A crowd began to form at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on Friday as passersby heard the shouts from the court-one, doubles-tiebreaker match.
The No. 10 UCLA women’s tennis (6-2) clinched the doubles point and went on to shutout Loyola Marymount (1-2).
“It was awesome just knowing that we had our people, our Bruins, cheering for us – that definitely helped,” said junior Gabby Andrews.
Among the shouts during the tiebreaker came “glad you both want it” – a jab at the three times Andrews and junior Ayan Broomfield ran into each other in their eagerness to return the point.
“(Broomfield) wants everything,” Andrews said. “It doesn’t matter where she is on the court. She could be falling or on the sidelines and she will still want that ball.”
Each time the cry “mine!” was followed by the clash of rackets, the duo laughed it off and returned to the task at hand – securing the doubles point with a win over Loyola Marymount’s No. 24 duo of Veronica Miroshnichenko and Eva Marie Voracek.
“I think (Andrews) and I both did really well to push through and fight,” Broomfield said. “As an athlete, I guess that’s the best thing about competing – just having it be down to the wire and pulling through.”
Andrews and Broomfield are now 5-1 in doubles matches together since they first teamed up in the home opener. Even so, both players have been switching partners and courts throughout the season.
Coach Stella Sampras Webster said she knew one doubles was going to be tough, but she was intent on continuing to test out new pairings rather than relying on the No. 4 duo of sophomore Ena Shibahara and redshirt sophomore Jada Hart.
“I was really confident that we could still win this match,” Sampras Webster said. “(Andrews and Broomfield) may not be the best team, but I think they outcompeted them, which was awesome.”
UCLA’s first singles point came in No. 31 freshman Abi Altick’s 6-3, 6-0 win over Loyola Marymount’s Anna Romeka.
The other singles wins came from No. 94 Broomfield, who defeated Siobhan Anderson of Loyola Marymount 6-2, 6-3, and Andrews, who overcame Camila Tumosa 6-1, 6-2.
“It’s always tough going from doubles to singles,” Andrews said. “I just try to maintain a level head – not get too down, not get too up. … I think I just was solid all the way through.”
The two-set wins on courts three, four and six left matches on the top-two courts unfinished. No. 12 Shibahara was left up 6-2, 3-4 against No. 22 Miroshnichenko and No. 57 Hart left down 3-6, 3-2 to No. 105 Voracek.
“A lot of times you wonder if you should clinch or have them play it out,” Sampras Webster said. “I felt like clinch would be the best thing for the team.”