{{ article.title }}

Gaels Fall to No. 18 USC in NCAA First Round

May 16, 2011

BERKELEY, Calif.--- Despite a tremendous doubles performance, the Saint Mary's women's tennis season ended today with a 4-1 loss to No. 18 USC in the first round of the NCAA Tennis Championships. The Gaels claimed the doubles point with a pair of upsets, but the Trojans stormed back in singles play to earn the win and advance to the second round tomorrow.

No. 42 Saint Mary's concluded the 2011 season with a 13-10 record in their second consecutive NCAA appearance. USC improved to 15-7 with the win and advanced to play Pac-10 foe and host California tomorrow.

The match could not have started much better for the Gaels as they stunned the Trojans in doubles play. On court one, the duo of junior Anna Chkhikvishvili and senior Alex Poorta got the day started with a big upset win over the fourth ranked doubles pair in the country of Kaitlyn Christian and Maria Sanchez. Things were clicking for Poorta and Chkhikvishvili who defeated their USC opponent 8-6.

The Trojans tied things up in doubles play with a come from behind win on court two.

In the deciding doubles match, freshman Diana Bukajeva and sophomore Catherine Isip also earned an upset win to clinch the first point of the day for the Gaels. The duo defeated No. 77 Ramos/Andrews on court three 9-7 with some clutch aces by Bukajeva in the deciding game.

With the doubles point in hand, the Gaels were confident going into singles play but USC's depth proved to be too much. The Trojans earned a 6-0, 6-0 win on court six before clinching the match with a pair of 6-2, 6-1 wins on courts five and four.

Chkhikvishvili's match on court three against No. 103 Christian was unfinished with Christian up a set, 7-6, 2-0.

Not to be looked past was the singles performance by No. 46 Poorta on court one. The senior from Amsterdam was leading the No. 2-ranked player in the country 6-3, 1-2 before the match was called due to USC earning their fourth point.

Although the team season is done for Saint Mary's, Poorta will represent the Gaels in the NCAA Singles Championships from May 25-30 in Palo Alto, Calif. Poorta was chosen as the WCC's automatic qualifier and is the first-ever SMC women's tennis player to be chosen to participate in the individual tournament.

Courtesy of SMC Sports Information