National Indoors Qualifying Tournament
Los Angeles Tennis Center
The No. 5 Bruins will see some familiar faces across the net as they try to qualify for the finals of the tournament in Charlottesvilla, Va. First up is No. 67 San Diego; the winner will move on to play Sunday.
The National Team Indoor Championship is a momentous occasion for the UCLA women’s tennis team every season. But before the Bruins can book their tickets to Charlottesville, Va., they will need to emerge victorious from the qualifying rounds at the Los Angeles Tennis Center this weekend.
Qualifying has not been much of a problem for coach Stella Sampras Webster’s No. 5 Bruins in the past ““ UCLA has qualified every year since the tournament’s conception in 2007 ““ but that doesn’t mean she will allow her players to think of looking past Saturday’s matchup with No. 67 San Diego.
“We’ve got to focus on the University of San Diego,” Sampras Webster said. “We can’t look ahead. We’ve got to focus on taking care of that match before we can look ahead to Virginia.”
The winner of the UCLA (2-0) vs. San Diego (1-0) match will take on the winner of the match between No. 43 Pepperdine and No. 56 Sacramento State.
For freshman Courtney Dolehide and junior transer McCall Jones, this year’s Indoor Championships will be their first, assuming history repeats itself and the Bruins qualify. Jones’ teams at Brigham Young never qualified for the event, while Dolehide, a freshman, is looking forward to her first opportunity to represent her school out of state.
“We’ve all been talking about it,” Dolehide said. “There’s a lot of energy there, and we’re playing for something bigger than ourselves. We’re playing for our school and for our team, so I’m really excited.”
The seasoned veterans of the team have had experience at the tournament and the qualifying round leading up to it, but senior Andrea Remynse is looking forward to Saturday’s match for another additional reason: to catch up with an old teammate.
“USD’s a tough team,” Remynse said. “Stephanie Hoffpauir plays for them now. We know her pretty well, and we know that she’s a really good player. Any time you play an old teammate, it’s hard.”
Hoffpauir had a productive year as a freshman for the Bruins last season, but transferred to San Diego because of concerns over playing time and now plays an integral part in the Toreros’ front court lineup.
The Bruins may well see another familiar face if they succeed in ousting the Toreros on Saturday. Pepperdine junior Ali Walters is another former Bruin who pursued her tennis career elsewhere to get a more consistent view of the court.