Although the UCLA men’s tennis team didn’t spend too much extra time in practice this week on doubles after losing the point in its last match, the Bruins plan on coming out more prepared and aggressive this week in their approach to the match’s opening point.
The team said it prefers not to have to come back from a 1-0 deficit like it did against Baylor, making the doubles point that much more important for success.
Today No. 2 UCLA takes on No. 15 Tulsa at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Bruins have little past experience against the Golden Hurricanes, but they understand that any team in the top 25 is going to be a challenge. This is the last nonconference match for the Bruins before they play six straight against Pac-12 competition.
Coach Billy Martin doesn’t have a lot of experience with Tulsa, but has looked at their success this season to determine how tough of a matchup they will be.
“It’s going to be another dog fight. They beat Baylor … so I expect another really tough match,” Martin said.
Although happy that the team gets to come back home for today’s match, Martin doesn’t want the team to lose any of the fire and competitiveness it had on the road against Baylor.
“Although it’s at home, which is good for us, we still (have) got to be really ready to play a top-15 team in the country,” Martin said.
Even though they lost the doubles point last weekend, Martin didn’t focus too much more on doubles this week in practice than he normally would.
“We’re doing what we’ve been doing because we’ve been doing pretty well with the way we practice,” Martin said. “We’re going to keep working hard and concentrate on trying to improve.”
Junior captain Adrien Puget has been pushing the team all week in practice for the difficult competition it will face against Tulsa.
“I’ve heard they are pretty good and they are pretty high-ranked, so they are going to be a tough team,” Puget said.
Specifically, individuals like redshirt freshman Karue Sell have been keeping up their regular practice routines, but with more intensity than usual.
“I think I’m going to work a little bit on my serve, but nothing really special,” Sell said.
“I know that they are a good team and they are ranked high, so I’m expecting them to play well, but hopefully we can get another good win.”