Chanelle Van Nguyen overcomes fatigue to give UCLA women's tennis a rivalry win
It wasn't Game 7 of the NBA Finals at Madison Square Garden, but UCLA's Chanelle Van Nguyen channeled her inner Willis Reed during a rivalry tennis matchup against USC in Los Angeles Wednesday.
As dusk descended upon LA, the score was knotted at 3-3 between her 12th-ranked Bruins and the No. 3 Trojans from USC. Van Nguyen's lengthy match against Zoë Scandalis would decide the fate of the entire afternoon for both teams.
Van Nguyen's leg started to cramp badly once the intense battle crept into the third set, but she kept playing. Despite facing a 4-2 deficit in the tie breaker after the third set, Van Nguyen rallied to score the final five points and win the match for herself and her team.
[Related: 2015 UCLA women's tennis schedule]
The senior spoke to Ted Robinson and Justin Gimelstob of Pac-12 Networks after her emotional 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4) victory, saying she felt the support from her fans in the stands.
"I'm really competitive. And it's against the Trojans," Van Nguyen said. "I had all my teammates and those guys, pretty much the whole school supporting me. I had to fight for them."
The rest of the Bruins poured on to the court once Scandalis sent a wayward shot high past the end line to end the match, as Van Nguyen jumped for joy.