USC and UCLA Capture NCAA Doubles Titles

May 27, 2008

Tulsa, Okla. - UCLA's Tracy Lin and Riza Zalameda became the sixth team in school history to capture the NCAA Doubles Championship, posting a three-set victory over Fresno State's Melanie Gloria/Tinesta Rowe at Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center on Monday.

Lin and Zalameda, seeded No. 1 in the NCAA Doubles draw, posted a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory over the second-seeded tandem of Gloria and Rowe in Monday's final. They are the first Bruin team to capture the NCAA Doubles title since Daniela Bercek and Lauren Fisher in 2004.

'It was a very exciting win,' said Zalameda. 'We just came into it pretty confident in our skills. We've been playing for two weeks and our shots are pretty refined. All we had to do was execute. We knew they were a great team because I saw them earlier this year and we were expecting them to come out big. They did come out big on certain points, but we just toughed it out.'

Added Lin, 'They were the only team to take a set from us the entire tournament. In the third set, we were fortunate enough to get an early break and stayed on top of them. Things just went our way today.'

Other Bruin teams to win NCAA titles in doubles include: Heather Ludloff/Lynn Lewis (1982), Allyson Cooper/Stella Sampras (1988), Mamie Cenezia/Iwalani McCalla (1992) and Keri Phebus/Susie Starrett (1995).

'I have a lot of confidence in this team,' said head coach Stella Sampras Webster. 'They've won a lot this season and they're the No. 1 ranked team in the country. They knew that they were a better team, they just needed to go out and play really well.'

Farah And Van't Hof Win NCAA Doubles Championship

Trojans become the 21st USC team to win a national doubles title.

TULSA, OKLA. - USC's Robert Farah and Kaes Van't Hof made it an especially memorable Memorial Day today, capturing the 2008 NCAA Doubles Championship to become the first Trojans team since 1989 to win the national title. It was far from easy, as USC was up against Mississippi's top team of Jonas Berg/Erling Tveit in the title match on Monday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla. The Trojans had pulled out a three-set battle against another Ole Miss pair in Sunday's semifinals, fighting through three tiebreaks to earn their place in today's final. The championship match presented a similar down-to-the-wire challenge, but this time USC's Farah/Van't Hof grabbed victory in two sets, winning 7-6 (10), 7-6 (6) to put the Trojans on record as the nation's best.

The powerful sophomore-senior combination of Farah and left-handed Van't Hof presented an overwhelming tandem for all comers, as the Trojans entered the NCAA doubles tournament as the No. 2 seed and took a 25-match winning streak into the championship match against fourth-seeded Berg/Tveit of Ole Miss. With the championship win, Farah and Van't Hof will go down in USC history as the 21st Trojan team to win a national doubles championship and fifth NCAA doubles champions. The last USC team to win an NCAA doubles title was Byron Black and current USC volunteer assistant coach Eric Amend in 1989. Amend was on-hand in Tulsa along with head coach Peter Smith and USC's West Region Assistant Coach of the Year Brett Smith to witness Farah and Van't Hof's rise to the 2008 NCAA title.

USC started the match right where it left off in yesterday's semifinal. It took an extended and hard-fought tiebreak for the Trojans to capture the first set. Several set points escaped USC early in the tiebreaker and swung to Mississippi's advantage twice at 6-7 and 8-9. Van't Hof's service got USC back up 10-9, and although Ole Miss tied it 10-10, the Trojans moved back on top and finally eked out the tiebreaker 12-10 to bring up the second set.

The first break of the match came at USC's expense as the Trojans got down a break 0-2 in the second set. But Farah/Van't Hof dished out a break to answer and lock the set back up 2-2 and the teams stayed on serve the rest of the way for another tiebreaker - USC's fifth straight tiebreaker of the tournament. All that tiebreak experience served the Trojans well. It wasn't easy, as USC went down set point a 5-6, but with Van't Hof at the service line USC pulled back even 6-6. The serve went back to Ole Miss, but the Trojans stayed focused and stormed to victory with an 8-6 decision in the tiebreaker to lock away the NCAA title with a 7-6 (10), 7-6 (6) win.

Farah/Van't Hof close out their stellar season both as NCAA and Pac-10 champions. The Trojans' 26-match winning streak carried them to the two titles, and leaves the pair with a 39-3 overall record on the year.

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