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Bruins in Paris

UCLA women’s tennis to face St. Mary’s, Cal after ITA Kickoff Weekend losses

Coach Stella Sampras Webster of UCLA women’s tennis looks on during a match against USC on Apr. 15, 2022. The Bruins will have the opportunity to notch their first ranked win of the season Saturday against No. 20 California. (Kaiya Pomeroy-Tso/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Women's Tennis

Saint Mary's
Friday, 11 a.m.

Timothy Korth Tennis Complex (Moraga, CA)
Saint Mary's Live Stream
No. 20 California
Saturday, noon

Hellman Tennis Complex (Berkeley, CA)
Cal Live Stream

By Elise Oliver

Feb. 2, 2023 3:00 p.m.

The Bruins will look to bounce back from a pair of defeats in a short Bay Area road trip.

Coming off losses at the ITA Kickoff Weekend, UCLA women’s tennis (1-2) will travel up north to play St. Mary’s (1-0) and No. 20 California (2-1) on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Coach Stella Sampras Webster said though last weekend’s early-season losses were a good learning experience for the younger players, the team is ready to move past its shortcomings.

“They’re going to continue to get better and better as they get more comfortable,” Sampras Webster said. “It’s another match, and sometimes our players can get distracted by making it mean too much instead of just going out and playing the way they know how to play.”

No. 120 freshman Anne-Christine Lutkemeyer, who failed to notch a victory in either of her two singles matchups in Florida, echoed Sampras Webster’s sentiments.

“Obviously, the losses this week are tough,” Lutkemeyer said. “But we know that we’re all hard workers, and we’re very cohesive as a team, so I think we’re all confident that we can improve.”

The Bruins have not faced the Gaels since 2020, but results have been in favor of the blue and gold in previous meetings. In the three matches played all-time between the two programs, UCLA has yet to surrender a point.

The Golden Bears have proven to be tougher competition, winning two of the four previous matches, but the Bruins nearly swept them at home last year and have gone 8-2 in their last 10 matchups.

No. 42 sophomore Ava Catanzarite supplied a point in last year’s contest, where she secured her first-ever win against a nationally ranked opponent in her singles match.

Providing two of UCLA’s three singles victories in its losses last weekend, Catanzarite has remained a constant in the lineup.

“Every single match is motivation,” Catanzarite said. “It’s a great way to learn what we need to work on, what we need to improve on.”

Improvement has been the focus in practice this week for the Bruins, according to Sampras Webster, and knowing what her team is capable of makes her eager to keep playing against high-caliber teams like Cal.

“We’re looking for improvement every day, every practice, every match,” Sampras Webster said. “I have no doubt that this team can have a great rest of the season if we have the right attitude and focus.”

First serve against the Gaels is set for 11 a.m. on Friday at the Timothy Korth Tennis Complex, followed by a match at noon on Saturday against the Bears at the Hellman Tennis Complex.

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Elise Oliver
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