ATHENS, Ga. – The third-ranked Bruins saw a pair of freshmen, Lilia Vu and Bethany Wu, post wins on Sunday, but UCLA dropped a 3-2 decision to #5 Alabama in the championship match of the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic.
Vu, who completed a 3-0 weekend in the match-play portion and defeated her opponents by a combined score of 17 and 14, defeated Janie Jackson, 3 and 2.
There were four halves on the front side, as Jackson claimed the third and seventh holes, but Vu took the second, eighth and ninth, including an eagle-3 on the ninth, to take a 1-up lead to the back nine. Jackson got the match to all-square on the 12th, but Vu came back with birdies on holes #13, #15 and #16 to finish off Jackson. Vu made five birdies in the round to go with her eagle.
Wu never trailed in her 1-up win over Cheyenne Knight. Birdies on the second and sixth holes gave her a 2-up lead. Knight won the seventh and ninth, but Wu claimed the eighth and had a 1-up lead at the turn.
After Wu won the 10th and Knight took the 12th, victories for the Bruin freshman on #13 and #14 gave Wu a 3-up advantage. Knight stayed alive with wins on #15 and #16 and would take Wu the distance, but a couple of pars on #18 earned the Bruins a second point.
Alabama would win the other three matches though to take the LMCC title. Senior Louise Ridderström won the first two holes against Nicole Morales, but dropped #4, #6 and #7 and never led again. Victories on #9 and #10 gave Morales a 3-up edge, but Ridderström battled back with wins on #11 and #13 to get to within one.
A Morales win on #14 would give her a 2-up lead, as she eventually won, 2 and 1. Junior Hadas Libmanwon her first hole, but Emma Talley claimed #2, #5, #6, #7 and #8 to take a 4-up lead to the turn, also winning the 10th. Libman got one on #13, but a victory on #14 gave Talley the 5 and 4 win. Sophomore Lydia Choi lost the first hole versus Lakareber Abe, but won the second and the third to go 1-up. An Abe win on the fourth evened things up, but Choi took the fifth.
However, it would be Choi’s last win, as Abe claimed the seventh, 11th, 13th and 16th to win 3 and 2.
The final regular-season tournament for the Bruins will take place April 8-10 at the PING/ASU Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.