The recent weekend rainstorm could not stop the Bruins’ final homestand this weekend, even though it delayed it by a day.
The men’s tennis team was supposed to face Stanford on Friday afternoon, but the weather caused the match to be moved to Sunday.
The No. 6 Bruins would defeat the No. 11 Cardinal 6-1 and No. 12 Cal Golden Bears this weekend to improve their overall record to 20-2 and Pac-12 record to 6-0.
The storm also pushed back the team’s Senior Day ceremony to honor the three seniors who are graduating.
Redshirt seniors Nick Meister and Jeff Gast and redshirt junior Evan Lee were all honored with plaques in between the doubles and singles matches against the Cardinal on Sunday.
Coach Billy Martin talked about the potential difficulties involved in filling the void that these players leave behind.
“As a coach, you pray somebody steps up and tries to fill that void. But that’s not easy, and it might not happen for many years,” he said.
Martin’s captain, Meister, knew that he was never guaranteed a spot in the lineup as a freshman, so he worked hard to take advantage of his opportunity when he got it.
After having hip surgery last year, he was determined to not give up, so he could come back better and stronger than ever before.
The challenges that Meister has overcome throughout his time as a Bruin made his final home victories that much sweeter.
“I couldn’t imagine a better way to go out,” Meister said.
“It was just all kind of too perfect; the stars were just too aligned.”
Martin praised Meister not just as a great teammate and leader, but as one of those special kids who do not come around too often.
“When you lose somebody that special, it hurts as a coach, quite honestly,” Martin said.
“Not just because he’s going to win matches, but just because you love the kid.”
Gast and Lee did not play much in their time at UCLA, but they still enjoyed their time here.
“It’s been really special to be here with these guys throughout the years, working towards a national championship every year,” Gast said.
“I didn’t get to play as much as I would have liked, but as the years have gone by and new faces have come into the program, it’s still been special every year,” Lee said.
“I’m just thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of it all.”
Martin applauded Gast and Lee for coming to practice and putting in the same amount of time, hard work, dedication and effort as everybody else, even though they were not playing.
“They probably could have played at other schools … yet they wanted to come to UCLA, and they wanted to be a part of this team, and they wanted to help us win championships,” Martin said.