Women’s tennis victorious in weekend games against Fresno State, Cal
No. 11 Ena Shibahara won in singles against California to help the Bruins stay unbeaten for the weekend. The sophomore and her partner, junior Alaina Miller, also clinched the doubles point for UCLA in Saturday’s match. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin)
February 25, 2018 1:06 pm
The Bruins clinched back-to-back games over the weekend without dropping a single point.
After blanking unranked Fresno State (3-6) on Friday, No. 9 UCLA women’s tennis (8-2) defeated No. 34 California (4-3) on Saturday.
The Bruins eased past the Bulldogs, taking home all three doubles matches and winning on all three remaining singles courts at the end of the match.
In spite of the successful outcome, sophomore No. 11 Ena Shibahara was not pleased with her singles play.
“I was winning but I was not executing as well as I wanted to,” Shibahara said.
In her singles game on court one against No. 29 freshman Anna Bright, Shibahara’s serve was broken early in the first set, leading her to quickly fall behind 3-1.
But she roared back to take the next five games and seal the first set.
“(Shibahara) seemed a bit rushed at the start so we just simplified things and got relaxed,” said coach Stella Sampras Webster.
Shibahara eventually won 6-3, 6-3 to improve to 15-4 on the season and 5-1 on court one in dual matches.
“She was hitting a lot of deep balls so I had to get out of the way and make sure I was hitting the best shot possible,” Shibahara said. “It set (me) up to hit shorter balls and come up to the net.”
Shibahara, along with No. 99 junior Alaina Miller, helped the Bruins get on the board by securing the doubles point with a 6-3 win over the California combo of freshman Jasie Dunk and junior Maria Smith on court three.
Miller took the momentum from doubles into her singles matchup to overwhelm Slovenian freshman Hana Mraz 6-1, 6-4 and give the Bruins their second point of the match.
With a full-strength lineup this year, Miller has predominantly played at sixth singles. Last year she primarily played at fourth with stints on the second and third courts.
“It’s tougher matches because it is a different style of play,” Miller said. “It is more about getting the ball in rather than winning the point. That is slightly harder for me because I like hitting the ball hard.”
The Bruins will have a rematch against the Bears in less than two weeks when they travel to Berkeley. That game, unlike this one, will count toward conference standings.