After a painful loss to USC last week, the UCLA women’s tennis team will look to regain momentum when it hosts two lower-ranked teams this weekend.
No. 5 UCLA (9-2) will play Utah on Friday and Colorado on Saturday, both at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Both teams’ rankings fall below the top 50, but the past has taught the Bruins not to underestimate opponents.
Last year, lower-ranked Colorado gave UCLA a run for its money. Although the Bruins ultimately defeated them 5-2, players said the match was closer than the score indicated. This year, though, they do not expect to face the same problems because the conditions of this year’s match look to be more favorable.
“Last year we had trouble with Colorado because of the altitude,” said senior Pamela Montez. “The ball flew a little bit, but we know it won’t be the case this year because the match is at home.”
Though last week’s loss led to the team dropping out of the top three in the national rankings for the first time this season, it will not count against the Bruins’ conference record because it was considered a nonconference game.
This week’s matches against a pair of Pac-12 squads will count toward the team’s conference record.
As the Bruins move into the stretch run of their season, players said they have changed their focus to converting points in crucial situations.
“We practiced smarter,” said sophomore Robin Anderson. “We have been doing more situational drills, a lot more point situations, and serves and returns, stuff that we need in order to win.”
Compiled by Richard Kaumeyer, Bruin Sports contributor.