NCAA Women's Tennis Championships: UCLA advances to Saturday

UCLA Athletics

Four Pac-12 women's teams hit courts around the country in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships. By the end of play, UCLA was the lone survivor with USC, Washington and Arizona State all making first-round exits.

[Related: 2017 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships bracket (NCAA.com)]

UCLA

UCLA 4, UC Santa Barbara 0

UCLA punched its ticket the NCAA second round in emphatic fashion, shutting out UC Santa Barbara 4-0 Friday morning in Malibu, California. The Bruins clinched the doubles point with wins by Ena Shibahara/Kristin Wiley over Stephani Yamada/Natalie Da Silviera, 6-1, and the duo of Gabby Andrews/Alaina Miller downed Melissa Baker/Amanda Atanasson, 6-2.

The Gauchos were looking to bounce back in singles play after taking the first sets in four of six matches. Yet UCLA quickly halted that momentum as Ena Shibahara wrapped up a brief day with a 6-3, 6-4 win over UCSB's Palina Dubavets. Miller's 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Stefani Stojic pushed the Bruins one point closer to a first-round win. Junior Terri Fleming made it official, gaining momentum after the first set went to a tiebreaker to down Da Silveira 7-6 (6), 6-2.

The Bruins will now clash with host Pepperdine Saturday at 12 p.m. PT.

USC

Denver 4, USC 2

The Trojans were among the first to fall, dropping a 4-2 decision to Denver Friday morning in Lubbock, Texas. Things got off to a promising start for the Women of Troy as they claimed the doubles point with wins by the pairs of Zoë Katz/Gabby Smith 6-0 over Bianca Mok/Morgan Barnhill, 6-0, and Angela Kulikov/Madison Westby over Sonja Radosevic/Gracia Mboko, 6-2. 

Things continued to look promising for USC as Jessica Fallia dispatched Julia O'Loughlin in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1. But then the momentum quickly swung Denver's way. The Pioneers' Arisha Ladhani took down Westby 6-2, 6-1. The turning point came when Maureen Slattery upset the Trojans' Smith 6-2, 6-2 to pull the match even. The loss was Smith's first of the season in the No. 2 singles position.

Denver kept up the pressure, grabbing its first lead at 3-2 with a 6-4, 6-4 win by Radosevic over Angela Kulikov. In the deciding match, USC's Rianna Valdes fell to Mok after pushing it to a third-set tiebreak, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4). 

Arizona State

Florida State 4, Arizona State 2

The Sun Devils saw their 2017 campaign come to an end with a 4-2 loss to Florida State in the Auburn, Alabama Friday. With a few breaks, things might have shaken out differently as tiebreaks proved to be Arizona State's downfall. The doubles point went the way of FSU. The two teams split the first two doubles matches with Seminoles Nandhi Das/Ariana Rahmanparast topping Savannah Slaysman/Kelley Anderson, 6-4, while ASU's Kassidy Jump/Sammi Hampton took down Daniela Schippers/Gabriella Castaneda, 6-2. The deciding match took a little longer to decide, with FSU's Julia Mikulski/Andrea Garcia triumphing over Nicole Fossa-Huergo/Alexandra Osborne, 7-6 (1).

Anderson helped the Sun Devils bounce back once singles play, evening things at 1-1 with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Mikulski. Arizona State jumped into the lead with Slaysman's 6-2, 7-6 (3) win over Garcia. Yet, the advantage would be short-lived. Tiebreaks went the way of the Seminoles with Gabriella Castaneda edging Jump. 6-2, 7-6 (6) and Das beating Hampton 6-3, 7-6 (4). 

With Florida State up 3-2 overall, Rahmanparast finished off the Sun Devils' Gussie O'Sullivan, 7-6 (6), 6-3.

Washington

Clemson 4, Washington 2

The Huskies closed out their season with a 4-2 loss to Clemson Friday afternoon in Nashville, Tennessee. The group from Seattle got off to a slow start, dropping the doubles point in straight sets. The Tigers' Constanza Gorches/Sydney Riley topped Stacey Fung/Kenadi Hance, 6-2, while Fernanda Navarro/Daniela Ruiz defeated Nour Abbes/Lana Slavica, 6-4.

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