Pepperdine Opens NCAA Tournament with 4-2 Triumph Over Long Beach State
May 14, 2011
PALO ALTO, Calif. – The #27 Pepperdine women’s tennis team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament today, after a 4-2 win over #36 Long Beach State at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium. Ali Walters, who was playing in her first singles match of the dual season, clinched the fourth and deciding point for the Waves to put a halt to the 49er’s eight-match win streak.
With the win, Pepperdine improves to 15-7 this season and 24-27 in NCAA Tournament action. Since 1988, the Waves have won 19 of their 24 first-round duals.
The second round pits Pepperdine versus the hosting Stanford Cardinal, who defeated Illinois-Chicago 4-0 earlier this afternoon. First serve is scheduled for 11 a.m.
While this is the second time the Waves have defeated LBSU this season, the path to victory was strikingly different.
For starters, the Waves opened the dual by winning the doubles point – a feat that eluded them the first time they played the 49ers back in March.
Despite a stumble in the No. 1 doubles contest, Pepperdine claimed the early advantage after doubles teams Nos. 2 and 3 both won by scores of 8-3. Notably, Khunpak Issara (Bangkok, Thailand/World Study Centre) and Ale Granillo’s (Pachuca, Mexico/Instituto Hidalgo) victory against Jaklin Alawi and Rachel Manasse was the All-West Coast Conference pair’s ninth-consecutive victory.
With nearly a completely different lineup than the first time facing Long Beach State, Pepperdine won three singles matches to secure the team victory and advance to the second round.
Issara gave the Waves the 2-0 lead after beating Alawi in straight sets on the singles court.
The 49er’s top player Anais Dallara picked up the “W” on court one, but #122-ranked Anamika Bhargava (Collierville, Tenn./Houston HS) answered with a come-from-behind victory from the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Bhargava has hit her stride in the latter part of the 2011 season, having gone 9-0 since in the last nine matches.
Long Beach State was able to tally one more point before Walters (Newport Beach, Calif./Creekside Christian HS) came back from a loss in the first frame to win 6-4, 6-4 in the final two. Having been sidelined for the majority of the dual campaign, it was the All-WCC preseason team member’s first singles appearance since last November.
Action between Pepperdine and Stanford can be watched live and for free at Cardinal’s Scoreboard and Live Video page.
#27 Pepperdine 4, #36 Long Beach State 2