No. 37 Waves Upset No. 18 BYU, 4-2, in NCAA First Round
May 14, 2004
LOS ANGELES --Â The No. 37th-ranked Pepperdine women's tennis team earned a spot in the NCAA Second Round Friday, with a thrilling win over No. 18th-ranked BYU, 4-2 in an NCAA First Round matchup at UCLAÂ¹s Los Angeles Tennis Center. With the victory, Pepperdine improves to 15-9 overall and will face the winner of ninth-seeded UCLA and Long Beach State in the second round on Saturday. With the loss, BYU ends its season 22-6 overall.
"The conditions were somewhat harsh today because it was over 90 degrees and blazing hot on the court," commented freshman Caroline Raba who competed in her first NCAA Tournament. "However, we tried to focus and not concentrate on the heat. Our goal was to come out on fire and walk away with a victory against a Top 25 team...we're really excited to move on to the next round."
Pepperdine took an early 1-0 lead in the match after winning a very tight doubles point. After splitting on court Nos. 1 and 3, the point was decided at the No. 2 position, where Merve Asimgil and Natalie Braverman outlasted BYU's Lauren Jones/Hadley MacFarlane, 9-8(4). Eva Dickes and Karin Schlapbach took home the first win for the Waves at No. 3 doubles (8-5).
Following the doubles, Pepperdine quickly went ahead 2-0 in the match when Lise Sissler posted a 6-3, 6-2 decision over MacFarlane at the No. 6 spot. The Cougars would eventually answer, as Rebecca Pike (court No. 5) and Jones (court No. 3) each posted a pair of wins to tie the match at 2-2.
That was as close as BYU would get however, as Pepperdine won the next two matches to clinch the victory. Pepperdine's Caroline Raba defeated Sofia Holden (6-3, 6-4) on court No. 2 for the third point. The match was decided at the No. 1 position, where No. 27th-ranked Braverman rallied back to beat BYU's No. 36th-ranked Barbara Zahnova, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4. Down 1-4 in the first set, the sophomore from Newport Beach stormed back and tied the game up at 5-5 before winning 7-5. Zahnova had no problem walking away with a victory in the second set as she won 6-3. However, during the tiebreaker, Braverman's clutch time performance proved worthy for the Waves as she tallied a 6-4 victory.
The Waves will face the UCLA/Long Beach State winner Saturday at 3:00 p.m. The men will open play at 9:00 a.m. against Fresno State, also at UCLA.