It didn’t look good for the Bruins.
After barely pulling out a win over Oregon on Thursday, UCLA women’s tennis dropped the doubles point to Arizona State in Friday’s match – a harbinger that its momentum was coming to an end.
However, the No. 2-seeded Bruins (20-4, 9-1 Pac-12) fought back to defeat the No. 3 seeded-Sun Devils (16-7, 7-4) 4-1 with four singles wins.
In doubles, UCLA suffered two upsets. Doubles No. 6 senior Terri Fleming and redshirt sophomore Jada Hart fell to No. 15 Ilze Hattingh and Lauryn John-Baptiste 2-6 on court one. No. 56 juniors Gabby Andrews and Ayan Broomfield lost to the No. 68 duo of Tereza Kolarova and Savannah Slaysman on court three 4-6.
The Bruins needed four of six singles wins to advance to the championship of the Pac-12 Tournament – and they got them.
UCLA won five of the six first sets to open singles play. Only Broomfield dropped her first in a tiebreaker to Sasa Klanecek.
Singles No. 30 Hart, reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week, overcame Hattingh 6-4, 6-4 on court two.
Other early wins came from No. 59 freshman Abi Altick on court four, who dropped only one point to Slaysman and No. 117 junior Alaina Miller, who defeated Kolarova 6-2, 6-3 on court six.
The match was decided on court one, where No. 14 Ena Shibahara battled No. 61 John-Baptiste.
Shibahara raced off to a quick start, earning a 6-1 victory in the first set. The sophomore was swept in a second set but came back 6-3 in the third set to take the match for the Bruins.
UCLA will face No. 1 seed Stanford – the team responsible for the Bruins’ only loss of the season – Saturday to determine the Pac-12 champion.