Pepperdine Defeats UNLV, 4-0, In NCAA First Round

May 9, 2008

After winning a tight doubles point, No. 18 Pepperdine outlasted equally close singles matches to defeat No. 37 UNLV, 4-0, in an NCAA Championships Women's Tennis first-round match at USC's Marks Stadium on Friday (May 9).

The Waves, which won its sixth consecutive WCC title for an NCAA automatic berth, improved to 20-4. UNLV fell to 17-9. The Rebels were making their second straight NCAA appearance and seventh in program history. Pepperdine improved to 12-0 against UNLV, which included a 4-3 win over the Rebels earlier this season.

Pepperdine's No. 1 doubles tandem of Sylvia Kosakowski and Bianca Dulgheru took a 6-0 lead against UNLV's Elena Gantcheva and Kristina Nedeltcheva before polishing them off at 8-3.

The matches at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles were both seesaw battles that saw the Rebels take 5-4 leads in both. Each Wave duo fought back to take 7-6 leads, with the group ofJill Braverman and Anamika Bhargava securing an 8-6 win over Katy Williams and Anna Maskaljun. Doubles play was suspended moments before Pepperdine's Anete Bandere and Alex Liles served at set point.

Bandere, at No. 4, was the first to get on the singles board for the Waves, defeating Maskaljun, 6-3, 6-4. Next at No. 6, Liles downed UNLV's Marin, 6-2, 6-3 to give Pepperdine a 3-0 lead. Then, at No. 4 singles, Dulgheru closed out the match with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Nikol Dimitrova.

Pepperdine will face the winner of the USC-Marist match played next.

Pepperdine Coach Gualberto Escudero: 'It's tough to play after two weeks off. The coaches don't know if the same players will show up that won the conference championship. UNLV was tough the first time we played and we knew they'd be tougher because they've added a couple players. It was an extremely tough match. Doubles was hard fought and we did a good job coming back to win the point. Singles was a good fight and I was happy to see our players fight back to win some points.'

UNLV Coach Kevin Cory: 'We lost a close doubles point that set the tone for the match. Give Pepperdine credit. They are ranked in the top 20 for a reason and they showed it today.'

(1) Sylvia Kosakowski-Bianca Dulgheru (PEP) def. Elena Gantcheva-Kristina Nedeltcheva (UNLV), 8-3
(2) Jill Braverman-Anamika Bhargava (PEP) def. Katy Williams-Anna Maskaljun (UNLV), 8-6
(3) Anete Bandere-Alex Liles (PEP) vs. Sharon Marin-Alisa Razina (UNLV), 7-6 susp.

Order of Finish: 1, 2

(1) Sylvia Kosakowski (PEP) vs. Elena Gantcheva (UNLV), 7-5, 1-6 susp.
(2) Anamika Bhargava (PEP) vs. Kristina Nedeltcheva (UNLV), 3-6, 3-5 susp.
(3) Bianca Dulgheru (PEP) def. Nikol Dimitrova (UNLV), 6-4, 6-0
(4) Anete Bandere (PEP) def. Anna Maskaljun (UNLV), 6-3, 6-4
(5) Jill Braverman (PEP) vs. Katy Williams (UNLV), 2-6, 6-1, 3-3 susp.
(6) Alex Liles (PEP) def. Sharon Marin (UNLV), 6-2, 6-3

Order of Finish: 4, 6, 3

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