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March 16, 2013

No. 13 U of R Women's Tennis Edges No. 28 UC Santa Cruz in Regional Showdown

The No. 13 University of Redlands women's tennis team survived its tightest match of the season with Saturday's 5-4 triumph over No. 28 UC Santa Cruz in an important regional match.  The Bulldogs looked to junior Jessica Ly (Torrance, CA) to clinch theoverall victory with her come-from-behind three-setter at the No. 1 slot in singles.

The Bulldogs trailed early in the doubles matches, with the Banana Slugs earning the first team point with their 8-1 outburst at the No. 3 spot. 

Down 0-3 at No. 2, the duo of sophomore Julia Pollak (Holland, PA) and freshman Natalie Etchegaray (Placentia, CA) rallied all the back to eventually win by a score of 8-6.

With the critical second point on the line, the Bulldog tandem of Ly and sophomore Ceara Sumida (Hilo, HI) prevailed in a tight 8-5 performance at No. 1, giving Redlands the early edge.

However, Santa Cruz remained in the hunt by evening the count with a two-set victory at No. 5.

The Bulldogs recaptured the momentum when Etchegaray came off the No. 2 court with a solid 6-2, 6-2 performance, before junior Paige Press (La Jolla, CA) took care of her No. 4 opponent by scores of 7-5, 7-5. 

With a 4-2 lead, Redlands needed just one of the final three matches to secure its ninth win of the season.

But the Banana Slugs had other plans, refusing to give in, and tied up the match with wins at Nos. 3 and 6.

Therefore, the match came down to the No. 1 singles showdown.  Ly stepped up in a big way for the Maroon and Gray, mustering a 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 showing for the deciding point.

Redlands (9-0) finishes off a busy weekend with Sunday's bout against No. 27 Whitman College (WA) at UC Santa Cruz, beginning at 10 a.m.