BERKELEY, Calif. – Gabrielle Otero increased her winning streak to three matches, but it was not enough as the No. 40 LSU women’s tennis team fell 4-1 to No. 24 Pepperdine in the first round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Tournament held at Hellman Tennis Complex.
“Our girls fought really hard,” said LSU head coach Julia S. Sell. “I told them after the match that I thought they made LSU proud today. They represented the LSU Nation with a lot of class and a lot of heart. Credit to Pepperdine. They played a really solid, very mature match and were able to close us out of a few matches.”
The Lady Tigers finish the season 14-14 after earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time under Sell. Pepperdine is now 19-4 on the season.
Otero won her fourth match on court six and her third during the postseason as she defeated Pepperdine’s Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai 6-4, 6-4 to give the Lady Tigers their lone point of the match.
“Gabrielle (Otero) shows the evolution of a freshman,” said sell. “At the beginning of the year, she was playing very nervous and she was worried about winning and losing too much. The last few weeks, she’s just calmed down mentally and gotten back to the basics of tennis, and she’s been shining through ever since.”
LSU and Pepperdine split the first two doubles courts. On court two, Abigail Owens and partner Otero fell 8-0 to No. 78 Michaela Capannolo and Yuki Chaing. On court three, Ella Taylor and Skylar Holloway took the lead and never looked back as they defeated Ale Granillo and Matea Cutura 8-2.
On court one, Joana Vale Costa and Noel Scott battled hard, but the duo ultimately fell 8-5 to Lorraine Guillermo and Runglerdkriangkrai as Pepperdine captured the doubles point.
In singles, LSU’s Owens dropped a 6-2, 6-1 decision to No. 88 Granillo on court three, while Holloway met defeat 7-5, 6-2 at the hands of Pepperdine’s Chaing.
On court two, Scott fell 6-3, 6-3 to Pepperdine’s No. 124 Cutura as the Wave clinched the match to advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
LSU will have six returning players next season. Ella Taylor, Gabrielle Otero, Skylar Holloway, Joana Vale Costa, Noel Scott and Abigail Owens will be joined by newcomers Amanda Atannason and Madara Straume in the fall of 2014.
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#24 Pepperdine 4, #40 LSU 1
Hellman Tennis Center at Berkeley, California
May 09, 2014
1. #26 Lorraine Guillermo (PEP) vs. #74 Joana Vale Costa (LSU) 6-7 (5-7), 2-5, unfinished
2. #124 Matea Cutura (PEP) def. Noel Scott (LSU) 6-3, 6-3
3. #88 Ale Granillo (PEP) def. Abigail Owens (LSU) 6-2, 6-1
4. Michaela Capannolo (PEP) vs. Ella Taylor (LSU) 6-4, 3-4, unfinished
5. Yuki Chaing (PEP) def. Skylar Holloway (LSU) 7-5, 6-2
6. Gabrielle Otero (LSU) def. Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai (PEP) 6-4, 6-4
1. Lorraine Guillermo/ Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai (PEP) def. Joana Vale Costa/Noel Scott (LSU) 8-5
2. #78 Michaela Capannolo/Yuki Chaing (PEP) def. Abigail Owens/Gabrielle Otero (LSU) 8-0
3. Ella Taylor/Skylar Holloway (LSU) def. Ale Granillo/Matea Cutura (PEP) 8-2
LSU 14-14; National ranking #40
Pepperdine 19-4; National ranking #24
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,5,6,2)