Los Angeles, Calif. --- UC Irvine's 4-2 win over San Jose State in the Spartans' first NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Tournament appearance does not hint at how close a match the two teams played for the second time this season.
The final two singles on the Marks Stadium courts came down to the deciding third set. The Spartans had #1-Klaudia Boczova, who received San Jose State's first berth to the NCAA Singles Championship, and #5-Julianna Bacelar, the single-season school record holder for singles wins at 28 and wins in a season with 53.
Ali Facey of UC Irvine playing in the #5-singles slot withstood two match points in the second set to defeat Bacelar, 4-6, 7-6 (7-0 tiebreaker), 7-5 in what turned out to be the clinching match for the second-seeded Anteaters in the four-team regional hosted by the University of Southern California. For Facey, she avenged a three-set loss to Bacelar on January 20 in the season-opener for both teams.
Boczova who was leading 6-5 and serving 30-0, had her match with Kristina Smith stopped in the scoring format that declares a winner once a team gets four out of the seven possible points. Boczova entered the match ranked 54th nationally in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings and Smith was 85th.
SAN JOSE STATE TAKES THE EARLY LEAD
San Jose State took a 1-0 lead winning the doubles point for the 14th consecutive match. The Spartan teams of Boczova and Jessica Willett and Bacelar and Chau Truong won at #2 and #3, respectively.
In the end, it was four singles wins for UC Irvine, which also defeated the Spartans, 4-3, in the 2013 season opener. The Anteaters won three straight-set singles matches at the #2, #3 and #4 positions for a 3-1 lead.
WILLETT STARTS THE COMEBACK
San Jose State needed to win the remaining three singles matches, all of which went to a third set.
The Spartans' Jessica Willett, playing at #6, got the comeback going overcoming a one-set deficit for her 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Sarah Stadfelt. Willett was the San Jose State player on the day to get a singles and be involved in a doubles triumph.
Bacelar had the best first chance to even the score at 3-3 after taking the first set, 6-4. Trailing 5-4, Facey prevailed and won a tiebreaker, 7-0, to even the match at one set each. The Anteaters' #5-singles player took the third set to complete her victory over Bacelar and clinch the match.
Despite the close loss by the Spartans, Boczova will continue her season at the NCAA Championships' singles tournament, May 22-27, at the University of Illinois.
NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Tournament
Marks Tennis Complex, Los Angeles, Calif.
May 11, 2013
Final Score - UC Irvine 4, San Jose State 2
Franziska Goettsching-Katrina Smith (UCI) def. Sabastiani Leon Chao-Erica Medlin (SJSU), 8-4.
Klaudia Boczova-Jessica Willett (SJSU) def. Ali Facey-Brooke Schweyer (UCI), 8-1.
Julianna Bacelar-Chau Truong (SJSU) def. Mariveck Mamiit-Sarah Stadfelt (UCI), 8-5.
Order of finish - 2,1,3.
Kristina Smith (UCI) vs. Klaudia Boczova (SJSU), 7-5 2-6, 5-6, unfinished.
Marivick Mamiit (UCI) def. Sabastiani Leon Chao (SJSU), 6-2, 6-4.
Franziska Goettsching (UCI) def. Chau Truong (SJSU), 6-3, 6-3.
Sarah Gong (UCI) def. Erica Medlin (SJSU), 6-2, 6-2.
Ali Facey (UCI) def. Julianna Bacelar (SJSU), 4-6, 7-6 (7-0 tiebreaker), 7-5
Jessica Willett (SJSU) def. Sarah Stadfelt (UCI), 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Order of finish - 4,3,2,6,5.
Team records - UC Irvine 23-4, San Jose State 19-6.