Winning ways came to a halt at the indoor championships.
No. 8 UCLA women’s tennis (5-1) fell to No. 3 North Carolina on Sunday in a 4-1 defeat a day after edging out No. 15 South Carolina (4-2) in a 4-3 win at the Oracle ITA Division I National Women’s Team Indoor Championship in Seattle.
The Bruins found themselves in unfamiliar territory, playing indoor matches against teams who train in similar environments.
“We play outside in 75-degree weather all the time,” said senior Alaina Miller. “It’s to the East Coast (teams’) advantage, but the fact that we did this well was impressive for me.”
Miller did not stray from her winning groove last weekend, as she provided the Bruins with two victories of her own in singles competitions.
“Physically, we had been doing a lot of fitness,” Miller said. “I think that really helped our mental aspect as well.”
Miller said she plans to use her experience in the wake of the Bruins’ first loss to show younger players how to learn from defeat.
“I think it was a really good test for us,” Miller said. “Knowing what to expect going into the rest of the season is very good for us.”
Senior Ayan Broomfield began her weekend with a win in straight sets over South Carolina’s Mia Horvit, but was unable to replicate her success against North Carolina’s Alexa Graham.
“I was just really pumped up,” Broomfield said. “But it was just a matter of who was going to take the opportunity first.”
Freshman Elysia Bolton protected her undefeated streak Saturday, defeating South Carolina’s Paige Cline 7-5, 6-3 to secure her fifth consecutive win in straight sets.
“She’s really good for this team,” Broomfield said. “She’s won so many matches already.”
But Bolton’s win streak came to an end Sunday, falling to North Carolina’s Sara Daavettila in 6-4, 6-3 sets. Broomfield said Bolton will not let her first collegiate loss impede morale.
“We need to make sure that (Bolton) is staying confident and positive,” Broomfield said. “I sent her a message after congratulating her on her freshman season.”
Freshman Taylor Johnson became the first Bruin to lose consecutive singles matches in the same weekend, conceding losses to South Carolina’s Silvia Chinellato and North Carolina’s Jessie Aney.
Despite the string of results, the team’s seniors said Johnson will have their full-fledged support throughout the season.
“For me, it’s more important that they feel comfortable,” Miller said. “There’s always going to be a second chance.”
The Bruins move to 5-1 on the season and will travel to Rancho Santa Fe, California for the Morgan Run Women’s Open next week.