Thursday, February 21

UCLA women’s tennis clinches fourth shutout against Rice, 7-0


Daniel Khayat / Daily Bruin

In its final tune-up for this weekend’s National Team Indoor Championships, the No. 12 UCLA women’s tennis team made short work of the Rice Owls on Monday, sweeping them 7-0 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

The Bruins (5-0) won all six singles matches in straight sets and took two out of the three doubles matches to clinch their fourth shutout of the season and second in a row.

The match against the Owls (3-3) was originally scheduled for last Friday but was moved to Monday because of inclement weather. Rain has postponed three of the Bruins’ matches so far this season.

“We approached (the match) as just another opportunity to get better before (the NTIC),” junior Andrea Remynse said.

The first Bruin to top her opponent was senior Yasmin Schnack, the nation’s No. 5 singles player. Schnack was in control of her match from the get-go and defeated Rebekka Hanle 6-1, 6-0.

Schnack was soon followed by sophomore Carling Seguso and junior Maya Johansson, who racked up backcourt wins of 6-4, 6-4 and 6-2, 6-4 respectively.

Remynse won her match handily as well, defeating Jessica Jackson 6-2, 6-4 to clinch the victory for the Bruins, but insisted her match was not as easy as it looked.

“My match was close,” she said. “It was good practice.”

Freshman Pamela Montez took care of business at the No. 3 spot for UCLA with a 6-3, 6-4 win and handled the move up to that lofty spot in the lineup with relative ease.

“Pressure wasn’t really an issue,” Montez said. “This match was a little bit tougher for us, especially because we had those two days of rain, but overall we did pretty good.”

Sophomore Nina Pantic had the roughest outing of any Bruin but still pulled out a 6-4, 6-4 victory, capping off one of the team’s cleanest singles slates in recent memory.

Doubles play was not as smooth, but by that point UCLA had an insurmountable 6-0 lead. Remynse and Schnack, the No. 10 doubles tandem in the nation, were challenged by Rice’s Julie Chao and Ana Guzman but ultimately came out 8-6 winners. Montez and Seguso had a much easier time against Owls Hanle and Rebecca Lin, sweeping them 8-0.

Pantic and junior Noelle Hickey, who was held out of singles play because of a minor wrist injury, lost a hard-fought match to Jackson and Alex Rasch by the score of 7-6 (7-5).

Coach Stella Sampras Webster was impressed with Montez stepping up and seamlessly replacing Hickey in the singles lineup. Sampras Webster pointed out the advantage that having eight lineup-worthy players gives her team.

“I think one of our strengths is the depth that we have,” she said. “I feel confident putting anyone in a match, and it’s great to be able to rest some players.”

The Bruins will travel to Madison, Wisc., on Wednesday for the Team Indoors, which take place from Friday to Monday and feature some of the best teams in the NCAA, including the 2009 champions and current No. 1 Duke.

In the first round of the Team Indoors, UCLA plays the No. 6 Miami squad that ended the Bruins’ season in the round of 16 of the 2009 NCAA Tournament, a match that this year’s returning players won’t soon forget.

“We definitely remember that match,” Sampras Webster said. “We want to repay them that loss. We’re going to prepare our team as much as possible for that match. Miami’s a very feisty, competitive team, so it will be a great match.”

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