Titans Edge UCR to Advance at Big West Tourney

April 26, 2012

INDIAN WELLS, CA - In almost a mirror image of their regular season clash just a week earlier, freshman Jessica Pepa outlasted Kate Bergeson in three-sets at the No. 6 spot Thursday evening, lifting Cal State Fullerton to a 4-3 victory over UC Riverside to open the 2012 Big West Conference Women's Tennis Tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The Titans improved to 8-12 overall on the season and advances to face top-seeded Long Beach State on Friday (April 27) at 8 a.m. The Highlanders concluded their season at 3-15 overall.

Just as it was on April 19 in Riverside, Calif., Fullerton was forced to rally back from a 3-2 deficit with the same two Titans providing the tying and winning points. Sophomore Morgan McIntosh rallied for a, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, win over Kat Saltarelli at the No. 2 spot -- the same pairing that tied the match a week earlier when McIntosh won in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.

That left it up to Pepa, who battled to a three-set, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, win over Bergeson to advance Fullerton in the bracket. In their first meeting, Pepa posted a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, win in Riverside to clinch the regular season victory.

One of the few differences in Thursday's match came in doubles play as the teams of McIntosh and Tiffany Mai as well as Kalika Slevcove and Monica Rodriguez posted doubles victories to give the Titans the early lead. A week ago, the Highlanders had claimed the doubles point, forcing Fullerton to win four of the six singles matches en route to the win.

Mai was the only other Titan to win in singles play Thursday, posting a relatively easy, 6-0, 6-2, win at the No. 1 spot.

NCAA WOMEN'S TENNIS
2012 Big West Conference Women's Tennis Tournament

Cal State Fullerton (4) vs. UC Riverside (3)
April 26, 2012 | Indian Wells Tennis Garden | Indian Wells, Calif.

DOUBLES
1. Mai/McIntosh (CSF) def. J. Raney/T. Raney (UCR), 8-6
2. Rodriguez/Slevcove (CSF) def. McKay/Saltarelli (UCR), 8-3
3. Bergeson/Pattulgalan (UCR) def. dela Cruz/Tomaiko (UCR), 8-5

Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1

SINGLES
1. Tiffany Mai (CSF) def. Jamie Raney (UCR), 6-0, 6-2
2. Morgan McIntosh (CSF) def. Kat Saltarelli (UCR), 6-3, 5-7, 6-2
3. Taylor Raney (UCR) def. Monica Rodriguez (CSF), 6-2, 6-4
4. Natalie McKay (UCR) def. Malorie dela Cruz (CSF), 6-4, 6-0
5. Courtney Pattugalan (UCR) def. Kalika Slevcove (CSF), 6-2, 7-5
6. Jessica Pepa (CSF) def. Kate Bergeson (UCR), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4

Order of Finish: 4, 1, 3, 5, 2, 6