In a closely-contested match, the UCLA women’s tennis team outdueled Saint Mary’s 5-2 in both teams’ first dual match of the 2011 season.
The No. 5 Bruins (1-0) had their way with the Gaels (0-1) thanks to strong outings from Courts No. 1, 3, 4 and 6. Senior Andrea Remynse was particularly impressive, shutting out junior Anna Chkhikvishvili 6-0, 6-0 on Court No. 4 before four of her five teammates were able to complete a set.
“(Court No.) 4 is a new spot for me,” Remynse said. “I’m used to playing higher, and my experience definitely paid off at (No. 4). (Chkhikvishvili) matched up well with me.”
The match started out in an inauspicious manner when UCLA’s No. 1 doubles team of Remynse and freshman Courtney Dolehide was upset 8-1 by Saint Mary’s duo of sophomore Catherine Isip and senior Alex Poorta. However, the Bruin tandems on Courts No. 2 and 3 picked up the slack, winning 8-2 and 8-4, respectively.
“We were prepared for a tough match,” coach Stella Sampras Webster said. “I was a little disappointed coming out in doubles a little flat, but we took care of getting that point.”
Newcomer McCall Jones made an impressive debut for UCLA. Jones, a junior transfer from BYU, defeated Poorta 6-4, 6-1 at the No. 1 position.
“I felt like I did really well for my first match,” Jones said. “Even though I’ve been playing two years in college, I was still pretty nervous because it was my first match playing for UCLA. But more than nervous, I was really excited, and I think that helped me a lot. I felt really confident on the court today.”
The matchup presented Sampras Webster with a chance to tinker with her lineup. Remynse, the most experienced member on the team who has played in the top spot in the past, played at No. 4, while sophomore Pamela Montez jumped to the No. 3 position. Montez handed senior Claire Soper a 6-4, 6-0 defeat.
“The lineup will change according to how players are playing and how they match up with other players,” Sampras Webster said. “There’ll be some shifts. It’s so early in the season, so no one really knows where anyone’s at. We’re going to find a way to figure out where each of them will be most successful and what’s going to be best for the team.”
The Gaels’ only two points of the day came by way of Isip’s 7-6, 6-4 defeat of Dolehide at the No. 2 spot and freshman Jenny Jullien’s 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over senior Maya Johansson on Court No. 5.
UCLA junior Carling Seguso took care of business with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over freshman Laurie Gingras on Court No. 6. Senior Noelle Hickey sat out with a minor back injury.
Next up for the Bruins is the Jan. 26 matchup with Loyola Marymount, a team which gave UCLA no trouble whatsoever in the Bruins’ 7-0 throttling last season.