SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Five of six singles matches went to a decisive third set but the Saint Mary's women's tennis team couldn't complete its comeback against No. 1 seed Pepperdine as the Waves won the 2014 West Coast Conference Championships with a 4-2 victory over the Gaels at Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego.
Saint Mary's will now await its fate with a national ranking of 44 and an overall record of 15-8. The Gaels will find out whether they will be invited to a fifth-straight NCAA Tournament when the field is announced Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. This year's selection show will be streamed live on NCAA.com.
Pepperdine got the jump on Saturday's proceedings with a strong showing in doubles. Wins at No. 1 and 3 gave the Waves the first point of the day, rendering a close contest at No. 2 moot as Saint Mary's Danielle Flores and Jade Frampton were neck and neck with the nationally ranked duo of Michaela Capannolo and Yuki Chang.
Singles couldn't have been much closer, as the Gaels and Waves showed just how closely matched they are. Saint Mary's tied the score quickly though, as Jamie Pawid won the lone two-set match of the day with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Pepperdine's Ale Granillo. That made the score 1-1 with plenty of close tennis still left to play.
Both teams battled back and forth for quite some time, with Pepperdine next to score thanks to a comeback win at No. 2 by Matea Cutura. Flores took the first set 6-3 but Cutura rebounded, winning the second 6-1 to force a third. Cutura kept that roll going, winning the final set 6-2 to put the Waves back in front.
Saint Mary's tied the score shortly thereafter, and it did so thanks to a fantastic performance by the two-time WCC Player of the Year. Jullien dropped a first-set tiebreaker 7-0 to rival Lorraine Guillermo but the Gaels' No. 1 player came back strong in the second for a 6-4 win. Jullien only got better from there, beating Guillermo 6-1 in the third to even the score at 2-all.
Pepperdine took the match over from there, first getting a win at No. 4 when Capannolo scored a 7-5, 3-6, 6-0 win over Catherine Leduc. The Waves clinched the title with a win at No. 6, as Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai outlasted a good effort by Parminder Kaur to win 7-6 (7-3), 1-6, 6-2.
Jullien and Pawid were named to the All-WCC Tournament team in singles while Flores and Frampton earned the honor in doubles.