Lauren Rabaino

Not being able to capitalize on break-point opportunities cost Brittany Blalock and Steffi Wong on Thursday, as the Cal Poly women’s tennis doubles tandem was eliminated from the national championships.

Blalock and Wong, Cal Poly’s first doubles team to compete in the tournament, fell in the first round to Texas’ Marija Milic and Vanja Corovic, 6-4, 6-4 at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.

“We had several break-point opportunities,” Blalock said. “But that really changed the dynamic of the outcome and enabled (Milic and Corovic) to win.”

Cal Poly’s duo opened the second set ahead 1-0 before the Longhorns (24-11) – ranked 23rd by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association – surged to a 5-3 lead en route to clinching the affair.

“We had tiny little letdowns in each set,” Wong said. “We had so many break-point opportunities, but we just couldn’t turn them over. If we got one or two of those, it would’ve been totally different.”

Milic and Corovic, who Blalock said were “very hard hitters,” advanced to the round of 16.

The Cal Poly sophomores dropped to 27-14 since teaming up in the spring of 2007.

“Overall, it was a great season for Blalock and Wong, from staying in the national rankings all year to making the tournament,” Mustangs head coach Hugh Bream said in a statement. “As sophomores, they have tons of potential and plenty of time to improve for next season.”

Though in defeat, the No. 46 Mustangs said the experience will be a valuable asset in their future.

“It was an awesome opportunity to get to see some of the best college players,” Blalock said. “And it’s motivated us to work harder so we have the opportunity to play here again.”

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