Women's tennis beats UC Davis

    For the first time since 2000, the UCSD women’s tennis team defeated rival UC Davis 5-2 on Monday at UCSD’s North Campus Courts.

    Rain postponed the match’s start from noon Sunday until 3 p.m. Three doubles matches were played before rain moved in again and forced postponement until Monday morning.

    The Tritons’ lone senior, Lyndsey Tadlock, who is No. 11 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, led UCSD to its impressive victory.

    She first teamed with Julie Westerman in No. 1 doubles to defeat the Aggies’ Alisse Ali-Christie and Gretchen Schantz 8-5. In singles action, Tadlock easily disposed of Britni Webb 6-1, 6-0.

    That match was Tadlock’s first win over Webb. Tadlock lost to Webb twice in the 2001 season, once in California Collegiate Athletic Association play and again in the CCAA tournament.

    “”She’s a really streaky player,”” Tadlock said of Webb. “”Today she just wasn’t in it.””

    In doubles, Tadlock and Westerman’s match was suspended Sunday afternoon with the teams even at 4-4. The Triton duo came out with a renewed vigor Monday, breaking the Aggie serve in the 12th game to push the score to 7-5 before finishing them off in the 13th.

    “”We knew we had to come out strong after the break,”” Tadlock said. “”We served well both days and knew we just needed to break once and we would take it.””

    In the other doubles matches, UCSD’s Mary Hung and Ashley O’Neil fell to Aggies Jill Howard and Webb 4-8 with the match postponed at 3-5 on Sunday. The Davis duo broke serve in Monday’s first game to push the score to 3-6, cementing their path to victory.

    In the best comeback of the match, the No. 3 doubles team of Jasmin Dao and Kristina Jansen defeated UC Davis’ Janice Salomon and Nancy Mok 8-6. The Aggie team opened the match to win the first four games, but the Tritons responded by pushing the score to 3-4 before Sunday’s postponement. On Monday, Davis pushed the match to 5-6 before the UCSD pair won the next three games, breaking on two of them to take the victory.

    “”It may sound cliched, but [the Tritons] played the bigger points better than we did,”” Aggie coach Bill Maze said of the doubles matches. “”Any time you come out of doubles with two wins, you’re in a good position.””

    The momentum gained when the doubles matches carried over into the singles matches and propelled the Tritons to victory.

    O’Neil cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Ali-Christie in No. 2 singles. With that win and Tadlock’s victory, the Tritons needed only one more match to win the contest with three matches still undecided (Dao lost to Howard 1-6, 2-6).

    With Jansen and Hung both losing their first sets, all eyes turned to Westerman and her match against Mok. Westerman easily took the first set 6-0. In the second set, Mok came out strong, breaking serve and jumping out to a 4-1 lead.

    “”At that point, I knew all I had to do was return serve and keep the ball in,”” Westerman said. “”In the first set, she committed a lot of errors.””

    Westerman’s strategy worked because she won the next five games, breaking serve three times to pull out the 6-0, 6-4 victory and give the win to the Tritons.

    The Aggies needed to leave for another schedule match, so Jansen’s and Hung’s matches were suspended after the first sets with the victory already secure.

    “”It was a big win for the team,”” Tadlock said. “”Most of the girls on the team are sophomores, so they weren’t around for our last victory against Davis [in the 2000 season]. I’m one of the few who was, so this makes it a little more special.””

    UCSD opened the weekend with a 9-0 sweep of Sonoma State University on Saturday afternoon.

    Using the same lineup as they did in the UC Davis match, the Tritons swept past Sonoma with few problems. Westerman and Tadlock combined to beat their doubles opponent 8-2 before winning their singles matches 6-0, 6-0 and 6-1, 6-1, respectively.

    UC Davis and UCSD are favored to win the CCAA. UCSD’s victory puts it in position to win the regular-season title.

    The Tritons are now 7-0 with a 4-0 mark in CCAA play. The Aggies dropped to 4-4 with a 3-1 record in the CCAA.

    “”We’ve been gearing up for the match all season,”” said Triton head coach Liz LaPlante. “”We are so evenly matched so we knew it would come down to who wanted it more, and today we wanted to win.””

    The UCSD women’s team returns to action next weekend, traveling to face Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday.

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