SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The fact that the Saint Mary's women's tennis team played so well as a whole on Friday provided the most obvious reason for the Gaels' 4-1 win over San Diego in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament.
That it was Saint Mary's senior captain who provided the final point to clinch the win made the victory just a little bit sweeter.
In her final trip to the WCC Tournament, Catherine Isip clinched Saint Mary's win with a 6-4, 6-4 victory at No. 2 singles, sending the No. 1 seed Gaels to Saturday's final against No. 2 Pepperdine at 9:30 a.m. at Barnes Tennis Center.
"It was a great match. We haven't played one in 12 days, so I wasn't really sure what we were going to get," Saint Mary's coach Lisa Alipaz said. "The girls played hard and played better as the day went on. We're excited for tomorrow.
Isip's win was but one small part of a larger picture that saw Saint Mary's play extremely well as a team.
That started in doubles, where the Gaels got wins at No. 1 and 3 to clinch the first point of the day. Jenny Jullien and Danielle Flores teamed for a 8-3 win at No. 1, and the team of Elizabeth Searl and Jade Frampton clinched it with a 8-3 win of their own at No. 3.
Momentum was in full supply for Saint Mary's as it started singles, and that showed immediately. The Gaels won the first set in five of the six matches, taking control right away.
San Diego scored first with a win at No. 5, but Frampton put the Gaels back up quickly, doing so in a tremendous comeback at No. 4.
Trailing 2-5 in the first set, she rallied to take the first 7-5 against Marta Stojanovic. With mojo squarely in her corner, Frampton rolled to a 6-1 win in the second.
From there, Saint Mary's turned to the top of the lineup to finish things off. Playing on Stadium Court, Jullien turned in a huge performance at No. 1 singles to defeat Laura Claus 6-4, 6-3.
Not long after Jullien delivered that final fist pump, Isip closed it out just a few yards away. The senior from Anaheim, Calif. took the first set 6-4, then won the second by the same score to send Saint Mary's to Saturday's final.