Fans of the UCLA women’s tennis team wondering just how fast freshman Courtney Dolehide can serve no longer need their own radar gun. All they need to do is ask Andrea Remynse.
Or, more specifically, look at the back of her head.
Late in the doubles match on court No. 1 in UCLA’s 4-0 win over San Diego in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday, Dolehide lined up directly behind her senior doubles partner and rocketed a serve down the middle of the court that careened right off Remynse’s head.
“She hit that one pretty damn hard,” Remynse said. “I think it was over 100 (miles per hour, but) it messed up my hair more than anything.”
And much like Remynse, the No. 6 seed Bruins (20-5) were able to shake off a surprisingly strong showing from the Toreros (19-6) and fully recover.
The victory over San Diego was UCLA’s second shutout of the weekend at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. UCLA trounced Quinnipiac (14-9) 4-0 on Saturday, but the Bruins were not prepared for the fervor with which the Toreros would start the match on Sunday.
“They came out, and they were in our faces and came after us,” coach Stella Sampras Webster said.
The doubles matches were closely contested affairs; the clinching match on court No. 2 was deadlocked until 7-7, at which point UCLA’s team of junior McCall Jones and senior Noelle Hickey took over the match and came away with a 9-7 victory, giving UCLA its first point of the day.
Singles play started in a similar fashion, but UCLA overcame shaky starts across the board to capture five of the first six sets. From then on, it was smooth sailing for the Bruins, as Jones, Hickey and senior Maya Johansson each won their individual matches within two minutes of each other. Jones struggled with her weak-side serve in a marathon first game against former Bruin Stephanie Hoffpauir on court No. 1, but after managing to hold serve, she won nine consecutive games in a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
Hickey found herself in a 1-4 hole to Josymar Escalona early in the first set but caught fire soon thereafter and won seven straight games to put herself in position for the 6-4, 6-1 victory.
Johansson continued doing what she has done all year ““ hold down the backcourts with a straight-set victory, this time a 6-3, 6-3 win over Maja Sujica.
“I step on the court and do my best to win the match,” Johansson said. “I don’t think about losing the match, I just do my job, and it’s been working for me.”
UCLA will face No. 11 seed Virginia (20-7) in the round of 16 in Palo Alto Friday, with hopes of bringing the trophy back to Westwood.
“I think that this team’s ready,” Remynse said. “And we’re going to surprise a few people up in Palo Alto.”