The Bruins bounced back with a win following their biggest loss of the season.
No. 9 UCLA women’s tennis (10-3, 3-0 Pac-12) defeated Oregon (6-11, 0-6) 6-1 at the Oregon Student Tennis Center in Eugene on Sunday. The victory came following the Bruins’ worst loss of the season, a 4-0 sweep at the hands of No. 20 Pepperdine.
Each freshman defeated her opponent in Sunday’s matchup, with the team’s newest members providing two of the points necessary for UCLA to clinch the win. Freshman Taylor Johnson emerged victorious against Oregon’s Taryn Fujimori, after not having participated in the loss against Pepperdine.
“I just told her to be patient,” said coach Stella Sampras Webster. “I think she’s finding her groove for how much she needs to train and study.”
Johnson found a groove Sunday and claimed each set against Fujimori 6-0. This win marked her fourth earned victory in singles play this season, a feat that Sampras Webster says will be used to spur further improvement.
“We’re really happy with her progress,” Sampras Webster said. “We just need her to continue to do the things she needs to do.”
The match came 11 days after the sweep by Pepperdine, the longest break in competition of the season. Sampras Webster said the team used its time off to make improvements following the loss.
“It gave us time to start the new quarter and focus on the things we can control,” Sampras Webster said. “We worked on specific things individually, and as a team, we made sure that everyone has the right mindset.”
Freshman Elysia Bolton – who also celebrated her birthday on Sunday – defeated Oregon’s Paiton Wagner 6-2, 6-3 to secure the Bruins’ fourth point on the day, and 10th win on the season.
“I knew we were playing it out, so it wasn’t that nerve-wracking because I also saw that (sophomore) Abi (Altick) was getting very close to finishing,” Bolton said. “I was very positive because I was not going to lose on my birthday.”
UCLA has now won its first three matches in conference play and will look to maintain its streak over the next seven conference matches that precede the Pac-12 championships.
“We’re just continuing to work really hard because everyone is really good,” Sampras Webster said. “We’re just hoping to finish the season strong.”
UCLA will face UC Santa Barbara this Wednesday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center at 1 p.m.