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Women’s tennis secures two wins after Texas loss, readies for Pac-12 Conference

Junior Elysia Bolton overcame a third-set deficit to get a win in her singles match for UCLA women’s tennis against Pepperdine. (Andy Bao/Daily Bruin)

Women's Tennis

No. 2 UCLA4
No. 10 Oklahoma State0
No. 2 UCLA2
No. 3 Texas4
No. 2 UCLA4
No. 5 Pepperdine2

By Valerie Li

Feb. 8, 2021 8:19 p.m.

After their first loss of the season, the Bruins walked into their consolation match with the mindset of “punching them in the face first.”

Beginning the ITA Indoor Championships on a high note, No. 2 UCLA women’s tennis (4-1) beat No. 10 Oklahoma State (2-3) on Friday by a score of 4-0, but fell short of defeating No. 3 Texas (7-1) on Saturday, losing 4-2. The Bruins ended the tournament with a win, beating No. 5 Pepperdine (3-2) 4-2 on Saturday in the consolation match.

“We knew we had to rebound,” said junior Elysia Bolton. “We did a great job today of forgetting what happened yesterday, and punching them in the face first.”

Leading up to this weekend, UCLA topped both California and Texas A&M during the ITA Kickoff Weekend that qualified it for the Championships.

Before losing to Texas, UCLA played Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls were only able to bring four players out because of COVID-19 restrictions, and the Bruins swept 4-0 with sophomore Abbey Forbes and senior Abi Altick winning the doubles point 6-0 on court one and other Bruins winning their singles matches.

On Saturday against the Longhorns, however, graduate student Jada Hart, Forbes and Altick were the only Bruins to win singles matches. The nation’s No. 1 doubles team of Bolton and Hart lost their first match of the season against Texas’ Kylie Collins and Lulu Sun 4-6, resulting in the doubles point going to the Longhorns.

“It was a tough loss for Elysia and I,” Hart said. “It was a loss that most weren’t anticipating for.”

According to Hart, the doubles loss pushed her to win her following singles match, coming back from losing the first set 6-1 to winning the next two 6-2 and 6-4. Bolton was not able to replicate Hart’s singles’ success on court one, losing to Texas’ Peyton Stearns.

“We’re happy that we got the loss early in the season,” Hart said. “Got to shake it off a bit so that way we know how to reset going forward.”

UCLA got off to a stronger start against Pepperdine, winning the doubles point early on. Seniors Annette Goulak and Vivian Wolff defeated the Waves’ Astrid Olsen and Nikki Redelijk on court two and Altick and junior Taylor Johnson earned a victory on court three.

The highlight of the day, according to Bolton, was when she overcame a third-set deficit, capturing a tiebreaker leading to her win. Bolton was lined up for three singles matches and two doubles matches this weekend.

“I think my win today was the biggest thing of the trip,” Bolton said. “I had to fight from 2-5 down and save five match points and to clinch it for the team was a pretty good feeling.”

Coach Stella Sampras Webster said she was pleased with the tournament and was already looking forward to improving her team for the Pac-12 Conference.

“Overall, it was a really good trip,” Sampras Webster said. “It’s a place where we’re starting and we’re hoping to get better and better and peak in May when we want to play our best tennis.”

UCLA will be back in action Saturday as it will go against San Diego on the road.

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Valerie Li | Sports contributor
Li is currently a Sports contributor on the women's tennis beat.
Li is currently a Sports contributor on the women's tennis beat.
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