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After top win of dual-match season, UCLA women’s tennis to face USC

Fangran Tian goes low for a one-handed backhand return. The freshman for UCLA women’s tennis is the only starting Bruin with a perfect record in dual-singles play this season. (Nicolas Greamo/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Women's Tennis

Wednesday, 5 p.m.

Marks Stadium
USC Live Stream

By Natalie Glawe

March 14, 2023 3:06 p.m.

After rain foiled their plans twice, the Bruins will finally face off against their crosstown rival.

On the heels of snagging a top-five win Sunday, UCLA women’s tennis (5-3, 1-1 Pac-12) will look to carry momentum into a rare evening match as it battles USC (7-4, 1-1) on Trojan turf Wednesday.

“Everyone’s got to be ready,” said coach Stella Sampras Webster. “But I’m feeling good.”

In their most recent matchup last April, the Trojans came out hot, swiftly earning a 3-0 lead that the Bruins were able to tie with a ferocious comeback. Ultimately, though, USC was able to clinch a 4-3 win.

Despite the history, senior Sasha Vagramov said she is nothing but excited about the upcoming match.

“It’s going to be super fun to play,” Vagramov said. “We’re all just super motivated to go after it on Wednesday.”

Vagramov secured UCLA’s triumph over then-No. 4 Ohio State on Sunday. And, entering the contest two weeks removed from a career-high singles ranking, No. 63 freshman Fangran Tian set her up to clinch the win just moments before.

Tian continues to prove herself on the court for the Bruins, remaining undefeated in singles play after a critical win against the Buckeyes this weekend.

“We just go for every single match 100%,” Tian said. “We’re always going to go and try to get them.”

Sampras Webster said Tian’s play has been powerful as of late, adding that the team is looking to build upon its victory over the Buckeyes.

Compared to UCLA, USC has three more matches under its belt this season. However, the Trojans are coming off losses to No. 25 Washington and No. 7 Pepperdine this past Sunday.

Still, Sampras Webster acknowledges the advantage the Trojans will possess playing at home and is banking on the Bruins to bring their A game.

“We’re going to play at their place,” Sampras Webster said. “So, we’re going to have to bring our mental toughness.”

The rivals’ meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Wednesday at Marks Stadium.

Though she is looking forward to the match, Sampras Webster said the team will have to come ready for battle. And, according to Vagramov, they are looking to do just that.

“We’re super pumped up,” Vagramov said. “We are ready to go.”

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Natalie Glawe
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