Gulbe Clinches 4-3 Win at No. 32 USC
The clinch by Gulbe is her second clinch over a highly ranked opponent in the last two weeks.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.: It was down to the wire for the 13th-ranked Pepperdine women’s tennis team with junior Laura Gulbe battling out a three-set match on court four against 32nd-ranked USC at the Marks Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. After dropping the doubles point, the Waves battled back to an eventual 3-3 tie, setting up Gulbe to clinch the victory for the win.
The 90th-ranked junior fell in the first set with a tiebreaker bout to the 11-9 mark to No. 121-ranked Zoe Katz. She then rallied back in the second set with a 6-3 win to extend the match to a third and went on to dominate the final set for a 6-3 win to clinch the 4-3.
The Waves opened the day in doubles, winning the first match as 6th-ranked Mayar Sherif and Christine Maddox downed Jessica Failla and Rianna Valdes on court one with a 6-3 mark. The Waves then fell on court three with a 6-3 result to put all eyes on court two. After a 6-6 tiebreak battle, the Trojans took a 1-0 lead by clinching the doubles point on an 8-6 tiebreak win.
In singles action, Pepperdine won four-of-six first sets to gain momentum. The Waves’ 12th-ranked Luisa Stefani tied the match with a 6-1, 7-6(5) finish in the No. 1 position over No. 27 Gabby Smith.
Pepperdine picked up the first Waves’ lead of the day as 35th-ranked Sherif downed Rianna Valdes with a pair of 6-4 sets. USC won on court two as No. 46-ranked Jessica Failla defeated 13th-ranked Ashley Lahey after a hard-fought battle with a 6-4, 6-4 win to tie the match 2-2.
With three courts still in action, the advantage was any teams to take. Sophomore Dzina Milovanovic would be the one to put the Waves up after a two-set bout on court six with Angela Kulikov. She won the first set after a big 7-6 (5) battle and then continued to do Waves’ work in the second set en route to a 6-4 win to put her team up 3-2 on the day.
The Trojans made the match exciting yet again with a three-set victory on court five including a 7-5 win in the third, leaving Gulbe to clinch the Waves second win over ranked opposition in two-weeks. She also clinched the team’s 5-2 upset-win over No. 10 Stanford on Wednesday, April 12.
The Waves will close out the regular season at home on April 21 and 22, hosting Portland and Gonzaga. The match against the Bulldogs will also serve as senior day for the Waves. Also, follow WavesTennis on Facebook and Twitter for immediate updates, results and more.