The UCLA women’s tennis team showed promise in its last two fall competitions, but ultimately came up short of a tournament victory.
The Bruins finished their fall schedule over the weekend at tournaments in Palm Desert and Rolling Hill Estates, California. Four members of the team participated in the Oracle Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Fall Championships while five competed in the Jack Kramer Club Invitational. Eight of the nine singles and doubles combinations that played at the tournaments managed to win a match.
“We got in a lot of matches and were competitive,” said coach Stella Sampras Webster. “It was good to see where each of them were individually and what they need to work on over the upcoming break.”
UCLA’s best showing came from freshman Abi Altick, who was seeded fifth in the Jack Kramer Club Invitational and reached the finals before falling to Vanessa Wong of University of Washington 4-6, 6-3, 3-6 in an all-freshman final.
In her opening two matches, Altick toppled Constance Branstine from USC and Kenadi Hance from University of Washington in straight sets 6-2, 6-0 and 6-4, 6-4 respectively. She then defeated Dzina Milovanovic from Pepperdine 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 in the quarterfinals.
She eased past Palina Dubavets from UC Santa Barbara 6-3, 6-4 before falling to Wong.
Wong had previously defeated Altick’s doubles partner, No. 82 UCLA senior Terri Fleming 6-1, 6-3 in the round of 16.
“The way I competed and fought was what I was most proud of,” Altick said. “It’s definitely a confidence booster when you win a bunch of matches in a row.”
In Palm Desert, the unseeded doubles duo of redshirt sophomore Jada Hart and junior Gabby Andrews upset second-seeded Sarah Dvorak and Sabrina Federico from Texas Tech 6-4, 6-3 before losing to eventual winners Emily Arbuthnott and Michaela Gordon from Stanford 5-7, 6-4, 0-1 (9).
“We had opportunities to close in the first set and third-set tiebreaker,” Hart said. “We had a few set points and match points so it was a little disappointing that we were unable to capitalize.”
This could potentially be the last time this season the duo compete together.
“They’re a great team and are two of our best doubles players,” Sampras Webster said. “I doubt they’ll continue to play together. I’ll need to spread them out a little bit.”
UCLA women’s tennis team will have to abide by NCAA regulations after Nov. 14, which limit teams to eight hours a week and two required days off during the off-season.
This will put the onus on players to practice on their own time and look to participate in local tournaments over the breaks, said Sampras Webster.
“We’re developing a plan for each of them so they’re being productive,” Sampras Webster said. “I have to trust that they’re going to continue to train and work hard so they’re ready for the season in January and I’m confident that they’ll do that.”