The Bruins were on the verge of victory but couldn’t come out on top.
After having a 3-1 lead, No. 12-seeded UCLA women’s tennis (23-6, 9-1 Pac-12) were outlasted by No. 4-seeded Georgia Tech (25-5, 12-2 ACC) 4-3 in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The match was scheduled to commence at 4 p.m. local time but was postponed for three hours due to rain. Play concluded after midnight due to rain delays and a tightly fought match.
Coach Stella Sampras Webster stuck with the same lineup she has used all tournament, and it again earned the Bruins the doubles point.
UCLA was on pace to head to the semifinals after winning three first sets in singles.
Two rain delays halted the singles matches. After the first delay of just under an hour, play resumed for 10 minutes before showers started again and play was stopped. In that short passage of play, Georgia Tech tied it at one apiece as senior Terri Fleming fell to Johnnise Renaud 6-1, 6-3.
Shortly thereafter, the matches were relocated to the indoor courts.
No. 33 redshirt sophomore Jada Hart put the Bruins back on top with a 6-1, 6-3 win over No. 60 Kenya Jones on court two. Junior Alaina Miller put UCLA a point away from a semifinal berth with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Victoria Flores.
The Bruins had multiple chances to clinch with No. 9 sophomore Ena Shibahara tied 1-1 in the third set against No. 14 Paige Hourigan. No. 67 freshman Abi Altick was up a break in the second set after dropping the first, and junior Ayan Broomfield was ahead in the second set after losing the first.
Shibahara’s serve was broken by Hourigan and Shibahara was unable to recover falling 6-3, 3-6, 3-6 on the top court.
Broomfield dropped the second-set tiebreak to be bested 7-5, 7-6 (2) on court five. The Bruins had two tiebreakers in singles and lost both.
Altick swept the second set to send the overall match to a do-or-die third set. Down 3-1 in the set, she had multiple opportunities to break Ida Jarlskog but left wanting. Jarlskog served for the match at 5-3 and fell behind 0-40, but rallied to win the next four points and send Georgia Tech to the semifinals for the first time since 2007.
Georgia Tech will take on No. 1-seeded Vanderbilt (26-3, 12-1 SEC) in the Final Four on Monday at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.