Five Bruins got their first taste of match play since the last season’s NCAA tournament.
Those players competed for UCLA women’s tennis in the 2018 Riviera/ITA All-American Championships over the past nine days, playing for the first time since May when the Bruins fell in the Elite Eight to Georgia Tech.
Redshirt junior Jada Hart automatically qualified for a spot in the singles main draw and took on North Carolina’s Makenna Jones – the No. 1 overall seed.
“I thought (Hart) did a good job competing and staying with her,” said coach Stella Sampras Webster. “You could tell Hart was a little unsure, and not as confident as she normally is.”
Hart bounced back 6-4 in the second set after losing 6-0 in the first – but fell short of the comeback, losing 6-4 in the third.
Hart also paired with freshman Elysia Bolton in doubles, where the duo won all three of its qualifying matches to earn a spot in the main draw.
“They’re both very skilled doubles players,” Sampras Webster said. “Putting them together, we knew that they would be a great team, but they just came across a team that played a little better than they did.”
Hart and Bolton won 8-4 in the first round but fell 8-7 (5) in the second round to Arizona State’s Lauryn John-Baptiste and Ilze Hattingh.
Bolton advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Oracle ITA Masters on Sept. 20. The freshman entered the prequalifying rounds of the All-American tournament, but was eliminated in the second round.
Sophomore Abi Altick competed in the qualifying rounds of the All-American tournament for the first time, after failing to qualify last fall. Altick won the first round 6-4, 7-6 (9) before she was eliminated in the second round.
“This tournament is the toughest tournament (in the fall season),” Sampras Webster said. “So it was a really good test to see where all of our players are.”