UCLA men’s tennis swept the first weekend of conference play to continue its four-match win streak.
No. 4 UCLA (15-2, 2-0 Pac-12) triumphed over Oregon (9-6, 0-2) and Washington (8-7, 0-2) with a 4-1 score in both matches Friday and Sunday, respectively.
So far this season, the Bruins have excelled in doubles, winning their last nine doubles points. But this weekend, UCLA had some difficulty in Oregon after having to adjust to indoor conditions.
The No. 24 duo of senior Austin Rapp and freshman Keegan Smith fell to the No. 21 pair of Cormac Clissold and Thomas Laurent on court two. But UCLA notched the doubles point after both court one and three went to simultaneous tiebreakers.
“Playing indoors was a little faster than we’re used to – a little shock,” said coach Billy Martin. “(I’m) really proud of the guys for hanging in there and pulling the doubles point out.”
On the singles courts, Smith and junior Maxime Cressy were able to pull out the first singles wins to put the Bruins up 3-0. With a backhand winner, No. 3 senior Martin Redlicki clinched the match, defeating No. 13 Laurent.
When facing Washington, UCLA dropped its first doubles point since early February against Stanford, losing on both court one and three.
“We just came out really flat,” Martin said. “There was no energy out on the court, but everybody put it behind them and fought really hard in singles.”
While three of the six singles matches went to three sets, two-set wins by Smith, Cressy and freshman Connor Hance put the Bruins up 3-1.
When facing Oregon, Hance dropped the first set and came back in the second, but his match was left unfinished. He said his victory against Washington was a way to come back strong.
“It was pretty close, but I got to redeem myself today,” Hance said.
The match came down to senior Logan Staggs, who dropped the first set but was able to take the second 6-2. The third set went to a tiebreak in which Staggs finished with a forehand winner and clinched the match for UCLA.
Staggs found retribution with this win after falling to the Ducks’ Clissold on Friday.
“After losing to Oregon, I was kind of down on myself,” Staggs said. “It’s good to get back in the win column.”
UCLA will take a break from conference play when it faces Oklahoma at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on Thursday.