Sunday, January 26

Women’s tennis sweeps Oregon, continues nine-game doubles streak

No. 8 sophomore Ena Shibahara defeated her Oregon opponent in straight sets on Sunday, taking home her first singles win in three matches. The sophomore also won in doubles with partner junior Alaina Miller, clinching the doubles point for the Bruins. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin)

The Bruins had some familiar faces cheering them on.

No. 15 UCLA women’s tennis (10-4, 2-1 Pac-12) swept No. 20 Oregon (10-6, 1-3) 4-0 at home Sunday afternoon as the Bruins’ 2008 women’s tennis team was celebrated for their NCAA championship.

Between the doubles and singles matches, members of the 2008 team gathered on court one and were recognized for their achievement.

“The alumnae brought a lot of energy to the tennis center, which helped our team,” coach Stella Sampras Webster said.

The Bruins got off to a quick start against the Ducks, capturing the doubles point for the ninth consecutive game.

For the first time in their four matches together, No. 46 freshman Abi Altick and junior Ayan Broomfield were the first duo to finish, posting a 6-3 win on court two.

“(Broomfield) has really good volleys,” Altick said. “I try and stay back and set her up. I just try to engage her at the net; that’s when we are at our best.”

On court three, No. 8 sophomore Ena Shibahara and No. 118 junior Alaina Miller raced off to a 4-0 start. However, the Ducks’ No. 61 combo of Julia Eshet and Shweta Sangwan counterpunched by winning three straight games. Miller and Shibahara eventually prevailed 6-4 to secure the doubles point.

In singles, the Bruins once again raced ahead, winning five of their six first sets.

Altick dropped her first five games on court three and eventually lost the first set 6-1 but she rebounded to win the second set 6-2.

“(My opponent) came out strong in the first set and hit a lot of winners,” Altick said. “I just tried to stay focused and mix up the pace in the second set to throw her off a little bit.”

While Altick’s singles match remained unfinished at 1-6, 6-2, 2-1, Sampras Webster was effusive in her praise for the freshman.

“She is the hardest worker on our team,” Sampras Webster said. “You can see that she is getting better and better after every doubles match.”

Shibahara eased past Ducks senior Alyssa Tobita 6-1, 6-1 to help the Bruins put their second point on the board.

The victory was Shibahara’s first in three games after she came up short against Oklahoma State’s No. 38 Vladica Babic and California’s No. 68 Julia Rosenqvist.

“Everything was working for me today,” Shibahara said. “Because I was able to see the ball so well, I was able to set the point up so that I could finish at the net.”

The other singles wins came on courts six and two, courtesy of Miller and No. 41 redshirt sophomore Jada Hart, respectively.

UCLA will continue Pac-12 play as it faces Washington State and Washington at home next weekend.

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Sports staff

D'Souza is currently a Sports staff writer for the women's basketball, men's basketball and women's tennis beats. He was previously a reporter for the men's tennis and women's volleyball beats.

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