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Pepperdine, Portland Advance to Women's Tennis Final in Shut Out of Opponents

April 24, 2015

(Courtesy of Pepperdine Media Relations)

SAN DIEGO, CA.-After suffering its only conference loss of the season to Saint Mary's in the regular-season finale last week, the Pepperdine women's tennis team avenged the set back and shut out the Gaels 4-0 today in the West Coast Conference Tournament semifinals. With the win, the Waves advance to the finals for the 21stconsecutive season.

Pepperdine lost the doubles point to SMC last time around, but would not allow history to repeat itself today. Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai (Bangkok, Thailand/IMG Academy) and Lorraine Guillermo (Walnut, Calif./Rowland HS) got the Waves started, and dispatched Danielle Flores and Mary-Anne Jessup, 8-2.

Danielle Feneridis (Auckland, New Zealand/Westlake Girls HS) and Michaela Capannolo (Melbourne, Australia/Genazzano FCJ College) clinched the point at No. 3 with their 8-6 triumph over Jamie Pawid and Kareena Manji.

After falling behind 5-7, Matea Cutura (Zagreb, Croatia/Gimnazija Birotehnika/DePaul) and Christine Maddox (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica HS) found themselves back on serve, 7-7, vs. Jana McCord and Parminder Kaur when action was suspend.

With last week Saturday's 6-1 loss to the Gaels still fresh in their minds, the Waves delivered an inspiring and dominant performance in singles today. Pepperdine allowed just 14 games total across the six singles matches before the dual was clinched.

Laura Gulbe (Riga, Latvia/Murjāņu Sporta Ģimnāzija) paid back McCord for a three-set loss back on Saturday with a 6-0, 6-0 complete-match shutout today.

Maddox was equally impressive, and downed Emma Critser by a 6-0, 6-2 tally. The sophomore has given up just five games total during the conference tournament, after charting a 6-0, 6-3 win in the quarterfinals yesterday vs. San Diego.

Runglerdkriangkrai secured the victory at 4-0. The sophomore defeated Catherine Leduc, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4.

Top-seeded Pepperdine will play No. 2 Portland in the championship match on Saturday, April 25. First serve is set for 10 a.m. and live scores will be available through WCCSports.com.

WM8: #1 Pepperdine 4, #4 Saint Mary's 0
1. #11 Lorraine Guillermo (PEP) vs. Danielle Flores (SMC) 6-1, 4-1, unfinished
2. Laura Gulbe (PEP) def. Jana McCord (SMC) 6-0, 6-0
3. Matea Cutura (PEP) vs. Jamie Pawid (SMC) 6-2, 1-1, unfinished
4. #90 A.Runglerdkriangkrai (PEP) def. Catherine Leduc (SMC) 6-1, 6-1
5. Michaela Capannolo (PEP) vs. Kareena Manji (SMC) 6-4, 3-1, unfinished
6. Christine Maddox (PEP) def. Emma Critser (SMC) 6-0, 6-2

1. #23 Matea Cutura/Christine Maddox (PEP) vs. #57 Jana McCord/Parminder Kaur (SMC) 7-7, unfinished
2. Lorraine Guillermo/A.Runglerdkriangkrai (PEP) def. Danielle Flores/Mary-Anne Jessup (SMC) 8-2
3. Michaela Capannolo/Danielle Feneridis (PEP) def. Jamie Pawid/Kareena Manji (SMC) 8-6

(Courtesy of Portland Media Relations)

The No. 53 Portland women's tennis team added another first in a historic season as the Pilots swept No. 64 San Francisco by a 4-0 margin to advance to the West Coast Conference Championship match. It is the first WCC finals appearance in program history.

The Pilots (17-5) will face a stiff test as perennial tennis power and No. 19-ranked Pepperdine advanced with a 4-0 win over No. 37 Saint Mary's in Friday's other semifinal.

Friday's semifinal match was intense from the start as the doubles point went down to the wire. After USF breezed to a win at No. 3 doubles, the Pilots fought off a match point at No. 2 doubles in a tiebreaker. The tandem of Maja Mladenovic and Sophie van den Aarssen came back to win the tiebreaker, 8-6, and set up No. 1 doubles to decide the point.

That match also went to a tiebreaker and the Pilot team of Lucia Butkovska and Jelena Lazarevic were able to convert on their third match point for a 10-8 victory.

The momentum carried over to singles play as Butkovska made it 2-0 with a big win at No. 1 singles over Andrea Ka, who had dealt Butkovska one of her two dual losses earlier this spring.

Lazarevic was trailing Milica Hadzi Tanovic 5-4 in the first set, but won the next three games and then swept the second set 6-0 to put the Pilots on top 3-0.

Junior Tori Troesch then clinched the match for Portland with a 7-5, 6-2 win at the No. 6 position.

Mladenovic was up one set at No. 2 singles, while van den Aarssen and Saroop Dhatt each forced third sets after losing opening sets at No. 3 and No. 5, respectively, when the match was clinched.

The Pilots dropped a 7-0 decision in the regular season meeting hosted by Pepperdine on April 10. The Waves (16-6) feature two ranked singles players (No. 11 Lorraine Guillermo and No. 90 Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai) one ranked doubles tandem (No. 23 Cutura/Maddox) and have been ranked among the top 20 nationally most of the season.

The championship match is scheduled for a 10 a.m. start and fans can follow live scoring at WCCSports.com and via Twitter by following @PortlandPilots.

Under the direction of Campbell-Gross, the Pilots have had a breakout season with a roster that features just one senior. Among the notable first-time achievements for the program: cracking the ITA National Rankings (high of No. 48), having two players individually ranked in the same season (Butkovska, Mladenovic), defeating a top 50 opponent (#33 Saint Mary's), finishing second in the WCC regular season, and now reaching the conference title match.

WM7: #2 Portland 4, #3 San Francisco 0
Singles | Order of Finish 1, 4, 6
1. #101 Lucia Butkovska (POR) def. Andrea Ka (USF) 6-4, 6-2
2. Maja Mladenovic (POR) vs. Thyra Taune (USF) 7-6 (8), 2-3, unfinished
3. Sophie van den Aarssen vs. Marina Nikolic (USF) 6-7, 6-4, 1-0, unfinished
4. Jelena Lazarevic (POR) def. Milica Hadzi Tanovic (USF) 7-5, 6-0
5. Saroop Dhatt (POR) vs. Genevieve McCloskey (USF) 3-6, 6-4, unfinished
6. Tori Troesch (POR) def. Sofia Holmberg (USF) 7-5, 6-2

Doubles | Order of Finish 3, 2, 1
1. Butkovska/Lazarevic (POR) def. Ka/Nikolic (USF) 8-7 (7)
2. Mladenovic/van den Aarssen (POR) def. Taune/McCloskey (USF) 8-7 (6)
3. Holmberg/Hadzi Tanovic (USF) def. Troesch/Amanda Zuidema (POR) 8-2