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UCLA women’s tennis defeats California with singles shutout

No. 56 UCLA women’s tennis junior Abbey Forbes prepares to hit the ball. Forbes secured the first match point for the Bruins in their win over California at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on Monday. (Shane Yu/Daily Bruin)

Women's tennis


No. 6 California1
No. 56 UCLA6

By Olivia Simons

Feb. 23, 2022 2:47 p.m.

This post was updated Feb. 24 at 1:57 a.m.

In April, Abbey Forbes dropped the first singles match of the Pac-12 championship finals – the first nail in the coffin for the Bruins’ eventual defeat.

In the wake of her team’s conference championship loss, the junior took on the same opponent 10 months later in a rematch against California with a chance at redemption.

“It always just feels really good to get some revenge on them,” Forbes said. “I just really wanted to put that point back on the board after thinking about what happened last year.”

Securing the first singles win of the afternoon, No. 76 Forbes helped bring No. 56 UCLA women’s tennis (3-3) a 6-1 win against No. 6 California (6-4) at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on Monday afternoon. After losing the doubles point, the Bruins bounced back by claiming all six singles matches for the first time this season.

“This match (against Cal) is always electric,” Forbes said. “The energy that we had today was just unmatched just because we have the freshmen who are just naturally young and hungry, and we have the returners who remember what happened last year at the Pac-12 tournament. We just had that burning desire to beat them.”

UCLA dropped the doubles point for the second time this season, with the No. 33-ranked pair of Forbes and freshman Ava Catanzarite losing 6-2 on court two. While freshman Kimmi Hance and junior Sasha Vagramov grabbed a 6-3 win on court three, No. 16 senior Elysia Bolton and freshman Elise Wagle ultimately lost the doubles point for the Bruins 6-4.

Leading up to its matchup against Cal, UCLA had claimed the doubles point in all but one matchup – a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Washington on Jan. 29. Last season, the Bruins won the doubles point in 23 of 27 total matches and went on to win the match once when they failed to win the doubles point.

On Monday, however, UCLA reversed that trend. Forbes took down Haley Giavara 6-1, 6-1 to even the score, giving the Bruins an opportunity to take down their conference rivals.

“I just told myself, ‘You need to just have more grit, more fight,’” Forbes said. “’You have nothing to lose after coming off a pretty tough loss to her the last time we played. Nothing to lose and just go out there and fight your butt off for the Bruins.’”

Catanzarite followed up Forbes’ win with a victory over No. 99 Hannah Viller Moeller 6-2, 6-3 on court six to give UCLA a 2-1 lead. No. 100 Bolton then grabbed a 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 51 Jessica Alsola, giving another Bruin a victory after her doubles loss.

Finally, on court four, No. 112 Hance sealed the victory for UCLA with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Julia Rosenqvist, the Golden Bear who delivered the winning point for Cal over UCLA in the Pac-12 championship last season.

“It was honestly such a good feeling,” Hance said. “You don’t get to do things like that in junior tennis, so I was pretty stoked. I think everyone was just so happy that we were able to get such a big win.”

After UCLA clinched the win, the additional matches on courts three and five were played out. No. 115 Vagramov defeated No. 110 Valentina Ivanov 6-4, 6-2, giving Vagramov, Bolton and Catanzarite singles wins over higher-ranked opponents.

Wagle finished out the day with a 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 1-0 (4) win over Makenna Thiel – a match that finished over 40 minutes after Vagramov’s – to complete the singles shutout for UCLA.

“Getting four singles matches against a team like Cal is hard enough, but we were able to get all six, and I think it just shows that our players are playing some really good tennis,” said coach Stella Sampras Webster.

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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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