Rebecca Berger Provides Clincher in 4-3 Win for CMS Women's Tennis over UC San Diego

Rebecca Berger's 7-4 win in a third-set tiebreaker gave CMS a 5-4 win over UC San Diego
Rebecca Berger's 7-4 win in a third-set tiebreaker gave CMS a 5-4 win over UC San Diego

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Sophomore Rebecca Berger won a lengthy match at No. 3 singles for the final point to break a 3-3 tie and give the CMS women's tennis team a 4-3 win over Division II UC San Diego in a four and a half hour match on Sunday afternoon, completing a 4-0 opening weekend.

The win enabled the Athenas to come away with four wins in 48 hours against teams from all three divisions. The weekend began on Friday at home against Division I Idaho State, with CMS capturing a 6-1 win. On Saturday, CMS opened SCIAC play with two matches, defeating Caltech 6-3 in the first one and then breezing past Occidental 9-0 in the second one. The toughest test came on Sunday against the Tritons, who are ranked No. 18 in Division II while in transition to Division I, but with the score tied 3-3 and all other courts inactive, Berger came through with a 7-4 win in the third set tiebreaker over Valeria Corral to complete a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 win and give the Athenas the clincher. 

Although only a sophomore, Berger was able to use her experience in heavy-pressure situations to her advantage, having provided the clinching point last year in both the NCAA semifinals (5-3 vs. Williams) and finals (5-4 vs. Emory). On Sunday, she dropped the first set, and had to battle back just to force the third, and was able to come away with another big win to end the lenghty contest and complete the busy weekend. 

The match was played with Division II scoring rules with doubles counting as only one point instead of three. Junior Nicole Tan and freshman Sarah Bahsoun earned a 6-4 win at No. 2 doubles for the Athenas, but the Tritons were able to take wins at No. 1 and No. 3 to earn the doubles point and take a 1-0 lead heading into singles. 

CMS turned the momentum in singles and went ahead 3-2, as sophomore Caroline Cox dominated the second set at No. 4 for a 6-4, 6-0 win and Bahsoun was able to take a convincing 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 5. Junior Catherine Allen put the Athenas on the brink of the win with a second-set tiebreaker win at No. 1, taking the match 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) to put CMS ahead 3-2, before UC San Diego's Becky Chou rallied to win in three sets at No. 2 singles to tie the match at 3-3.

Berger's match, which was proceeding at a slower pace than the others, then became the deciding point, after she was able to split with a second-set win to keep the Athena hopes alive. 

After its busy opening weekend, CMS will have the luxury of 12 days off, before returning to action at home against Brandeis on Saturday, Feb. 23. 

#1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 4, #18 UC San Diego 3
Feb 10, 2019 at La Jolla, CA (Northview Tennis Courts) 

Singles competition
1. #26 Catherine Allen (CMS) def. Ashley Chao (UCSD) 6-2, 7-6 (7-2)
2. Becky Chou (UCSD) def. #37 Sydney Lee (CMS) 2-6, 6-1, 6-4
3. #38 Rebecca Berger (CMS) def. Valeria Corral (UCSD) 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
4. Caroline Cox (CMS) def. Shweta Kumar (UCSD) 6-4, 6-0
5. Sarah Bahsoun (CMS) def. Anu Bhadada (UCSD) 6-2, 6-3
6. Chloe Wight (UCSD) def. Madison Shea (CMS) 6-1, 6-1


Doubles competition
1. Ashley Chao/Becky Chou (UCSD) def. #1 Catherine Allen/Caroline Cox (CMS) 6-2
2. Sarah Bahsoun/Nicole Tan (CMS) def. Anu Bhadada/Madison Hale (UCSD) 6-4
3. Shweta Kumar/Chloe Wight (UCSD) def. Sydney Lee/Juliette Martin (CMS) 6-0


Match Notes
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 4-0; National ranking #1; Regional ranking #1
UC San Diego 0-3; National ranking #18; Regional ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,6,5,1,2,3)