The No. 32 women’s tennis team fell to No. 13 Pepperdine 4-3 in a match that lasted over four hours at Marks Stadium. The loss marks USC’s ninth loss of the season and brings their overall record to 10-9 as they begin to look toward postseason competition.
Doubles play kicked off what would be a long afternoon with Pepperdine nabbing the first win of the day. The No. 6 duo of Christine Maddox and Mayar Sherif beat the Trojans’ sophomore Jessica Failla and sophomore Rianna Valdes by a 6-3 overall score. The Trojans were not deterred as the No. 9 duo of freshman Angela Kulikov and junior Madison Westby defeated Dzina Milovanovic and her partner Apichaya Rungledkriangkrai by a score of 6-3. USC extended their winning streak to nab the first point of the afternoon when No. 37 senior Zoë Katz and junior Gabby Smith edged out Luisa Stefani and Ashley Lahey, 7-6 (6).
USC went into singles matchups with a 1-0 advantage, but the tide soon turned. No. 35 Mayar Sherif defeated Rianna Valdes 6-4, 6-4 to tie the game. The Waves added another point when No. 12 Luisa Smith took down Gabby Smith 6-1, 7-6 (5).
Facing a 2-1 deficit late into the afternoon, Failla brought back hope for the Trojans when she upset No. 13 Ashley Lahey 6-4, 6-4. However, even with such an upset Pepperdine did not step down as Dzina Milovanovic took down freshman Angela Kulikov 7-6 (5), 6-4.
With 1 point left to clinch the game the Waves were hoping to end things early against the Trojans. Apichaya Rungledkraingkrai defeated Westby 6-4 to put things in favor of the Waves. However, Westby soon fought back to win the next two sets 6-2, 7-5 to tie the game at 3-3.
USC’s No. 121 Katz faced off against No. 90 Laura Gulbe in the final singles matchup of the afternoon, and started out strong. After winning the first set 7-6 (9), Gulbe fought back and win out 6-3, 6-3 to lead the Waves over the Trojans 4-3.
The Trojans will now head to Westwood where they will face off against crosstown rival No. 22 UCLA on Saturday at noon. After Saturday’s game, the Trojans will look toward the Pac-12 team championships in Ojai on April 27.