With the defeat the Huskies fell to 7-1, while the Waves improved to 5-1.
Little separated Rafidison and Scharler in the
#6 singles match as one break in each set proved to be
the difference. In the first set, both players held
serve until the 12th game, with Scharler serving at
5-6. After Scharler won the first point of the game
with a backhand approach winner, he committed four
consecutive unforced errors, including two double
faults, to hand Rafidison the set.
In the second set,
with the score tied at 2 and Rafidison serving in the
fifth game, Scharler got two break point chances at
15-40 and capitalized by running down a terrific
volley from Rafidison and flicking a backhand pass
into the deuce court. Rafidison returned the break in
the eighth game to tie the set at 4-4, finally
converting on his third chance when Scharler netted a
In the ninth game Scharler broke back, as
Rafidison double faulted on consecutive foot faults
and then Scharler ripped a backhand winner down the
line, drawing a huge roar from the partisan crowd.
Scharler then held serve in the next game and sealed
the set with a forehand drop volley winner.
In the third set, Rafidison dominated, taking a
5-0 lead before Scharler could win a game. Two big
turning points occurred in the first game and then in
the third. In the first, Rafidison had a game point
but apparently double faulted to even the game at
deuce, as his second serve looked out to Scharler,
landing beyond the center service line. However, the
chair umpire overruled Scharler's call and awarded the
point, and the game, to Rafidison, drawing derisive
jeers from the crowd.
Then in the third game,
trailing 0-2, Scharler had four break chances to get
on the board at 1-2 and back on serve but Rafidison
denied them all. At 15-40 and facing two break
points, Rafidison saved the first with a backhand
volley winner and the second with a service winner
into Scharler's body. Then he saved the third break
chance on the 10th point of the game, with a forehand
volley winner and the final one on the 12th point with
a service winner. Rafidison had three game points of
his own and converted on the third chance when
Scharler netted a backhand.
Trailing 0-5 and facing two match points and an
0-6 final set loss against his serve at 15-40,
Scharler recovered to win the game, winning four
consecutive points with winners, two on backhand
volleys and two on serve. Unfortunately that turned
out to be the only highlight for Scharler in the set
as Rafidison served out the match.
Three and a half hours earlier the match began
with doubles and the Waves won the point, winning at
the #1 and #3 positions. At #3, Kevin Borzenski and
Richard Johnson defeated Scharler and Daniel Chu 8-6.
At #1 Scott Doerner and Pedro Rico, the 26th ranked
pair in the country, defeated Alex Vlaski and
Christoph Palmanshofer 8-5. After Doerner got broken
in the opening game of the set, the Waves came back to
win the next four games and never faced any major
threat from the Huskies.
The Huskies won at #2
doubles as Alex Slovic and Andy Kuharszky prevailed
8-5 over Jonas Berg and Ivor Lovrak.
When play shifted to singles, the Huskies took a
2-1 lead as Chu prevailed 6-2,6-3 over Johnson at the
#4 position and Vlaski bested Rico 6-4,6-1 at #1.
Pepperdine tied the match at 2 when Lovrak beat
Kuharszky 6-4,6-4 at #5, but the Huskies went up 3-2
when Palmanshofer defeated Berg 6-4,6-2 at #3. That
was it though for the Huskies as Doerner, ranked #88,
upset #9 Slovic 7-5,6-3 at #2 and Rafidison beat
Scharler at #6.
Following the tough loss, the Huskies hope to
resume their winning ways when they host Gonzaga in a
non-conference match at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on
Friday, February 18 at 5 p.m.
#24 Pepperdine 4, #14 Washington 3
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