USC ousted by UCLA in Pac-10 finale

Playing in what will likely be her last match at Marks Stadium, senior Maria Sanchez punctuated a stellar season with an impressive 6-1, 6-3 victory over UCLA’s McCall Jones.

Despite Sanchez’s victory, the Women of Troy (15-6, 4-4) still fell to the Bruins in a tight 5-2 contest Friday afternoon.

Led by senior Noelle Hickey, UCLA (18-5, 7-1) took control of the doubles’ point early on, followed by Hickey’s singles win over sophomore Danielle Lao, 6-2, 6-0.

The No. 21-ranked Lao struggled throughout the day, losing both of her matches in quick fashion.

On court three, Lao and senior Lyndsey Kinstler fell to the Bruins’ doubles Pamela Montez and Maya Johansson, 8-5, in what would be the deciding match between the two teams.

Staying in doubles’ play, the No. 5 pair of Sanchez and freshman Kaitlyn Christian ended the season on a five-match winning streak, taking down UCLA’s Courtney Dolehide and Andrea Remnyse, 8-3.

In the third-slotted singles match, Christian continued her winning ways, dispatching the No. 62-ranked Remynse in straight sets 6-3, 3-0 after Remynse retired with an injury midway through the second set.

UCLA went on to sweep through the bottom half of the singles’ bracket, highlighted by Montez’s 6-2, 6-4 win against junior Alison Ramos. Following Montez’ victory, UCLA’s Johansson took down sophomore Valeria Pulido 7-3, 6-3 on court four, and then in the day’s final match senior Cristala Andrews was beaten by Carling Seguso 6-2, 1-6, 6-2.

“Give UCLA credit, they played very well, having said that we didn’t play our best by a long shot,” Gallien said. “We are going to be healthy for the NCAA tourney and give it our best shot.”

Before USC heads to the NCAA tournament, though, they will have to get through the Pac-10 tourney.

Despite their performance in Pac-10 play, coach Gallien has a tremendous amount of confidence and faith in his group.

“I believe we still have a run in us,” he said.