Weekend in Preview: Oct. 4
Sophomore Elysia Bolton will start off her fall season at the ITA Women’s All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The sophomore is in the main draw in singles and will team with fellow Bruin redshirt senior Jada Hart in the doubles main draw. (Andy Bao/Daily Bruin)
Jason Maikis, assistant Sports editor
Five different Bruins will be playing this week, but in two different states.
UCLA women’s tennis redshirt senior Jada Hart and sophomore Elysia Bolton will head to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to play in the ITA Women’s All-American Championships. Meanwhile, in Malibu, California, freshman Sasha Vagramov, sophomore Taylor Johnson and junior Annette Goulak will be competing in the Women’s Collegiate Invitational.
Hart will enter the ITA competition after finishing as the singles runner-up at the Oracle ITA Masters on Sunday. Bolton will see her first action of the season when she returns to the ITA All-American Championships after losing in the second round of the pre-qualifying last year.
“(Bolton) has been playing quite a bit this offseason,” said coach Stella Sampras Webster. “Some of the best players in the country will be playing, and she can see where she’s at with that level of competition.”
Hart and Bolton will compete in both the singles and together in the doubles main draw. Last year, the duo of Hart and Bolton fell in the second round to the No. 8 seed when the tournament was held in Pacific Palisades, California.
In its first year, the Women’s Collegiate Invitational is hosting players from 12 different teams, including North Carolina, Stanford and Georgia – Goulak’s previous school before she transferred to UCLA in June. Goulak and Vagramov will be making their debuts as Bruins, while Johnson is returning after a freshman year that saw her tally 28 wins between singles and doubles.
“Our goal for this fall is to get our players as many matches as possible,” Sampras Webster said. “This is a new tournament, and it’s a great opportunity to play teams outside of our conference. They can evaluate themselves, and we’re really excited to see what we need to do to help develop them as players.”
The Women’s Collegiate Invitational finals will be Sunday, while the main draw of the ITA Women’s All-American Championships will begin Wednesday and the finals will be held Oct. 13.
Justin Auh, Sports reporter
UCLA men’s golf will tee off its fall season at the Marquette Intercollegiate in Erin, Wisconsin.
The Bruins last played at Erin Hills golf course in 2017, finishing in second place. Then-sophomore Hidetoshi Yoshihara tied for third atop the individual leaderboard at 2-under.
“(Erin Hills) is a big golf course, so I think keeping shots on the fairway is important,” Yoshihara said. “The greens are pretty undulated, … so the speed and short putts are key out there.”
Yoshihara was the lone senior chosen for the first five-man lineup of the season. Coach Derek Freeman also selected junior Devon Bling, junior Eddy Lai, sophomore Sean Maruyama and sophomore Bryan Wiyang Teoh. Sophomore Rory Feng will also compete in the Marquette Intercollegiate, though as an individual.
“I would say I’m a little anxious because last year I didn’t play too much,” Teoh said. “So there’s anticipation for this year, since I played a bit better and made the team. Right now, I’m confident, but I’m also anticipating what’s to come.”
Teoh played in six tournaments last year, competing as an individual in all but one event. Freeman said he will be monitoring Teoh’s progress throughout this fall.
“(Teoh’s) got phenomenal talent, and he was just kind of getting his feet wet last year,” Freeman said. “I think he’s in a really good space, and if we can get him playing to his potential, this team is going to be really good.”
UCLA will begin play Sunday at Erin Hills golf course.
Andreas Papoutsis, Sports reporter
The Bruins will make their way to San Diego.
UCLA men’s tennis will send four participants to compete at the Aztec Fall Invitational on Friday at the Aztec Tennis Center in San Diego. Coach Billy Martin said the team will return many players from last season, making depth one of the strengths of the team.
“Everybody’s fighting for a spot in the lineup because we have pretty good depth this year,” Martin said. “There’s only six spots to play singles and there’s nine to 10 guys playing for those spots.”
Sophomore Max Wild will see his first fall tournament action in San Diego, after finishing his freshman campaign with a 6-8 singles record.
“(Wild) is sort of the hometown guy, growing up in the San Diego area,” Martin said. “It’ll help him get a few matches under his belt.”
Redshirt junior Connor Rapp, junior Bryce Pereira and sophomore Eric Hahn will round out the four Bruins who will be competing. Martin said each of his four players is bound to face stiff competition.
“This tournament will give me a really good indication of where the guys are,” Martin said.
Martin also said he will conduct his own scouting while he is in San Diego for the weekend.
“There’s going to be quite a few good schools, especially the guys from (the University of San Diego),” Martin said. “So it’s a good way for me to scout out a lot of players that we’re going to run into throughout the year.”