UNLV's Batta Can't Close Out Upset Bid

May 23, 2012

LAS VEGAS - UNLV sophomore Lucia Batta had her opponent on the ropes before eventually falling in Wednesday's first round of the NCAA Singles Championship at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.

Batta, ranked 65th nationally, won the first set 7-6 over 14th-ranked Zoe Scandalis of USC by taking the tiebreaker 7-2. After falling behind 4-1 in the second set, Batta ripped off three straight games to square it and seemingly seize all momentum.

However, Scandalis, who one day earlier was named the national winner of the ITA Player to Watch Award, held serve and then broke Batta's serve to take the set. In fact, Scadalis won eight of the final 10 games to finally emerge 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-2.

The 2012 Mountain West Player of the Year, Batta finished her spring season with an overall singles record of 31-9 overall.

"Today was a great college tennis match that could have gone either way," said UNLV head coach Kevin Cory. "Lucia has a lot to be proud of this season. Next year I fully expect her to make a big jump in the national rankings and lead our team to a lot of success. We're looking forward to it."

This marked the third consecutive trip to the NCAA event that a UNLV player won their first set before losing in three sets in the opening round. Kristina Nedeltcheva fell 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 in 2010 and Elena Gantcheva lost 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 two years earlier.