Smith, Lukac Get Big Wins But No. 1 Bruins Prevail
March 30, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Senior Samantha Smith and freshman Julija Lukac each posted upsets of ranked players in singles play, but the depth of the No. 1-ranked Bruins was enough for UCLA to take a 5-2 victory today at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The 48th-ranked Huskies continue to show a lot of heart against a difficult schedule, but UW drops to 0-5 in Pac-12 play and 6-8 overall.
The Bruins are now 17-0 on the year and 4-0 in Pac-12 play. UCLA has more ranked singles players than any other team in the country, with seven currently in the top-125.
Smith, a Los Angeles native, has been struggling in recent weeks, but buoyed by the homecoming, she stepped up with an emphatic 6-3, 6-2 victory over 87th-ranked Pamela Montez. It's her first ranked win of the year and 40th dual win of her career.
At No. 4 singles, Lukac got the first win of her career against a ranked opponent, as she pulled out a super-tiebreaker in the third set, 10-8, against 84th-ranked Chanelle Van Nguyen. Lukac had lost the first set, 3-6, but came back with a 6-3 second set win. That makes three-straight wins for the Belgrade, Serbia native.
Freshman Capucine Gregoire also was just two points from a third consecutive Pac-12 win, as she faced 116th-ranked Skylar Morton at third singles. Morton won the first set, 6-4, but Gregoire came back with a 6-3 second set win. Again the match went to the super-tiebreak as UCLA had already clinched, but this time it was UCLA coming out with the 10-8 victory.
Washington again played without senior All-American Denise Dy. Sophomore Andjela Nemcevic faced her third Top-10 opponent in her last four matches, falling 6-0, 6-3, to sixth-ranked Robin Anderson at No. 1 singles. Freshman Riko Shimizu and senior Adrijana Pavlovic lost in straight sets at fifth and sixth singles, respectively.
UCLA won two of three doubles matches to take the early 1-0 lead. But freshman Natali Coronel returned to action for the first time since February, she and Lukac losing a tough 8-5 match to McCall Jones and Carling Seguso at second doubles. A new Husky doubles duo, Nemcevic and Shimizu, provided a victory at third doubles, as the two beat Montez and Van Nguyen, 8-5.
Another big effort will be needed tomorrow as the Huskies stick around Los Angeles for a match against the No. 4 Trojans of USC tomorrow at 12 noon at Marks Stadium.
Washington Women's Tennis
No. 1 UCLA 5, No. 48 Washington 2