The UCLA women's tennis team's stay in Athens, Ga. turned out to be short-lived, as the NCAA tournament's No. 7-seeded squad fell to No. 10 Duke, 4-2, in the NCAA round of 16 on Thursday.
Duke took the ever crucial doubles point by upsetting the nation's No. 4-ranked tandem of Andrea Remynse and Yasmin Schnack -- the Pac-10's Doubles team of the year and winners of 20 of their last 21 matches.
"I knew that it was going to be tough when we didn't come out strong in doubles," coach Stella Sampras Webster said in a statement released by the school. "Of course, I still thought we had a really good chance in singles, but we didn't play our best tennis. To beat teams this time of the year you have to be playing at your best. Duke has had a great season and they just played better today."
UCLA, the 2008 NCAA champion, found itself in a 3-1 hole and needing to win the next three matches to complete the comeback. Schnack pulled through with a 6-0, 6-7, 6-2 victory to cut the Duke lead to 3-2, but Noelle Hickey failed to capitalize on a 4-0 third-set lead by dropping the eventual tiebreaker.
It wasn't entirely a lost season for UCLA (21-4), whose four losses were the fewest in nearly 20 years. Remynse, Schnack and Hickey will be competing in the 64-player singles tournament next Wednesday. Remynse and Schnack will also have a chance at redemption in the doubles draw.