April 3, 1998
LOS ANGELES - In one of the biggest upsets of the college tennis season, No. 14 ranked UCLA handed No. 1 ranked Stanford it first loss of the year, defeating the Cardinal 5-4 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center today. The teams split singles play right down the middle with UCLA winning on the odd numbered courts and Stanford on the even. After claiming the final singles match, UCLA used the momentum to win the final two doubles and post the upset. UCLA improved its record to 11-7 overall and 5-2 in Pac-10 action, while Stanford's first loss puts the Cardinal at 18-1 overall and 6-1 in league play.
"This is just what we needed," commented UCLA head coach Stella Sampras after the victory. "Defeating Stanford is a big boost for us and hopefully will propel us through tomorrow (against Cal) and the rest of the dual match season."
Despite fielding three new doubles teams, UCLA claimed two doubles matches to post the team victory. Two of the squads had never competed together and the other had played just twice in January. Sampras paired Annica Cooper with Katia Roubanova on court No. 1 where they suffered an 8-2 loss at the hands of Stanford's No. 11 ranked team of Anne Kremer and Teryn Ashley putting the Cardinal up 4-3. UCLA tied the score when Cristina Popescu and Elizabeth Schmidt upset Stanford's No. 7 ranked team of Ania Bleszynski and Julie Scott 9-7 in the No. 2 slot. Just moments later in the decisive match at No. 3 doubles, UCLA's Brandi Freudenberg and Kati Kocsis defeated Stanford's Jennifer Heiser and Sarah Pestieau, 8-5, to complete the upset.
In singles play, Stanford took an early lead as Heiser defeated Freudenberg 6-1, 6-3 on court No. 6. The Cardinal also claimed the next match as Scott won the first-set tiebreaker and posted a 7-6(5), 6-2 win over Popescu. UCLA notched its first win of the day when Kocsis defeated Pestieau 6-3, 6-4 at No. 5. Stanford extended its lead to 3-1 when Bleszynski rallied to defeated Kelly Rudolph 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 in the No. 4 slot. The Bruins got a major boost when Cooper claimed her first-set tiebreaker and went on to post a 7-6(4), 6-1 win over Kremer in the No. 1 slot. The momentum really went the Bruins' way when Schmidt was able to battle back from a 4-6 first set deficite to claim a 6-4, 7-5 win over Ashley on court No. 3 and tie the team score at three going into doubles play.
Today's match scheduled start time was pushed forward to 10 a.m. in order to avoid the rain, which ironically began falling as the match concluded. UCLA is scheduled to host Cal tomorrow (Sat., April 4) at the Los Angeles Tennis Center, while Stanford is slated to play at USC's Marks Stadium, both at Noon.
Here are today's position-by-position results:
No. 1 Annica Cooper (UCLA) def. Anne Kremer (Stan) 7-6(4), 6-1
No. 2 Julie Scott (Stan) def. Christina Popescu (UCLA) 7-6(5), 6-2
No. 3 Elizabeth Schmidt (UCLA) def. Teryn Ashley (Stan) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
No. 4 Ania Bleszynski (Stan) def. Kelly Rudolph (UCLA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-0
No. 5 Katie Kocsis (UCLA) def. Sarah Pestieau (Stan) 6-3, 6-4
No. 6 Jennifer Heiser (Stan) def. Brandi Freudenberg (UCLA) 6-1, 6-3
No. 1 Kremer/Ashley (Stan) def. Cooper/Katia Roubanova (UCLA) 8-2
No. 2 Schmidt/Popescu (UCLA) def. Bleszynski/Scott (Stan) 9-7
No. 3 Freudenberg/Kocsis (UCLA) def. Heiser/Pestieau (Stan) 8-5
Final Team Score: UCLA 5, Stanford 4