Monday, May 25

Women’s tennis seeks to draw on doubles success in rematch against Pepperdine

Sophomore Abi Altick and her partner, freshman Elysia Bolton, fell 6-4 in doubles last time against Pepperdine. Altick's singles match was unfinished as UCLA women's tennis fell 4-0. (Andy Bao/Daily Bruin)

The Bruins will be back on the courts for the fifth time in 11 days.

No. 8 UCLA women’s tennis (12-4) will face No. 9 Pepperdine (11-3), who is riding an eight-game winning streak, at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on Wednesday afternoon.

“We had a really good weekend against Cal and Stanford,” said coach Stella Sampras Webster. “I was really pleased with the way our team competed and the level of play.”

UCLA suffered its first conference loss against Stanford on Friday. The matchup was decided in the third set on the fourth singles court, where senior Alaina Miller was bested by No. 22 Emily Arbuthnott 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. The following day, the Bruins trounced the Bears 6-1.

Jada Hart, who was named Pac-12 Player of the Week last week, has won four straight singles matches, including two victories against top-30 opponents. The redshirt junior is also on a four-game winning streak in doubles, playing three of the four matches with freshman Elysia Bolton on court one.

“I really like our one and two doubles teams,” Sampras Webster said. “Third team is still in (the) air. We’ve had some good wins and it’s been solid. We might mix (freshman Taylor Johnson) in there and see what that brings.”

UCLA is one of two programs in the nation – along with No. 2 North Carolina – to boast two top-15 doubles combinations. Hart and Bolton are ranked No. 11, while the senior duo of Ayan Broomfield and Gabby Andrews is ranked seventh.

The Bruins have secured the doubles point in their last four matchups, after a stretch in which they dropped the doubles point in five out of seven matches.

The last time UCLA dropped the doubles point was in its first encounter of the season against Pepperdine at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center on March 13. Across the six singles courts, UCLA only managed to win three sets.

“I think I didn’t play that well in doubles,” said No. 98 sophomore Abi Altick. “Also, in singles, I can look at the match and make some adjustments.”

The duo of Altick and Bolton fell 6-4 on court three in the Bruins’ first match against the Waves. Altick’s match in singles was unfinished, knotted at one set apiece.

Wednesday’s match will be the third of UCLA’s six-game homestand and third consecutive matchup against a top-15 team.

“We love playing at home and we have a good support system so we’re looking forward to that,” Johnson said.

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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