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With weekend wins, women’s tennis looks to continue improving

Freshman Abbey Forbes won both her singles matches for UCLA women’s tennis over ITA kickoff weekend, but went 1-1 in doubles with her partner, junior Annette Goulak. (Courtesy of Intercollegiate Tennis Association)

By Donovon Barnes

Jan. 30, 2020 2:15 a.m.

While the Bruins have won two straight matches, the victories haven’t come without a few speed bumps.

Freshman Abbey Forbes suffered her first dual match doubles defeat with her partner junior Annette Goulak during UCLA women’s tennis’ (2-0) win over Loyola Marymount on Saturday. While Forbes bounced back to grab a win at No. 2 singles, she said the defeats she suffers from early matches in the season will help prepare her for stronger opponents in the future.

“This helps prepare me for tougher matches to come, and since I’m a freshman, this prepares me for the long road ahead, all the way into NCAAs,” Forbes said. “I think this is a stepping stone; I think this is just the beginning. I think this team can do great things and this gives me confidence in doing well and we can do great things together.”

After the doubles loss on court one, the doubles point in Saturday’s match rested on the shoulders of the No. 2 doubles team – junior Abi Altick and sophomore Taylor Johnson. The duo clinched the doubles point with a 6-4 win over LMU’s Yesica de Lucas and Eva Marie Voracek, and Johnson said she was satisfied with how she and her partner handled the high-stakes situation.

“This was a great match for me and my partner for our experience,” Johnson said. “You just have to be ready to keep playing because it can be so much in the air and you just have to be always on your game.”

The duo went undefeated over the weekend, with UCLA qualifying for the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championship after sweeping both Minnesota and LMU on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Coach Stella Sampras Webster said the way things played out for the Bruins’ doubles pairs will help shape them as the team moves forward into the spring season.

“I think that’s why we play so well in doubles, but we still need to execute better in order to be successful,” Sampras Webster said. “We have to be more disciplined and sometimes not go for too much, maybe not go for the lines, make our volleys, returns, our first serves – so a lot of it is just execution.”

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Donovon Barnes | Alumnus
Barnes joined the Bruin as a senior in 2019 and contributed until he graduated in 2020. He spent time on the women's tennis beat.
Barnes joined the Bruin as a senior in 2019 and contributed until he graduated in 2020. He spent time on the women's tennis beat.
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