Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor
Sophomore Paola Exposito Diaz-Delgado fell in the Round of 16 Wednesday night in the NCAA Women’s Singles Championships to No. 1 Estela Perez-Somarriba of Miami 6-4, 0-6, 6-7 in Orlando, Florida.
No. 77 Exposito Diaz-Delgado made it interesting for Perez-Somarriba in the final set after falling behind 4-1. She rallied to tie the set at five apiece, then took a 6-5 lead in the set on an umpire overruling of Perez-Sombarriba’s shot.
The match went the distance, as Perez-Somarriba forced a final set tiebreaker to end the match, which she took from Exposito Diaz-Delgado.
Perez-Somarriba knocked off Exposito Diaz-Delgado in the final set 7-6.
The Almeria, Spain, native defeated Perez-Somarriba in the first set, the first time the latter had lost a set in the tournament. But Perez-Somarriba answered by sweeping the second set 6-0.
Perez-Somarriba won nine consecutive games before Exposito Diaz-Delgado took the third game of the final set.
Exposito Diaz-Delgado is only the fourth Ram to make it to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. This spring, Exposito Diaz-Delgado won 38 matches, the second most in Women’s Tennis history. Martina Nedelkova holds the record with 48 victories during the 1997-98 season.
In order to get to the Round of 16, Exposito Diaz-Delgado defeated Stanford’s No. 29 Melissa Lord and Washington’s No. 57 Stacey Fung.
Exposito Diaz-Delgado was named the Atlantic 10’s Most Outstanding Player after leading the Rams to their sixth A-10 title in the last seven seasons. She was also named an ITA First-Team All-American this season.
Perez-Somarriba will advance to the quarterfinals tomorrow afternoon against Illinois’ Asuka Kawai.