STANFORD, Calif. -- Despite playing a high quality brand of tennis for much of the match, Saint Mary's women's tennis player Jenny Jullien fell 6-4, 6-2 to Stanford's Kristie Ahn in Tuesday's ITA Northwest Regional final at Stanford's Taube Tennis Center.
Even with the loss, Jullien made Saint Mary's tennis history. She became the first SMC tennis player ever to participate in an ITA Regional singles final, and should stand a good shot at earning selection to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in Flushing, N.Y. from Nov. 7-10.
On Tuesday, Jullien fought from the very beginning against a player in Ahn who was ranked No. 13 in the ITA's preseason rankings and seeded third at the tournament.
And, given chances to fold early, the No. 6 seed Jullien would not bend. She fought off three break points to take a 2-1 lead on serve in the first set, then fought off another break point to lead 3-2. Both players drew on quality groundstrokes and neither committed many errors as the first set stayed on serve for quite some time.
Eventually, Ahn would seize an opportunity to push ahead. After earning another break point chance, Ahn used a drop shot to force Jullien to make running attempt near net. Jullien's return went long, and Ahn took a 5-4 lead. A forehand winner to end the next game gave Ahn the set.
The second set started much like the first, with Ahn earning break point chances on Jullien's serve. Again, Jullien fought back, staving off three more break points and winning the first game of the second set with an ace.
Ahn held on her service game, then converted a break chance to go up 2-1. The senior from Stanford continued to gain momentum from there, and despite Jullien picking up a late game, Ahn finished off the match with a backhand winner.
Jullien finished the tournament with a 5-1 record, having beaten two seeded opponents to reach the final.