Saturday, January 18

Women’s tennis prepares to fight for more wins this fall at the ITA championships

Redshirt junior Jada Hart will pair up with freshman Elysia Bolton in doubles competition at the Oracle ITA Fall Championships, which begins Wednesday and will conclude Sunday. (Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

The Bruins will send players for singles and doubles matches with an opportunity to close out the fall season with another title.

UCLA women’s tennis will send five players to compete at the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships, which runs from Wednesday through Sunday.

Freshman Elysia Bolton will be competing in singles competition along with sophomore Abi Altick, both of whom qualified through an at-large bid.

Altick will face off against Idaho’s Marianna Petrei, while Bolton will take on Princeton’s Stephanie Schrage.

Seniors Ayan Broomfield and Gabby Andrews will compete in doubles competition after claiming first at the ITA Southwest Regional Championships on Oct. 22, while Bolton and redshirt junior Jada Hart will be paired in doubles competition via an at-large bid.

Hart will not be competing in singles competition, and has said that improving her doubles games is something she has been working on.

“(Bolton and I) are going to make sure we are executing our volleys and being as aggressive as possible,” Hart said. “(We will need) to be opening up points and finishing at the net.”

The pair has what coach Stella Sampras Webster called “big weapons” – big serves and big returns that give the duo an advantage in doubles.

“When they are really executing, they can be the best in the country,” Sampras Webster said.

Hart said she is impressed with Bolton’s performance this season.

“(Bolton) has been dealing well with the expectations here,” Hart said. “I try to make sure she is going in the right path both in school and with tennis.”

Bolton said she has been working in practice this week to improve her return and establish herself inside the court.

Broomfield and Andrews returned home victorious after they won the doubles title at the Jack Kramer Club Collegiate Invitational last weekend.

Sampras Webster said the doubles success of Broomfield and Andrews is starting to come more naturally.

“They’ve played so much together now that they really have a feel for each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Sampras Webster said.

The pair’s doubles performance last weekend, Sampras Webster said, will help prepare them for their singles matchups in the spring season, particularly for Broomfield.

“Playing doubles gives her more tools for her singles play because she gets practice up in the volley position that will help her (in) coming forward,” Sampras Webster said.

UCLA will begin the round of 64 in singles and the round of 32 in doubles Wednesday.

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