URBANA, Ill. -- For the first set of her match against Clemson's Yana Koroleva at the NCAA Singles Championships, Saint Mary's women's tennis player Jenny Jullien seemed to have everything under control.
That's when rain intervened, forcing a delay and, ultimately, the match to be moved indoors. Koroleva went on to win the second set, and Jullien's rally in the third came up just short as the West Coast Conference Player of the Year fell 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a first round match hosted by the University of Illinois.
Ranked No. 23 in the country entering the match, Jullien found herself matched up with No. 16 ranked Koroleva in the tournament opener for both players.
Early on, Jullien showed every bit of why she was the WCC's top player this season.
Tied at 2 in the first set, the native of Perpignan, France would win the next three games to take a 5-2 advantage. After Koroleva held serve to make it 5-3, Jullien wasted no time in ending the set, ripping a forehand winner to take the 6-3 victory.
Play remained on serve through the first three games of the second set, with Koroleva leading 2-1. Jullien took a 40-15 advantage in the next game, but rain began to fall, forcing everyone to find dry ground.
Action would resume on an indoor court at the Atkins Tennis Center. That's where Koroleva would make her move, winning the second set 6-3.
Jullien responded to begin the third, taking the early break to go up 2-0. Koroleva had the answer again though, running off five games in a row to take a commanding 5-2 lead.
As she has all season, Jullien refused to quit. She would win the next two games, closing the gap to 5-4. The rally would fall just shy though, as Koroleva won the next game to earn the match victory.
Wednesday's match brings an end to a historic season for Jullien.
She joined Alex Poorta as the only Saint Mary's players ever to win WCC Player of the Year and compete in the NCAA Singles Tournament. She also climbed as high as No. 17 in the ITA rankings, a program best, and helped the Gaels claim a share of the WCC regular season team title.