No. 3 California triumphed over the No. 10 USC women’s tennis team Friday afternoon with a 5-2 victory, spoiling the Women of Troy’s perfect record on their home courts at Marks Stadium.
For the first seeded double’s match, the Bears’ No. 13 duo of Mari Andersson and Jana Juricova put away USC’s juniors Lyndsay Kinstler and Maria Sanchez with a quick 8-1 victory.
Even though Cal (8-1) eventually secured the double point, the second and third seeded doubles matches were hard-fought battles. At the second court, USC’s freshman Danielle Lao and sophomore Alison Ramos fought back from trailing 0-6 in the match to pound out a 9-7 upset over Cal’s No. 54 Marina Cossou and Kasia Siwosz.
On the third court, USC’s duo of freshman Valeria Pulido and senior Sarah Fansler fought in a close match that ended in a tiebreaker in Cal’s favor 11-9.
The Bears then went on to secure the match fairly easily with three straight-set singles victories. Cal won the first singles match on the second court as No. 20 Cossou won a 6-2, 6-2 match over No. 19 Ramos. Then, the Bears went up 3-0 as Cal’s Nelly Radeva put away Kinstler, 6-4, 6-4, at the No. 6 position. Soon thereafter, Cal secured the victory with Tayler Davis’ win over USC’s junior Cristala Andrews at fifth singles.
With the outcome decided, three matches were still going and extending into third sets.
At the fourth court, USC’s No. 51 Pulido lost the first set but came back to force the match into a third set against Cal’s Kasia Siwosz. Pulido took an early lead in the third, and Siwosz retired from the match (4-6, 6-3, 2-0) giving the Women of Troy (7-3) its first point of the day.
The highlight of the day for USC was a clash between the nation’s best that featured No. 3 Sanchez and Cal’s No. 2 Jana Juricova. Sanchez took the first set rather quickly, but Juricova answered right back by winning the next set.
In the third set, Sanchez took a 2-0 lead but Juricova responded by tying it 2-2. Sanchez came back by winning the next three games, breaking Juricova twice making the score 5-2. Juricova immediately broke Sanchez back, but it was Sanchez who triumphed in the end, claiming a dominant 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 victory at the No. 1 slot.
With the match score at 4-2, another hard-fought duel continued at the third position between No. 31 Lao and No. 75 Andersson. Andersson took the first set, 6-1, over Lao, but Lao countered by winning the second set 6-2. Lao was up 4-3 in the third set, but was unable to close the match. Andersson made a push and came out on top with a 7-5 win to make the final score, 5-2, for Cal.
USC’s match against Stanford was canceled due to rain on Saturday and will not be rescheduled. Instead, the Women of Troy and the Cardinals will next face off in Palo Alto, Calif., in their Pac-10 match on April 2.