Women’s tennis clinches Pac-12 regular season title with sweeps of Stanford, Cal
Graduate student Jada Hart won both her weekend singles matches in straight sets, winning 6-4, 6-2 on Friday and 6-2, 6-0 on Saturday – both on court two – to help No. 9 UCLA women’s tennis pick up a pair of conference sweeps and the Pac-12 regular season crown. (Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin)
|No. 38 Stanford||0|
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|No. 27 California||0|
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April 11, 2021 11:26 a.m.
This post was updated April 11 at 11:22 p.m.
For the first time in 13 years, the Bruins are Pac-12 regular-season champions.
With its 7-0 sweeps against No. 38 Stanford (11-3, 7-2 Pac-12) and No. 27 California (14-5, 7-2) at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on Friday and Saturday, respectively, No. 9 UCLA (15-3, 9-0) claimed the Pac-12 regular season championship. This is its first championship win since it tied with Stanford in 2008 and its first-ever outright win.
“To win the title the way we did and to do it in the season is very special,” said coach Stella Sampras Webster. “I’m really happy for the players and the coaches and the program for how we were able to win the championship. It’s not easy to win this Pac-12 title so everyone’s really excited.”
The Bruins kicked off their match against the Cardinal with consecutive doubles wins. The No. 79-ranked pair – sophomore Abbey Forbes and graduate student Jada Hart – won by a score of 6-2 before juniors Elysia Bolton and Taylor Johnson triumphed by the same result.
Senior Annette Goulak earned UCLA’s first singles point against Emma Higuchi 6-2, 6-1, followed by a 6-2, 6-4 win from No. 11 Forbes against No. 48 Michaela Gordon. Senior Vivian Wolff clinched the victory for the Bruins, winning her match 6-2, 6-0 against the Cardinal’s Janice Shin.
Subsequent wins from Hart, Bolton and sophomore Sasha Vagramov helped UCLA hand Stanford its first scoreless loss of the season.
“Stanford is such a smart team,” Sampras Webster said. “Even though you win the first set, they’re never out of it. They’re going to do what they need to do and fight until the end. … I think our team did a good job of closing out sets and closing out games against Stanford. You have to play well and smart to beat them.”
UCLA had faced California twice already this season, taking a 4-0 win against it in Los Angeles before picking up a 4-3 loss on the road. Hart said revenge was on the Bruins’ minds heading into the match.
“In some ways, we had a lot on the line for us – we wanted to have revenge most importantly against Cal after losing to them at their home courts,” Hart said. “It was something that we kind of weren’t anticipating, and it was a tough loss for us so we wanted to make sure that that didn’t happen again. … We came out strong, we dominated and it felt great to not only get our revenge but also clinch the regular season title against them.”
On Saturday, Goulak and Wolff notched a 6-1 win over California’s Anna Bright and Hannah Viller Moeller, a doubles pair they previously beat this season. Bolton and Johnson, however, suffered a 6-4 loss, leaving it up to Forbes and Hart’s 6-3 victory on court one to secure the doubles point.
Hart squared off against Julia Rosenqvist for the third time this season in her singles match, and her 6-2, 6-0 victory earned her a 2-0 season record against Rosenqvist. Forbes delivered the next singles point for the Bruins, defeating No. 41 Haley Giavara for the third time this season, all by straight sets.
Wolff pulled off a 6-1, 6-4 victory against Jada Bui, and clinched not only the victory against California but also for the Bruins’ regular-season Pac-12 championship.
“It just makes me so happy and excited,” Wolff said. “I feel like we can definitely use this massive momentum that we have to continue this amazing tennis that we’ve been playing. Honestly, it’s a very nice feeling and I hope we can keep it going.”
The Pac-12 champions will next face Pepperdine and USC at home to conclude the team’s regular season.