UCLA, Pepperdine Fall In Elite 8 at NCAAs

Both the UCLA and Pepperdine women’s teams won the crucial doubles point, but proceeded to lose four straight in singles as the Bruins’ and Waves’ seasons ended in the quarterfinals at the NCAA National Champions played for the first time at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.

The seventh-seeded UCLA team fell to No. 2 seed North Carolina 4-1 while the No. 6 Waves lost to No. 3 and defending champion Stanford by the same score.

“Really proud of our players,” said head coach Stella Sampras Webster. “They fought really hard, prepared well. Just couldn’t get over the hump of getting some of those big points that we needed to get ahead.”

The Bruins had a promising start to the day, as the pair of Abi Altick and Taylor Johnson narrowly edged its Court 3 counterpart to claim the doubles point. Coming into the match, North Carolina had taken the doubles point in each of its prior 31 tries on the year. The Tar Heels (33-1) bounced back in singles play, though, registering the necessary four wins. Sara Daavettila clinched the win. UCLA’s Altick and Jada Hart both held leads at the time of the match’s completion.

No. 11 Hart and Elysia Bolton got the Bruins started in doubles play, dispatching of No. 12 Makenna Jones and Cameron Morra by a 6-1 score. The win marked Bolton-Hart’s 14th in 15 decisions, a run it will take into the doubles portion of the NCAA Championships, to begin upon completion of the team tournament.

In a top-5 showdown on the top court, No. 2 Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham of North Carolina jumped out to a 4-1 lead on No. 5 Gabby Andrews and Ayan Broomfield and held on for a 6-3 victory. Andrews-Broomfield is also scheduled to participate in the upcoming doubles tournament.

No. 82 Altick-Johnson trailed Daavettila and Alle Sanford 4-5 before earning a big break of serve to pull even. A couple of holds later, the teams went to a tiebreaker. The Bruins never trailed in the extra frame and ultimately came out on top at 8-6. The win marked Altick-Johnson’s ninth in as many decisions and improved its overall record to 13-1.

Next up are the NCAA Individuals for the Bruins with Hart and Bolton competing in singles.

Pepperdine No. 1 player Ashley Lahey.

The Waves came out hot in doubles play, where the pair of Jessica Failla and Anastasia Iamachkine took the feet out from under the team of Caroline Lampl and Kimberly Yee 6-1.  Daria Kuczer and Ashley Lahey stifled a comeback from the 29th-ranked pair of Emily Arbuthnott and Michaela Gordon with a score of 6-4 and clinching the doubles point for Pepperdine.

But singles didn’t go so well, as Pepperdine’s Lahey was the only bright spot at No. 1 taking the first set against Cardinal Michaela Gordon. The Waves lost at No. 2, 4, 5, and 6 to see their season come to an end. The Waves finish the 2018-19 season at 24-4 overall, going undefeated for the third-straight year and winning the regular season title for the eighth-straight, as they went on to win their seventh-straight WCC Tournament championship.

The loss marks the last match in a Waves uniform for Jessica Failla, Adrijana Lekaj and Dzina Milovanovic.

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