FLUSHING, N.Y. -- Saint Mary's women's tennis player Jenny Jullien didn't travel all the way across the country just to come up empty in her first round match at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.
Down one set to none against Pepperdine's Lorraine Guillermo on Thursday, Jullien wasn't content to settle for an early exit. Instead, she rallied, pulling off an impressive 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory to advance to the round of 16 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
"It was a fair play, high level match," Jullien said. "Lorraine and I were bummed to have to play each other first round. It would have been nice to have two players going forward to represent the West Coast Conference. I'm happy with the way I played and look forward to the next round."
Jullien became the first Saint Mary's player to earn an invitation to the prestigious, 32-woman tournament thanks to a strong showing at the ITA Northwest Regional at Stanford. She went 5-1 at the tournament, collecting wins against a strong field to reach the final and earn an spot to this week's tournament in New York.
That trip was put to the test early on Thursday, as the two players battled back and forth before Guillermo pulled out a tough first set. As she so often does, Jullien fought back. A dominant 6-2 win in the second forced a third and decisive set between the two West Coast Conference foes.
And, if her back wasn't to the wall already, Jullien had to climb out of a hole early in the final set. Guillermo bolted out to a 3-0 lead, taking control right away. Again though, the regining WCC Player of the Year had an answer. Jullien would go on a massive run to re-take the lead, winning the next five games to give herself a chance at winning the match. Guillermo would get one back, but Jullien closed it out shortly thereafter to advance with a hard-fought victory.
Jullien will return to the court Friday, and she could see another familiar opponent when she gets there. She will play Georgia's Maho Kowase, who defeated No. 5 seed Zsofi Susanyi of Cal on Thursday. Win that match, and she would play again on Friday with a chance to reach Saturday's semifinals. Times for all Friday matches will be announced late Thursday evening.