A heavyweight contest between UCLA’s top player Robin Anderson and the top-ranked player in the country, Florida’s Allie Will, was expected on court No. 1 at the NCAA Championships.
Anderson came out stronger and had positioned herself a game away from upsetting the No. 1 player when play was suspended after Florida had clinched the final match to win the championship.
If the match had not been unfinished, Anderson could have recorded one of her best wins of the season, but since it is a team championship her match win would go unrecorded.
Now that the team championship is over, Anderson and fellow freshman Skylar Morton, along with sophomore Courtney Dolehide and junior Pamela Montez, will have to leave the team’s loss behind and move on to play the individual portion of the tournament.
“I think that in tennis there are losses and there are wins, and there are high moments and low moments, and what we try to do is learn how to handle the losses well and move on,” Dolehide said.
“This was a devastating loss to come this close and lose, especially with our senior and (coach) Bill (Zaima) leaving, but we have to pull it together and play our hardest and I think we are really excited going into the individual tournament to see what we can do.”
Montez and Dolehide will begin play Thursday against Samantha Adams and Kenna Kilgo from Texas Tech, while Anderson and Morton will face Georgia Tech’s Alex Anghelescu and Jillian O’Neill.
“(Individuals) is going to be harder because we won’t have our teammates playing right next to us … so it’s going to be a little different. We’re used to that from juniors though, so I think we’ll be good,” Morton said.
Anderson is the only Bruin that was selected to play both singles and doubles.
Three weeks ago when the singles and doubles draws came out, Anderson was glad to be selected to play singles and doubles, but the team’s participation in the tournament meant more to her.
“I think that is pretty cool, being able to come in as a freshman and play (NCAA individuals), but I am actually more excited for the team one. I think that the team one will mean a little bit more to me,” Anderson said.