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Lions Fall at No. 8 USC

Jan. 16, 2008

Los Angeles, CA - The Loyola Marymount women's tennis team opened the 2008 spring season with a 6-1 loss at No. 8 USC Wednesday afternoon. With the loss, the 64th ranked Lions take a 0-1 record for the start of the dual match season.

Although the Lions did not come out with a win in their first dual match of the season, head coach Jamie Sanchez is not discouraged. "Overall it was a good, competitive match. It was as tough as we thought it would be because of who we played," Sanchez said. "USC is ranked 8th in the nation, and this was good for us because it shows we are capable and can compete with the best".

In doubles play, the Trojans took the No. 1 slot from seniors Pavla Mesterova and Tamara Tanner. The duo of Mesterova/Tanner fell to the Nelson/Sanchez combination, 8-0. At No. 3, USC's Niculescu/ Entekhabi stole the match from sophomores Audrey Bulkley and Bliss Nixon 8-3, and at the No. 2 spot, the LMU combination of Tina Razloznik and Jasmin Heckel started with a 0-2 lead before USC's Fansler/Kinstler claimed an 8-5 win.

In singles, LMU and USC ended up splitting sets at the No. 1 and No. 4 slots, bringing up 10-point tiebreakers for both matches. At No. 1 Mesterova, currently ranked 18th in the West region, faced off against Lindsey Nelson who held the No. 1 ranking in the region last season. Nelson came out victorious, beating Mesterova 6-2, 4-6, 10-5. At No. 4, Heckel earned the Lions only point of the match with her 1-6, 7-5, 10-5 win over Maria Sanchez.

In the No. 3 singles slot, Razloznik lost to No. 78 Gabriela Niculescu 6-0, 6-0 while Tanner fell to Sarah Fansler, 6-0, 6-3 at the No. 2 position which pulled USC ahead to a 3-0 lead in the match. At the No. 6 position, Nixon jumped out to a 1-3 lead before Lyndsay Kinstler came back to win the set 6-3, 6-2. USC's Leyla Entekhabi beat Bulkley 6-1, 6-3 from her No. 5 spot to make it 5-0 USC.

"We stayed competitive all the way through the match and played fairly decent, but we still have a long way to go," Sanchez said. "In the end, USC's experience showed in the outcome".

Up next, the Lions travel to Tulsa, OK this weekend to face 46th ranked Tulsa on Saturday and 59th ranked Oklahoma State on Sunday.

DOUBLES(1) Nelson/Sanchez (USC) def. Mesterova/Tanner (LMU) - 8-0(2) Fansler/Kinstler (USC) def. Razloznik/Heckel (LMU) - 8-5(3) Niculescu/Entekhabi (USC) def. Bulkley/Nixon (LMU) - 8-3

SINGLES(1) Lindsey Nelson (USC) def. Pavla Mesterova (LMU) - 6-2, 4-6, 10-5(2) Sarah Fansler (USC) def. Tamara Tanner (LMU) - 6-0, 6-3(3) #78 Gabriela Niculescu (USC) def. Tina Razloznik (LMU) - 6-0, 6-0(4) Jasmin Heckel (LMU) def. Maria Sanchez (USC) - 6-1, 5-7, 10-8(5) Leyla Entekhabi (USC) def. Audrey Bulkley (LMU) - 6-1, 6-3(6) Lyndsay Kinstler (USC) def. Bliss Nelson (LMU) - 6-3, 6-2*