This past weekend, April 21 and 22, the University of San Francisco women’s tennis team took down both of their northwestern rivals, Gonzaga University and the University of Portland, at home in Golden Gate Park. The Lady Dons beat both the Bulldogs and the Pilots by scores of 6-1 in a nice tribute to their three graduating seniors, Andrea Gaitan, Alana McMahon and Julia Wartenburger, who all played in their last home matches. With the result, the Dons will go on to the post season WCC Conference Championships.
On Saturday against the Pilots, the Dons absolutely dominated, winning two out of three doubles matches and five out of six singles matches. After a loss in the first match of doubles play, the Dons came back with a vengeance. USF junior Yurie Hashiguchi and freshman Milica Hadzi Tanovic teamed up against Portland’s Emily Mahairas and Alice Tucker and won 8-5. In the last doubles match junior Melinda Akerbrant and senior Alana McMahon of USF defeated Gabrialle Gorence and Sabine Fuchs of Portland 8-4 to clinch the point for the Dons.
In the first match of singles play, senior Don Julia Wartenburger set the pace winning 6-3 and 6-4 against freshman Pilot Anastasia Polyakova. Following suit, Dons freshman Marina Nikolic routed Pilots junior Sabine Fuchs. In their first set Nikolic barely topped Fuchs 7-6 but rallied and finished the match with a 6-2 victory in the second set. The Dons then lost in the third set but came back to win the final two. In the last set, senior Alana McMahon overwhelmed Portland’s Gabrielle Gorence with 6-1 and 6-0 victories.
On Sunday the Dons faced the Bulldogs in their regular season finale. The Bulldogs came out strong in doubles play, winning all three matches, earning themselves the point. However, the Dons turned up the intensity in singles play and shut out the Bulldogs with six straight victories. The highlight of the day was when USF senior Julia Wartenburger came back from losing her first set 6-7 against Prue Teitzel to win the next two sets 6-3 and 10-8.
With these two victories the Dons ended the season on a high note, finishing 6-12 overall and 2-6 in West Coast Conference play, which earned them the seventh seed in the WCC Conference Championships. The Dons will battle against sixth seed Brigham Young University in the first round on Wednesday, April 25 at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. Last time the Dons and the Cougars of BYU met in competition the Cougars squeaked out a 4-3 victory at home in Provo, Utah. The winner of this match will go on to face third seed University of San Diego Toreros on the following day.