No. 8 Women's Tennis drops 4-3 decision to No. 4 USC
March 14, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - Texas senior Krista Damico rallied for a three-set singles victory against No. 18 Danielle Lao of Southern California, but the fourth-ranked Trojans emerged with a 4-3 victory over the No. 8 Longhorns on Wednesday afternoon at Penick-Allison Tennis Center. USC improved to 12-2 on the dual match season, while UT fell to 7-4.
USC swept all three doubles matches to take the doubles point and a 1-0 lead. At No. 2 doubles, UT's Aeriel Ellis and Cierra Gaytan-Leach kept it close, but 49th-ranked Valeria Pulido and Zoe Scandalis pulled off an 8-5 victory. The Longhorns' 23rd-ranked pair of Lina Padegimaite and Noel Scott took a quick 5-2 lead at No. 1 doubles, but the nation's fourth-ranked duo of Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria fought back to win five-straight games and clinch the doubles point for the Trojans.
The Trojans assumed a 2-0 lead after Pulido defeated Elizabeth Begley 6-2, 6-1 at sixth singles. Begley is now 8-2 on the dual match season.
USC extended its lead to 3-0 when the 31st-ranked Santamaria defeated the 122nd-ranked Noel Scott 6-2, 6-2 at the third singles slot. The Trojans clinched the match at the first singles slot with the 21st-ranked Scandalis' 6-4, 6-3 victory over Texas' 24th-ranked Ellis.
UT earned its first point when USC's Christian retired the match to UT's Gaytan-Leach. Gaytan-Leach had dropped the first set 3-6 before winning the second set 6-3 to force a third set at the No. 4 singles slot.
Padegimaite won her No. 5 singles match against Gabriella DeSimone in a hard-fought three-setter, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 to give the Longhorns a second point on the board.
Damico then closed out the day with another scrappy victory for the Longhorns. After dropping the first set at love, Damico rallied to take the final two sets over USC's Lao, 6-3, 6-4, which gave UT its third point of the afternoon. Damico remains undefeated against ranked opponents (5-0) and in play at the No. 2 singles slot.
UT opens up Big 12 play this weekend when the Longhorns visit Iowa State on Friday and Missouri on Sunday.
On starting Big 12 conference play:We get on a plane tomorrow and go to Iowa State and Missouri. We are looking forward to getting out there and starting conference play.
No. 4 USC 4, No. 8 Texas 3
Singles - Order of Finish: 6, 3, 1*, 4, 5, 2