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Women's Tennis Falls to Pepperdine in NCAA Quarterfinals

May 19, 2021
(Photo: Manuela Davies/USTA)

ORLANDO, Fla. – An exciting NCAA Championships quarterfinal-round match ended in heartbreak for the fourth-seeded UCLA women's tennis team, which suffered a 4-3 loss to No. 5 seed Pepperdine at USTA National Campus.

The Bruins (22-5) dropped the doubles point in a thrilling competition before registering back-to-back wins to begin singles play. The match came down to Court 4, where Shiori Fukuda of the Waves (24-3) turned in the clinching performance. Abi Altick, Abbey Forbes and Annette Goulak accounted for UCLA's points.

The Pepperdine pair of Shiori Fukuda and Taisiya Pachkaleva jumped out to a 4-1 lead on Court 2 to start doubles play, only to have Annette Goulak and Vivian Wolff answer with four of the next five games. The Waves followed with a break of serve, however, recording the first win of the day in the process. On Court 3, Abi Altick and Elysia Bolton rallied to take the final four games and a 7-5 victory over Jessica Failla and Anastasia Iamachkine to turn the focus to Court 1.

In a back-and-forth affair up top, Abbey Forbes and Jada Hart held a 4-1 advantage that was erased by Ashley Lahey and Lisa Zaar with a break. The Bruins would use another at 5-6 to force a tiebreaker. There, Forbes and Hart took command with a 6-2 lead, only to have their counterparts answer with eight of the next 10 points for a 10-8 win.

Three singles first sets went to tiebreakers, with two eventually won by UCLA. As those opening frames were extended, Altick was en route to providing the equalizer on Court 5. In her first decision since April 2, Altick rolled to a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Zaar.

The Bruins took their only lead of the evening when Goulak completed a 7-6(4), 6-3 display against Nikki Redelijk on Court 6. Goulak ended the season with identical 18-3 singles and doubles records.

Bolton forced a third set against No. 89 Pachkaleva on Court 3, but was outlasted in a 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 decision. Almost simultaneously, No. 21 Failla prevented No. 50 Hart from forcing a third set and gave the Waves the lead again with her 7-6(7), 6-4 win.

No. 7 Forbes completed a season sweep of No. 77 Lahey on the top court with a comeback effort, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. Forbes, who will take part in the NCAA singles tournament starting Sunday, moved to 21-2 on the year – including a 15-2 mark against nationally-ranked opponents.

With the score tied, all eyes moved to Court 4. After Wolff prevailed in a first-set tiebreaker, No. 118 Fukuda charged back to force a third set and closed out the match by taking the final four games for a 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-2 result.

Bolton and Hart are set to join Forbes in the individual championships when they reunite in the doubles field. Doubles play begins Monday.

Tennis Match Results
Pepperdine vs UCLA
5/19/2021 at Orlando, FL
(USTA National Campus)

#5 Pepperdine 4, #4 UCLA 3

Singles competition
1. #7 Abbey Forbes (UCLA) def. #77 Ashley Lahey (PEPP) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
2. #21 Jessica Failla (PEPP) def. #50 Jada Hart (UCLA) 7-6 (9-7), 6-4
3. #89 Taisiya Pachkaleva (PEPP) def. Elysia Bolton (UCLA) 6-3, 1-6, 7-5
4. #118 Shiori Fukuda (PEPP) def. Vivian Wolff (UCLA) 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 6-2
5. Abi Altick (UCLA) def. Lisa Zaar (PEPP) 6-2, 6-3
6. Annette Goulak (UCLA) def. Nikki Redelijk (PEPP) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Ashley Lahey/Lisa Zaar (PEPP) def. #59 Jada Hart/Abbey Forbes (UCLA) 7-6 (10-8)
2. Shiori Fukuda/Taisiya Pachkaleva (PEPP) def. Annette Goulak/Vivian Wolff (UCLA) 6-4
3. Abi Altick/Elysia Bolton (UCLA) def. Jessica Failla/Anastasia Iamachkine (PEPP) 7-5

Match Notes:
Pepperdine 24-3; National ranking #5
UCLA 22-5; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,6,3,2,1,4)
NCAA Championships – Quarterfinals
T-4:10