UCLA men’s tennis didn’t relax like the rest of the student body this past week. Instead, the team went on a three-game road trip that was capped off with the team downing the Washington Huskies 4-0 in Seattle on Sunday.
“All in all, I think it was a good team effort and really a great, great week for us on the road (with) three road wins,” said coach Billy Martin. “I think it will really help our confidence and our development going into the NCAAs.”
UCLA dominated Washington throughout the match, beginning with a strong showing in doubles. The nation’s No. 4-ranked doubles duo of junior Mackie McDonald and sophomore Martin Redlicki handled Washington’s Piers Foley and Wendell Watanabe 6-2 at the No. 1 spot.
This was a return to doubles for Redlicki as he didn’t play with McDonald two days prior against Oregon due to an unexpected illness.
“Coming back to play with Marty (Redlicki) is pretty easy,” McDonald said. “Me and him played well today and we just took care of it.”
A decisive performance by junior Joseph DiGiulio and senior Karue Sell against Washington’s Kawika Lam and Enzo Sommer at the No. 2 spot sealed the doubles point for the Bruins. DiGiulio and Sell took the match to a tiebreaker, where they fought to a 7-6 (7-5) victory.
“We were down a break – 4-3, I think – and we just kept battling,” DiGiulio said. “We got the break back and then we went into the breaker. We were just competing really hard and we started playing better as the match went on, so we were happy with how it went.”
DiGiulio also found success in singles, knocking out Washington’s Joao Barra 6-1, 6-0 at the No. 6 spot to give UCLA a 3-0 lead.
“There wasn’t really anything matchup wise,” DiGiulio said. “The last few matches I’ve just been playing very well. So I think it’s more of just me playing really well, rather than just the matchup.”
DiGiulio’s win concluded an impressive undefeated singles performance over spring break. He only dropped three games in the entirety of the team’s trip.
“It was phenomenal,” Martin said. “He really stepped it up and is leading us as far as getting the job done.”
Sophomore Logan Staggs ultimately helped the Bruins capture the match when he defeated Foley 6-1, 6-4.
UCLA cruised through its two earlier matches in the break, defeating UNLV and Oregon, 6-1 and 4-1 respectively.
The Bruins, now 14-2 and 2-0 in Pac-12 play, will face the Stanford Cardinal on Friday and the California Golden Bears on Saturday back home.