Peterson Advances To NCAA Semifinals

May 22, 2003

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Avenging an earlier loss this season at the National Team Indoors, USC women's tennis senior Jewel Peterson defeated Northwestern's Cristelle Grier in Thursday's quarterfinal round of the 2003 NCAA Singles Championship in Gainesville, Fla. With the victory, Peterson advances to the semifinals and will face third-seeded Amber Liu on Friday, May 23.

This is a best-ever performance for the four-time Trojan All-American. As a freshman in 2000, Peterson made it to the quarterfinals before falling to Stanford's Lauren Granville. Granville captured the singles title that season. The last USC women's tennis player to advance past the quarterfinals was Ditta Huber in 1999. Huber lost in the semifinals to eventual NCAA Champion Zuzana Lessenarova of San Diego.

In today's match, Peterson got past Grier with a three-set effort and one of her best performances at USC, according to head coach Richard Gallien. After taking the first set, 6-2, Grier fought back and captured the second, 6-4, to push the match into a deciding frame. But Peterson had no trouble bouncing back from the brief setback and posted a 6-3 score in the final set for the win.

Peterson and Liu will play the semifinal match tomorrow at 9 a.m. EST. The two players have faced each other twice this season. Lui won the first match-up in Los Angeles, 6-2, 6-2, on April 4. Peterson also lost the rematch at Stanford on April 19, but this time pushed Lui to three sets, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.

Peterson, seeded eighth in the tourney, is the lowest seed to advance to the final four.

2003 NCAA Singles Championships

First Round - May 19
Luana Magnani (USC) def. Aleksandra Durska (Tulsa) - 6-0, 6-3
Alix Lacelarie (Clemson) def. Maureen Diaz (USC) - 6-4, 6-3
Jewel Peterson (USC) def. Manon Kruse (Midd. Tenn. State) - 6-3, 7-5

Second Round - May 20
Jewel Peterson (USC) def. Marlene Mejia (UNC) - 6-0, 7-5
Adria Engle (ASU) def. Luana Magnani (USC) - 6-1, 6-2

Round of 16 - May 21
Jewel Peterson (USC) def. Daria Panova (Oregon) - 6-2, 6-3

Quarterfinals - May 22
Jewel Peterson (USC) def. Cristelle Grier (Northwestern) - 6-2, 4-6, 6-3

2003 NCAA Doubles Championships

First Round - May 20
Peterson/Brymer (USC) def. Rush/Grier (Northwestern) - 6-4, 7-6(5)

Round of 16 - May 21
Riske/Tsoubanos (Vanderbilt) def. Peterson/Brymer (USC) - 6-4, 6-2

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