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Women’s tennis falls to California in close finish, evening season series

Sophomore Sasha Vagramov overcame a 4-0 deficit in her first set to secure a singles point for No. 3 UCLA women’s tennis. (Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin)

Women's Tennis

No. 3 UCLA3
No. 17 California4

By Olivia Simons

Feb. 21, 2021 10:29 a.m.

It all came down to the third set of the last singles match.

The Bruins and Golden Bears were tied 3-3 after California’s Valentina Ivanov defeated senior Vivian Wolff 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, leaving it up to senior Abi Altick to secure the win for her team.

Altick lost the third and final set, resulting in a 4-3 loss for No. 3 UCLA women’s tennis (5-2) against No. 17 California (5-1) on Saturday. Altick was able to win the first set of her match 7-6, but the Golden Bears’ Jada Bui took sets two and three 6-2, 6-3, winning the final match point for California.

The Bruins’ troubles began when they lost the doubles point, which coach Stella Sampras Webster said made an impact on the rest of the match.

“I think that doubles point really made a difference for them,” Sampras Webster said. “For us, it was a tough loss to lose that doubles point. I think that it gave Cal some belief and motivation going into singles.”

Seniors Annette Goulak and Wolff were able to gain an early doubles lead for UCLA when they defeated California’s No. 2 doubles team Anna Bright and Hannah Viller Moeller 6-2. However, the nation’s No. 1 doubles team in the Bruins’ junior Elysia Bolton and graduate student Jada Hart lost to the No. 40 doubles team of Ivanov and Haley Giavara 6-4.

“I think today we struggled with putting the ball in the court and starting off the point,” Hart said. “If we can’t start off the point then so much for playing doubles at that point. So that’s one thing we’ll have to work on.”

While California secured the doubles point, UCLA won the first two singles matches, putting the Bruins ahead of the Golden Bears 2-1. The first singles win came from the nation’s No. 7 singles player sophomore Abbey Forbes, who defeated Giavara 6-2, 6-0. Hart earned the second of these initial victories, defeating Julia Rosenqvist 6-4, 6-2.

Hart said because both she and Rosenqvist have solid backhands, it was her forehand swing that carried her in this match.

“I knew it was pretty much going to be who’s going to have a solid forehand between (Rosenqvist) and I, since we both have very solid backhands,” Hart said. “We could go backhand to backhand all day, but I’m very happy with the way I used my forehand today – I was able to take chances and be inside the court.”

The Bruins’ third singles point came from sophomore Sasha Vagramov, who after coming back from a 4-0 deficit in her first set won the set tiebreaker 8-6 and the overall set 7-6. She then won the second set 6-1.

“It was a tough first set. She was playing really well,” Vagramov said. “I feel like it was hard to keep up, I lost those three deuce (points) right off the bat so that she had a 3-0 lead, but I just kept telling myself to keep playing my game, stay aggressive and be as disciplined as I can.”

Singles losses from Goulak and Wolff brought the overall match score to 3-3, with Altick’s match as the only one left in play. Her loss to Bui gave the Bruins and Golden Bears a record of 1-1 for the season, with their conference play match still to come in April.

“I think the best part about college sports, at least for us, is we’re still early in the season,” Hart said. “We haven’t even started conference yet, so we have a lot of room to grow and we’re looking to play USC next week and hopefully we contain our mistakes by then.”

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Olivia Simons | Managing editor
Simons is the 2022-2023 managing editor. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, women's tennis, men's tennis, swim and dive and rowing beats and a reporter on the baseball and women's tennis beats.
Simons is the 2022-2023 managing editor. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, women's tennis, men's tennis, swim and dive and rowing beats and a reporter on the baseball and women's tennis beats.
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