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Newcomers Drive Ranked Victory

March 28, 2007

Los Angeles, CA (March 28) - Loyola Marymount women's tennis received key singles wins by freshmen Bliss Nixon and Elrien de Villiers to claim 5-2 win over 44th-ranked Long Beach State at the LMU Tennis Center on Thursday afternoon. With the overall match tied at 2-2, Nixon and de Villiers claimed back-to-back wins at No. 5 and No. 6 singles to push LMU to the win.

This was the 26th consecutive year Long Beach State and LMU have met in women's tennis and the win for the Lions is their first over the 49ers since 2000. LMU improves to 9-8 on the year while LBSU falls to 10-7.

With the match knotted at 2-2, both de Villiers and Nixon overcame second set defeats to win in three sets. Nixon was the first to give the Lions a match point, earning a 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 victory over Emmanuelle Tabatruong at No. 6 singles. The win gave LMU a 3-2 lead in the match.

The match was won when de Villiers took home a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win at No. 5 singles. Both Nixon and de Villiers joined the Lions at mid-year, playing their first collegiate matches in January.

The Lions began the match by winning the doubles points. Nixon and partner Erin Ivey earned an 8-2 win at No. 3 doubles before Long Beach State would take No. 2 doubles, 8-5. The doubles point came down to No. 1 doubles, where Pavla Mesterova and Robyn Baker continued their hot play with an 8-6 win. The No. 1 duo for the Lions improved to 9-2 in dual matches with their third straight win.

Long Beach State would win the first two singles matches, taking No. 4 and No. 2 singles for a 2-1 lead in the match. However, Mesterova would blank Hannah Grady in the second set to win 6-2, 6-0 to tie the match at 2-2. Mesterova is now 22-5 on the season, good for an 81.5 winning percentage that would finish as the best in LMU history for a single season.

Tamara Tanner's match at No. 3 singles went to a third set tiebreaker as she fought from behind to tie it at 6-6 to force the tiebreaker. Stephanie Bengson took the tiebreaker and won the match 5-7, 6-1, 7-6, making it a one-point decision in favor of the Lions. It was the Lions' ninth 4-3 decision on the season.

The Lions will have a week off before playing Hawaii at the Manhattan Country Club on Wednesday, April 4 at 12 noon.