 opening match at the ITA National Women's Team Indoors in Madison, Wisc., on Thursday. The win keeps the Trojans alive and in line to pursue the title, as the Women of Troy now set up to face No. 14 North Carolina in Friday's quarterfinals. USC captured the doubles point for an early lead on the Razorbacks, but fell behind 1-3 to open singles. The Trojans pulled even on singles wins from freshmen Leyla Entekhabi and Maria Sanchez before junior Amanda Fink sealed USC's victory with her 7-6 (7), 6-4 win over Ela Kaluder at the No. 2 position. Now 5-0 on the season, USC will face UNC at 3:30 p.m. CT on Friday in the quarterfinals. UNC had upset No. 2 UCLA 4-3 in its first-round match on Thursday to move into the quarters with the Trojans.

To open the match, USC's doubles teams were all business, capturing the doubles point with an 8-1 win from Lindsey Nelson / Maria Sanchez over Kaluder/Miseviciute at No. 2 and then an 8-5 win at No. 1 from No. 5 Amanda Fink / Gabriela Niculescu over Franco/Airapetian. Leyla Entekhabi / Sarah Fansler were up 7-6 in their match, but it was suspended once the Trojans clinched the first point of the match.

In singles play, USC's top gun Lindsey Nelson was up against the nation's top-ranked player, Aurelia Miseviciute at the No. 1 position. Miseviciute leveled the dual match with her 6-3, 6-0 decision over Nelson, and two more Razorback wins followed. At the No. 3 slot, Anouk Tigu topped USC sophomore Sarah Fansler 6-2, 6-4, and then Gabriela Niculescu was handed her first dual-match singles loss with a 7-6 (4), 6-2 defeat at the hands of Arkansas' Delia Damaschin, pulling the Razorbacks within a point of claiming the match with their 3-1 lead.

The Women of Troy took back control from there, however, with two freshman wins at the bottom of the ladder. Maria Sanchez breathed new life into the USC effort with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 comeback win over Audrey Bordeleau at No. 5, and then Leyla Entekhabi kept her flawless dual match singles mark intact with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Nanar Airapetian at No. 6. With the match all tied up 3-3, USC junior Amanda Fink also defended her undefeated dual match record and wound up punching USC's ticket to the quarterfinals with her 7-6 (7), 6-4 win at No. 2 over Ela Kaluder.

2008 ITA National Team Indoor Championships
Madison, Wisc.
#8 USC 4, #39 Arkansas 3
(1) Niculescu/Fink (USC) def. Franco/Nanar Airapetian (ARK) - 8-5
(2) Nelson/Sanchez (USC) def. Kaluder/Miseviciute (ARK) - 8-1
(3) Entekhabi/Fansler vs. Tigu/Bordeleau (ARK) - 7-6(dnf)
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2, 1, dnf

(1) Aurelija Miseviciute (ARK) def. Lindsey Nelson (USC) - 6-3, 6-0
(2) Amanda Fink (USC) def. Ela Kaluder (ARK) - 7-6(7), 6-4
(3) Anouk Tigu (ARK) def. Sarah Fansler (USC) - 6-2, 6-4
(4) Delia Damaschin (ARK) def. Gabriela Niculescu (USC) - 7-6(4), 6-2
(5) Maria Sanchez (USC) def. Audrey Bordeleau (ARK) - 1-6, 6-2, 6-1
(6) Leyla Entekhabi (USC) def. Nanar Airapetian (ARK) - 6-4, 6-4
Order of finish: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 2*

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