From the start, the winless Pepperdine Waves showed that they were not going to just roll over for the No. 3 Bruins when the teams faced off Thursday afternoon.
It took a win by freshman Catherine Harrison in the last match to edge the Waves 4-3 and avoid an upset to an unranked team.
A Pepperdine duo bested sophomores Robin Anderson and Chanelle Van Nguyen in the opening doubles match before UCLA took the remaining two matches to secure the doubles point.
The Bruins’ top singles players were unusually off their game following the 1-0 UCLA lead. No. 2 national singles player Robin Anderson and freshman Kyle McPhillips, both winners in last week’s matches against Cal, were both defeated. After losing the first three singles matches, Bruins took victories at the 4, 5, and 6 positions for UCLA to escape with a narrow victory.
Coach Stella Sampras Webster said she thought that the team erred not only in overlooking the Waves because of their 0-7 record, but also in their lack of preparedness heading into their match with the Waves.
“I told them that we need to be prepared for (Pepperdine) to play well,” Sampras Webster said. “We did not play well and we did not compete, which is even more disappointing.”
Senior Pamela Montez has played many matches against unranked opponents and said she knows that no matter who is on the other end of the court, they cannot be overlooked.
“It is a little tougher in the sense that you go in there overconfident,” Montez said. “It is tougher mentally but tennis is tennis.”
Despite the team’s shaky play, Sampras Webster said she still felt that the team could gain something out of its lackluster performance.
“It’s a wake-up call,” the coach said. “We need to make practice tougher, we need to train harder.”