Heading into its dual match with Hawai’i on Wednesday, the UCLA men’s tennis team hadn’t played in 10 days.
During that time, several players competed in the Pacific Coast Doubles Championships, an opportunity for the players to work on their individual doubles games.
The team responded well to having a bit of a different schedule than they have been used to.
The No. 2 Bruins made quick work of their return to dual match play yesterday with a 6-1 win, improving to 12-1 on the season.
“I think it was a nice little break. But this kind of match, maybe not the toughest match we’ve had all year, gets our mind back on team stuff,” said coach Billy Martin.
“I think we’re in a good place right now. … These guys are competitors and know that we’re going into a different sort of mode. We have to.”
The Bruins cruised comfortably throughout their victory against the visiting Warriors.
Junior Adrien Puget helped the team get out to a comfortable start, setting the tone in No. 1 singles and doubles.
He picked up the win, 8-3, in doubles along with redshirt freshman Karue Sell.
In singles, Puget played with focus from start to finish, thrashing junior Jonathan Brooklyn of Hawai’i 6-0, 6-0, notching a rare double bagel.
“It’s always good for the confidence,” Puget said of the convincing win.
“It’s tough to win 0 and 0 because you have to stay focused throughout the whole match. I played a decent guy, he was tough at the beginning of the match and was showing me that he would be there and he would fight.”
Sell also continued the strong play he has shown throughout the season, following up his doubles victory with a 6-3, 6-1 singles win.
Despite the comfortable nature of Sell’s performance, he said the break did have an impact early on for the players.
“It was kind of weird, you know, not playing for almost two weeks when we’re used to playing almost twice every week,” Sell said.
Still, Sell also said the time away contributed to the strong performance from the team because it allowed the players to work on their conditioning.
“We worked a little bit harder with the weights,” he said. “I think we are a little bit more fit now, and I think that was a good week and a half for us to work on the physical part of the game.”