#14th-Ranked Clemson falls to #7 Southern California

Feb. 12, 2010

MADISON, WI – The 14th-ranked Clemson women’s tennis team dropped its first decision of 2010, falling 5-2 to 7th-ranked University of Southern California in the Final 16 of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Tigers are now 8-1, but showed that they are among the nation’s best teams, battling for more than five hours against their second top-ten team in three matches.


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The Tigers will play host school Wisconsin on Saturday at 10:00 am eastern in the Consolation Draw. The Badgers lost, 4-0 to #1 Duke in the first round. The Tigers will then take on #16 Michigan on Sunday at 10:00 am. LiveStats are available at


The Trojans got on the board first with the doubles point with the team of Alison Ramos and Danielle Lao taking down Ina Hadziselimovic and Laurianne Henry and Estefania Balda continued their good play, winning, 9-8 at flight three. It was their fourth consecutive win at flight three for Clemson.


Balda had her five match singles winning streak snapped at flight six by Cristala Andrews, whom Balda had defeated earlier in doubles. Andrews won, 6-0, 6-4 to give Southern Cal a 2-0 lead.  


The Trojans took a 3-0 lead when #37 Valeria Pulido defeated Tiger freshman Nelly Ciolkowski, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 at flight four. It was Ciolkowski’s first loss in 2010, and only the second in her career, as she sports a 15-2 overall singles record. Ciolkowski had been 5-1 against ranked opponents.


Keri Wong fought off a 6-4 first-set loss and won the final two sets, 6-4, 6-2 against #37 Alison Ramos at flight two, pulling Clemson to within 3-1. Wong moved to 8-1 on the season and registered the highest-ranked win of her sophomore season.


Laurianne Henry stayed hot, dispatching Leyla Entekhabi at flight five, 6-3, 6-1 to win her fourth straight match and cut the Trojan lead to 3-2.


However, 18th-ranked Lao defeated 113th-ranked Hadziselimovic at flight four, 6-3, 6-4, clinching the Trojan win, and Clemson’s first defeat of 2010.


The matchup between #9 Josipa Bek and #8 Maria Sanchez went to a third set as the match-deciding flight three result went final with Bek taking the first set, 7-6, and falling in the second set 6-1. Sanchez defeated Bek, 6-2, in the third set to take the flight one victory for the Trojans.


#7 Southern California 5, #14 Clemson 2
February 12, 2010
Doubles (USC wins doubles point)
1.      Sanchez/Kinstler (USC) def. Hadziselimovic/Wong (CU), 8-6
2.      Ramos/Lao (USC) def. Bek/Ciolkowski (CU), 8-1
3.      Balda/Henry (CU) def. Pulido/Andrews (USC), 9-8
Order of finish: 2,1,3
1.      #9 Josipa Bek (CU) v. #8 Maria Sanchez (USC)
2.      Keri Wong (CU) def. #39 Alison Ramos (USC), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
3.     #18 Danielle Lao (USC) def. #113 Ina Hadziselimovic (CU), 6-3, 6-4 
4.      #37 Valeria Pulido (USC) def. #61 Nelly Ciolkowski (CU), 6-0, 4-6, 6-3
5.      Laurianne Henry (CU) def. Leyla Entekhabi (USC), 6-3, 6-1
6.      Cristala Andrews (USC) def. Estefania Balda (CU), 6-0, 6-4
Order of finish: 6,4,2,5,3*,1