March 10, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Junior Liudmila Vasilieva recorded her biggest win of the season yet it was the Trojans who pulled out three, three-set matches as No. 4 USC defeated Washington State, 6-1, in a Pac-12 Conference match Saturday morning at Marks Stadium.
With the loss the Cougars fall to 9-3, 0-2 in Pac-12 play while USC improves to 11-2 overall, 1-0 in conference action.
Vasilieva, the nation's 72nd-ranked player, was facing No. 13 Zoe Scandalis, the Trojan freshman who entered the match at 24-6 for the season. Her resume included wins this season over No. 1 Mallory Burdette of Stanford and No. 8 Robin Anderson of UCLA.
In the feature match at No. 1 singles, Scandalis rode a break of serve in the first set to a 6-4 advantage. Vasilieva rebounded in the second, winning 6-4 and forcing a third set. In the deciding set it was all Cougars as Vasilieva capitalized on every opportunity and won convincingly, 6-0, accounting for the lone WSU point.
With the win Vasilieva improved to 25-2 this season while the win over Scandalis was the second time in her career she defeated a played ranked in the top 15, as she posted a win over No. 15 Marina Cossou of California during her freshman season.
In doubles play the Trojans rattled off three wins to take the opening point, as Valeria Pulido and Scandalis had an 8-1 victory over Andjela Kankaras and Vasilieva at No. 1. At No. 2, Danielle Lao and Alison Ramos topped Elisabeth Fournier and Elizaveta Luzina 8-2, and Kaitlyn Christian and Gabriella DeSimone followed suit just seconds later with an 8-2 win at the No. 3 spot over Charlotte Koning and Olga Musilovich.
Singles play wound up being a far tighter affair than doubles, however. USC captured the first two singles matches as Christian posted a 6-1, 6-3 win over Kankaras at No. 3 while DeSimone defeated Ksenia Googe, 6-3, 6-4 at No. 4, extending the Trojan lead to 3-0.
While the score looked dominating for USC, the four matches remaining on court were up for grabs. At No. 6 Musilovich captured a convincing first set against Pulido, 6-1, but could not hold the lead as Pulido rallied over the next two sets, taking a 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory, clinching the match for USC.
At No. 2 Elisabeth Fournier was battling the 16th-ranked Lao. Fournier won the first set 6-3 with Lao matching that score in the second, forcing a decisive third set. With the team match already clinched, the two played a 10-point tiebreaker where Fournier raced to 5-2 lead. Lao captured the next four points for a 6-5 lead before Fournier tied the match at 7-7. Lao then closed it out with three straight points for a 3-6, 6-3, (10-7) win.
At No. 5 singles, Luzina battled back from an opening-set loss to win the second, 6-3, setting up the fourth three-set match of the day. In the third set Ramos recorded two service breaks to finishing the match with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 win.
WASHINGTON STATE TENNIS
No. 4 USC 6 def. Washington State 1
March 10, 2012
Los Angeles, Calif.
(1) #39 Pulido/Scandalis (USC) def. Kankaras/Vasilieva (WSU) 8-1
(2) Lao/Ramos (USC) def. Fournier/Luzina (WSU) 8-2
(3) Christian/DeSimone (USC) def. Koning/Musilovich (WSU) 8-2
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3
(1) #72 Liudmila Vasilieva (WSU) def. #13 Zoe Scandalis (USC) 4-6, 6-4, 6-0
(2) #16 Danielle Lao (USC) def. Elisabeth Fournier (WSU) 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-7)
(3) #84 Kaitlyn Christian (USC) def. Andjela Kankaras (WSU) 6-1, 6-3
(4) Gabriella DeSimone (USC) def. Ksenia Googe (WSU) 6-3, 6-4
(5) Alison Ramos (USC) def. Elizaveta Luzina (WSU) 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
(6) Valeria Pulido (USC) def. Olga Musilovich (WSU) 1-6, 6-2, 6-1
Order of finish: 3, 4, 6, 2, 5, 1