Friday, April 10

Women’s tennis starts season undefeated, advancing to ITA indoor championship

Freshman Elysia Bolton didn't drop a set for No. 8 UCLA women's tennis this weekend. Bolton won 6-0, 6-3 on court one in the dual against Minnesota, and 6-3, 6-2 on court two in the dual against Loyola Marymount. (Andy Bao/Daily Bruin)

The Bruins did not concede a single loss.

No. 8 UCLA women’s tennis (2-0) emerged victorious in both of its duals this weekend at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, defeating Minnesota (1-1) 4-0 on Saturday to advance to the championship against Loyola Marymount (1-2). Another 4-0 scoreline on Sunday helped the Bruins claim their second win of the season to advance to the ITA indoor championship in February.

Freshman Elysia Bolton earned a doubles win Saturday, teaming up with sophomore Abi Altick to defeat Minnesota’s Tiffany Huber and Tina Kreinis. Bolton, who currently ranks 11th individually in the nation, came into the weekend nursing a minor injury.

“I was having problems with my foot before the week,” Bolton said. “I hadn’t had many matches, so I was just trying to get that to feel better.”

Following her doubles victory, Bolton went on to defeat Kreinis in straight sets, claiming the first dual-match victory of her collegiate career.

“It is weird to play doubles and then play singles five minutes after,” Bolton said. “But it’s so much more fun (because) you have your teammates supporting you.”

Altick later clinched UCLA’s victory over Minnesota with consecutive 6-2 sets against Huber, sending UCLA to the championship against LMU.

Coach Stella Sampras Webster said the Bruins used Saturday’s win as an opportunity to make some adjustments for their championship matchup with LMU.

“We did clean up some kinks,” Sampras Webster said. “It would have been nice to have another match before the kickoff weekend, but they did a good job of dealing with it.”

Freshman Taylor Johnson saw her game-point serve returned into the net, giving her the win over LMU’s Camila Tumosa to clinch a 4-0 championship victory for the Bruins. But Sampras Webster said the championship could not have been claimed without winning performances from the team’s older players.

“These guys are veteran tennis players who have been through a lot,” Sampras Webster said. “They know that they have to make adjustments.”

Senior Alaina Miller did not concede a single set this weekend. Miller won her doubles and singles matches against Minnesota and topped off her ITA kickoff with a third consecutive victory in straight sets over LMU’s Lillian Gabrielsen.

“We had a little bit of a rocky start,” Miller said. “For all the challenges that we did have, everyone played great.”

Now in her fourth season with the Bruins, Miller hopes the ITA Kick-Off Weekend will prepare the team’s newest players for their first collegiate tennis season.

“I think it’s most important for the freshmen, just to welcome them into the team,” Miller said. “Everyone loves each other and we know everyone has each other’s backs.”

Sunday’s win over LMU clinched the Bruins a trip to the ITA indoor championship in Seattle starting Feb. 8.

Sports reporter

Papoutsis is currently a Sports reporter on the men's tennis beat. He was previously a contributor on the women's tennis beat.

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