MALIBU, Calif. -- A tense session of doubles broke the way of host Pepperdine and that proved a harbinger of action to come as the Saint Mary's women's tennis team fell 4-0 to the Waves on Saturday in Malibu.
With the result, No. 43-ranked Saint Mary's falls to 10-7 overall and 4-2 in West Coast Conference play. No. 28 Pepperdine improves to 15-4 overall and 8-0 in the WCC.
Early play looked about as even as could be Saturday, with Saint Mary's jumping out to an early advantage on court two, Pepperdine taking the lead on court one and both teams fighting back and forth on court three.
Soon though, momentum shifted. Pepperdine stormed back to take a big lead at No. 2, and the team of Michaela Capannolo and Yuki Chang eventually finished off the Waves' first win with an 8-4 victory. At the same time, SMC's top duo of Jenny Jullien and Parminder Kaur had turned the tables at No. 1 and they went to a tie-breaker with Lorraine Guillermo and Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai.
Though Jullien and Kaur looked poised to even the match with a 3-1 lead in the tie-breaker, their efforts were in vain. Pepperdine clinched the point thanks to an 8-6 win by Ale Granillo and Matea Cutura at No. 3, with a Saint Mary's return sailing long to provide the final point of the match.
Momentum established, Pepperdine only got better from there. The Waves won the first set in five of the six singles matches, with only Jamie Pawid at No. 3 taking a set for the Gaels. Wins at No. 6, 5 and 1 clinched the win for Pepperdine and stopped play for the day.
The final match of the day served as a microcosm of the day's events, as Guillermo made brilliant shot after brilliant shot to take an early lead on Jullien in a matchup of two of the West Coast's best players. Jullien began to find her rhythm late in the second set but by then it was too late as Guillermo slammed the final point home to clinch Pepperdine's win.
Saint Mary's won't have much time to dwell on Saturday's proceedings. The Gaels return to action Sunday at noon when they take on Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles.