Tennis Ends 2003 NCAA Run With 4-1 Loss To Cal

May 16, 2003

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The fifth-seeded USC women's tennis team fought hard, but was unable to get past fourth-seeded California (23-5) in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Friday, May 16, at Linder Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. The Women of Troy fell 4-1 to the Bears to end the 2003 season with a 22-6 overall record - USC's best overall mark since the 1986 season.

With the win, Cal advances to the NCAA Semifinals and will face Stanford on Saturday, May 17.

Cal's Catherine Lynch and Nicole Havlicek won the first doubles match of the afternoon by beating Melissa Esmero and Carine Vermeulen, 8-3, at court three. While USC's Luana Magnani and Anita Loyola held a comfortable lead at the No. 2 spot, Jewel Peterson and Tiffany Brymer were fighting back from down 5-2 at center court. But the Trojans could not hold off Cal's Raquel Kops-Jones and Christina Fusano at No. 1 for long, falling 8-5 to give the Bears the doubles point.

Magnani and Loyola, on the verge of beating Cal's Jieun Jacobs and Jody Scheldt for the first time this season, had to suspend their match at 7-5.

In singles play, Vermeulen lost only her third match of the season when she fell 6-2, 6-0 to Havlicek at No. 6, giving the Bears a 2-0 lead. The Trojans won the first set on three-of-six courts, but Vermeulen's uncommon loss put pressure on all five remaining matches.

Senior Maureen Diaz recorded USC's first win of the afternoon as she posted a decisive victory over Lynch, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 3. This time, the win energized the Women of Troy. Loyola managed to push her match to a third set with a 6-2 win in the second, and Brymer held Scheldt at match point for three points of her own.

Despite her comeback efforts, Brymer lost the second set to give Cal a 3-0 lead with a 6-2, 7-5 loss at the No. 5 position. Jacobs' also managed to hold off Loyola's comeback efforts and minutes later completed a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 win at court four to clinch the NCAA victory for the Bears.

USC's Peterson, Magnani, Diaz and Brymer will now await the start of the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships on Monday, May 19.

2003 NCAA Championship - Quarterfinals
#4 California 4, #5 USC 1

(1) #4 Kops-Jones/Fusano (Cal) def. #18 Brymer/Peterson - 8-5
(2) Magnani/Loyola (USC) vs. Jacobs/Scheldt (Cal) - 7-4 suspended
(3) Lynch/Havlicek (Cal) def. Vermeulen/Esmero (USC) - 8-3
Cal wins doubles point.

(1) #10 Jewel Peterson (USC) vs. #6 Raquel Kops-Jones (Cal) - 6-3, 4-6, 2-4 suspended
(2) #21 Luana Magnani (USC) vs. #25 Christina Fusano (Cal) - 6-3, 2-6, 1-1 suspended
(3) #62 Maureen Diaz (USC) def. #93 Catherine Lynch (Cal) - 6-1, 6-1
(4) #53 Jieun Jacobs (Cal) def. Anita Loyola (USC) - 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
(5) Jody Scheldt (Cal) def. Tiffany Brymer (USC) - 6-2, 7-5
(6) Nicole Havlicek (Cal) def. Carine Vermeulen (USC) - 6-2, 6-0

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