A rain delay may have postponed match play for a day, but the UCLA women’s tennis team came out shining in a pair of 4-0 victories over the weekend in the qualifying rounds for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Indoor Championships.
Led by junior McCall Jones and senior Andrea Remynse, the No. 5 Bruins swept the San Diego Toreros on Saturday before proceeding to repeat the process against the Sacramento State Hornets on Monday.
UCLA will travel to Charlottesville, Va. for the fifth annual holding of the Team Indoors, which will take place from Feb. 18-21.
The Bruins have qualified for the tournament every year since its inception in 2007 but have yet to take home the title.
“We get to move on,” coach Stella Sampras Webster said. “It was a good weekend for us. We’re excited to go to Virginia and get to compete against the rest of the country and get tested again.”
The Bruins (4-0) had little trouble dispatching the Toreros (1-2), coming out strong in doubles and carrying that momentum over into singles play.
Remynse, freshman Courtney Dolehide and junior Carling Seguso all posted straight-set victories, and three other Bruins were leading at the time the match was clinched.
“Even though I started off each match down, I felt pretty confident in my skills, and that they were going to come through,” Seguso said.
The Bruins’ encounter with the Hornets (1-1) started off with some shaky doubles play, but all three of UCLA’s doubles pairs were able to overcome early deficits and eventually secure the point.
“We were tested in doubles (on Monday), and we got into a little dogfight with them,” Sampras Webster said of the opponents. “It’s so early, and we’re learning a lot about our teams.”
Singles play was an altogether different matter. Jones, Remynse, Seguso and senior Maya Johansson all came out of the gates quickly, not once letting their opponents sniff victory.
Jones, Remynse and Seguso were able to conclude their matches in a timely fashion, giving UCLA its fourth shutout win of the season in as many matches.
Dolehide and Johansson held one-set leads when play was suspended. Sophomore Pamela Montez held the lead in the second set, 5-3, after losing the first set, 6-2.
Jones’ display was particularly impressive. The transfer from Brigham Young University dominated the Hornets’ junior Tatsiana Lapshai from start to finish, setting up her shots and serving strongly throughout en route to a 6-2, 6-0 victory that was every bit as one-sided as the scores suggest.
“I stuck to the game plan, and it helped me win,” Jones said. “I knew that (Lapshai) loved her backhand, so I just tried to keep it away from the backhand and pound her forehand.”
Next up for the Bruins is their annual road trip to Northern California, where much tougher competition awaits them in No. 1 Stanford and No. 9 California. The Cardinals have not lost in Palo Alto in nearly 12 seasons, the longest such streak in NCAA Division I athletics.