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Bruins Fall to Waves in Top-5 Thriller, 4-3

Mar 12, 2021
Abbey Forbes (Photo: Eric Hurd)

MALIBU, Calif. – The No. 5 UCLA women's tennis team was edged out by No. 4 Pepperdine, 4-3, Friday afternoon at Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center.

The Waves (7-2) were victorious in two third sets, including one on Court 2, where Jessica Failla prevailed over Jada Hart to decide the match. The Bruins (8-3, 2-0 in Pac-12 play) captured the doubles point and the initial two wins in singles play, but Pepperdine swept the remaining contests. Abbey Forbes of UCLA turned in a straight-set victory against Ashley Lahey, who is the No. 1 player in the Oracle ITA singles rankings.

Doubles play belonged to UCLA, which surrendered no more than two games on any of the courts.

Abi Altick and Taylor Johnson controlled their match on Court 3, rolling to a 6-1 defeat of Taisiya Pachkaleva and Lisa Zaar on Court 3 to tip the scales in favor of the Bruins. Then, with Abbey Forbes and Jada Hart nearing a win of their own on the top court, Annette Goulak and Vivian Wolff closed out Ashley Lahey and Nikki Redelijk, 6-2, on Court 2. The doubles-point clincher was the third in a row for the pair of Goulak and Wolff, which collected its team-high ninth win in 10 decisions.

Both sides battled throughout the first sets, with the Waves ultimately prevailing on four courts with the help of two tiebreakers.

In a matchup of top-10 players on Court 1, No. 7 Forbes improved her season mark to 9-1 with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat of No. 1 Lahey. Each of the matches Forbes has played this year has been across from a nationally-ranked opponent.

Goulak followed soon after with a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Redelijk on Court 5. The win improved Goulak's singles record to 8-2 and gave UCLA a commanding lead, but Pepperdine remained in the lead or firmly in striking distance on the remaining courts.

Zaar handed Ong her first loss as a Bruin, 6-4, 6-2, to start the rally on Court 6. Then, in the first three-set decision of the day, the 88th-ranked Pachkaleva closed out Altick on Court 4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. Playing on Court 3 for just the second time in her career, Sasha Vagramov was outlasted by No. 12 Shiori Fukuda, 7-6(3), 6-3, to even the score.

No. 19 Hart and No. 33 Failla were tied at three games apiece before Hart registered the first break of serve. Failla broke right back, however, and took the final two games for a 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-4 decision and the overall win.

UCLA returns to Los Angeles Tennis Center for the first since Jan. 25 when it opens Pac-12 play Friday, March 19 against Utah. First serve is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., PT.

Tennis Match Results
UCLA vs Pepperdine
3/12/2021 at Malibu, CA
(Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center)

#4 Pepperdine 4, #5 UCLA 3

Singles competition
1. #7 Abbey Forbes (UCLA) def. #1 Ashley Lahey (PEPP) 6-1, 6-4
2. #33 Jessica Failla (PEPP) def. #19 Jada Hart (UCLA) 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-4
3. #12 Shiori Fukuda (PEPP) def. #113 Sasha Vagramov (UCLA) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
4. #88 Taisiya Pachkaleva (PEPP) def. Abi Altick (UCLA) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2
5. Annette Goulak (UCLA) def. Nikki Redelijk (PEPP) 6-4, 6-3
6. Lisa Zaar (PEPP) def. #119 Vanessa Ong (UCLA) 6-4, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. Jessica Failla/Shiori Fukuda (PEPP) vs. Abbey Forbes/Jada Hart (UCLA) 2-5, unfinished
2. Annette Goulak/Vivian Wolff (UCLA) def. Ashley Lahey/Nikki Redelijk (PEPP) 6-2
3. Abi Altick/Taylor Johnson (UCLA) def. Taisiya Pachkaleva/Lisa Zaar (PEPP) 6-1

Match Notes:
UCLA 8-3; National ranking #5
Pepperdine 7-2; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (1,5,6,4,3,2)