March 2, 2004
MALIBU, Calif. – Karin Schlapbach won a three-set, three-and-a-half hour match at No. 5 singles to lead No. 26 Pepperdine (7-3) to a 4-3 victory over visiting Georgia Tech (5-3) Tuesday afternoon at the Pepperdine Tennis Courts.
The Jackets began the afternoon in a hole, dropping all three doubles matches against the Wave. Schlapbach and Eva Dickes teamed together to down Tech’s freshmen duo of Lindsey Stauss and Alison Silverio, 8-1 to begin the afternoon, and Charlotte Vernaz teamed with newcomer Caroline Raba to defeat the Jackets’ No. 1 doubles team of Kelly Anderson and Sekita Grant, 8-5 to give the Wave the doubles point. Lyndsay Shosho and teammate Maria Nieto put up a fight in the No. 2 position, but fell to Natalie Braverman and Merve Asimgil, 9-8 (4) to Pepperdine the sweep in doubles play.
Georgia Tech quickly fell behind 3-0 in the match after Braverman downed Shosho at No. 1, 6-2, 6-0, and Raba defeated Stauss, 7-6 (6), 6-1 at No. 3 singles. Anderson got the Jackets on the board when her opponent, Vernaz, retired with Tech up 6-3, 5-3, 30-love in the No. 2 singles position. Silverio and Grant then tied the match with a pair of victories at the Nos. 3 and 6 spots in the singles lineup. Silverio dropped Asimgil, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 while Grant battled back to earn a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory in the No. 6 position.
The match came down to the No. 5 position, with Tech’s Nieto and Pepperdine’s Schlapbach. After Schlapbach won the first set, 6-3, Nieto battled back to win a tie-breaker second set, 7-6 (4). Three-and-a-half hours after the match began, Schlapbach took the final set, 7-5 to give the Wave their seventh match victory on the season.
“We really didn’t play well in doubles,” said Tech head coach Bryan Shelton, “and that hurt us for the match. However, I have to feel good about the way that Maria competed to the end, especially through the conditions. She showed a lot of heart today, and it was almost a lift even though we lost. We were down 3-0 at one point in the match, and then we just battled back, match-by-match until it was 3-3. It all came down to that tough three-setter to clinch the match. I think we learned a lot about ourselves and I hope that we can take the positives from this match into our homestand that begins next week.”
The Jackets return to action Saturday when they host Wake Forest in Atlanta in the first of nine consecutive home matches. Saturday’s match is scheduled to begin at 12 noon on the outdoor courts of the Bill Moore Tennis Center.
No. 26 Pepperdine 4, No. 43 Georgia Tech 3
Doubles No. 1 Vernaz/Raba (Pep) def. Anderson/Grant (GT), 8-5 No. 2 Braverman/Asimgil (Pep) def. Shosho/Nieto (GT), 9-8 (4) No. 3 Schlapbach/Dickes (Pep) def. Stauss/Silverio (GT), 8-1
Singles No. 1 Natalie Braverman (Pep) def. Lyndsay Shosho (GT) 6-2, 6-0 No. 2 Kelly Anderson (GT) def. Charlotte Vernaz (Pep), 6-3, 5-3, (30-0 retired) No. 3 Caroline Raba (Pep) def. Lindsey Stauss (GT), 7-6 (6), 6-1 No. 4 Alison Silverio (GT) def. Merve Asimgil (Pep), 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 No. 5 Karin Schlapbach (Pep) def. Maria Nieto (GT), 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-5 No. 6 Sekita Grant (GT) def. Eva Dickes (Pep), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1