By shuffling the doubles lineups and forming three new teams, UCLA women’s tennis looked to secure a win against Baylor.
But it fell just short.
The No. 21 Bruins (6-4) lost to the No. 13 Bears (10-2) in a tight 4-3 match, all coming down to a third-set tiebreaker between Baylor’s Elizabeth Profit and UCLA’s junior Terri Fleming.
“A lot is going through your mind,” Fleming said. “You just try to stay calm and focus on one point at a time, so you can get it done for your team. I just wish I was able to close it out early and focus a little better during the second set.”
All season, the Bruins relied on a consistent doubles lineup. But after losing the doubles point against both California and Pepperdine, UCLA decided to make a change.
The team said it felt confident and the players’ chemistry with each other led them to win the doubles point in Waco, Texas.
“It was really easy for us to play with different partners and we were really comfortable playing with each other,” said sophomore Gabby Andrews. “We knew each other’s game styles well and I think we had really good energy coming in. We knew that Baylor was a good team, especially in doubles, so we just tried to go after it really quick and I think that really helped us.”
Andrews was able to secure a singles win for the Bruins along with freshman Ena Shibahara. UCLA recorded wins in doubles from the new pairs of Fleming and redshirt freshman Jada Hart on court one and Shibahara and junior Kristin Wiley on court three.
The dual match, however, came down to courts one and two, where Fleming and Shibahara were the last Bruins competing.
Shibahara kept UCLA in the match, winning a second-set tiebreaker to defeat Baylor’s Blair Shankle in singles. Shibahara had fallen to Shankle earlier this season, so she said getting this win was a good feeling.
“I was looking to get my revenge,” Shibahara said. “I took some of the points that I found from my loss last time and used it against her this time. It was really tough, so I just had to stay patient and do well executing.”
In addition to doubles, UCLA endured another change Saturday.
Because of the weather, the match was moved indoors. However, the players were prepared for the rain and had a chance to practice inside, Andrews said, so they felt comfortable.
Coming close in a road match against a top-ranked team is tough but leaves them with a positive mindset going forward, Shibahara said.
“As a team, we were kind of in control,” Shibahara said. “I feel like that makes us more confident in our game and just believing in our shots.”