#12 Washington 2, #10 UCLA 5

Riza Zalameda rallied to defeat Dinka Hadzic 1-6,6-3,6-2 to clinch the match as 10th ranked UCLA prevailed 5-2 over host and 12th ranked Washington in Pac-10 women's tennis at Bill Quillian Stadium on a sunny but windy Friday afternoon.

With the victory the Bruins improved to 1-1 in the conference and 7-4 overall while the Huskies dropped to 1-1 in the Pac-10 and 10-3 overall. The Huskies also lost their second straight match following a 5-2 defeat at San Diego State on Saturday, March 5.

Trailing 3-1 after dropping the doubles point and singles matches at the fourth and fifth positions, the Huskies needed wins in the top three singles slots to pull out an improbable victory. Dea Sumantri, ranked sixth nationally, did her part for Washington at the #1 position, defeating #48 Daniela Bercek 6-0,3-6,6-0.

It also looked like Hadzic, ranked #34, might come through with a clutch victory as well at #2 when she easily won the first set 6-1. In that set Hadzic broke service twice and Zalameda hurt her own cause with 22 unforced errors against only nine winners.

However, Zalameda picked up her play for the Bruins in the second set, taking a 3-0 lead with a pair of service holds and a break in the second game. Hadzic battled back, making it 3-4 and getting the set back on serve with a break in the seventh game. In that game she had three break chances and finally converted on the third chance when Zalameda hit an errant forehand beyond the baseline.

In the eighth game Hadzic had an opening to get back on serve when she won the first two points for a 30-0 advantage, but then she lost four straight points, the lat one on an errant forehand, to give Zalameda the break and a 5-3 lead. Zalameda then held serve at love to win the second set and force a third.

In the final set, Zalameda and Hadzic traded breaks through the first four games. In the fifth game it appeared as if Hadzic held serve on two occasions with inside out crosscourt forehands that clipped the line in the ad court but both times Zalameda called the shots out and the chair umpire agreed with her, generating futile protests from Hadzic some derisive hooting and hollering from a few partisans in the crowd.

Despite the controversy Hadzic still had another chance to hold for a 3-2 lead when she struck a service winner but then Zalameda won the next three points, punctuating the crucial break with a forehand winner down the line in the ad court. Following the break Zalameda won the next three games to finish the match and give the Bruins their first conference win of the season.

Zalameda's win made the #3 singles duel between the Huskies' Mugette Ahn and the Bruins' Alex McGoodwin irrelevant to determining the team winner. Nonetheless, the two played arguably the most exciting match of the day, and with McGoodwin winning the first set 7-6 (7-3) in a tiebreak and Ahn the second 6-3 the possibility existed that the third set might indeed determine whether Washington or UCLA ultimately won the match. In the final set Ahn held serve twice and broke McGoodwin once to take a 3-0 lead and it seemed as if she would secure a third point for the Huskies.

However, at that point, McGoodwin stormed back to win five consecutive games and lead 5-3. Ahn stopped the roll with an easy hold of serve for 4-5 but then McGoodwin served out the match to give the Bruins their final point.

UCLA began the match by sweeping all three doubles matches and winning the doubles point. Tracy Lin and Elizabeth Lumpkin got the Bruins started with an 8-5 win over Saskia Nauenberg and Alison Rainey at #3. Then Laura Gordon and McGoodwin triumphed 8-4 over Ahn and Tara Simpson at #2, and Bercek and Zalameda won the final four games en route to an 8-4 win over Sumantri and Hadzic at #1.

In singles, Lin gave UCLA a 2-0 lead with a 6-3,6-1 win over Nauenberg at #4, but Rainey got the Huskies on the board with a 6-4,6-4 win over Lumpkin at #6. Then at #5, Gordon put the Bruins up 3-1 with a 6-3,6-2 defeat of Simpson.

The Huskies look to snap their losing streak when they host the 13th ranked USC Trojans (2-0 Pac-10, 8-1) at noon at Quillian Stadium on Saturday, March 12. The Trojans return to Seattle with a pair of freshmen, Nicole Leimbach and Lindsey Nelson, seeking payback on an individual level after disappointing losses to the Huskies in the Pac-10 Women's Indoors held at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in January. Leimbach, then seeded #1, lost to Hadzic 7-6,4-6,6-4 in a first round upset in singles Flight I and Nelson lost to Sumantri 6-2,6-4 in a Flight I semifinal.

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