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No. 2 Women's Tennis Set to Host Kickoff Weekend

Jan 21, 2021
Abbey Forbes (Photo: Scott Chandler)

2020-21 Information Guide

The No. 2 UCLA women's tennis team will get its 2021 dual-match season underway Saturday, when it faces off against Pac-12 rival and 19th-ranked California in ITA Kickoff Weekend action at Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Bruins' debut, scheduled for a 1 p.m., PT start, will follow a 9 a.m. match between Washington State and Texas A&M. The winners will meet Sunday at 1 p.m. with a trip to the Feb. 5-7 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Stillwater, Okla. on the line. Sunday's championship showdown will be preceded by a consolation match at 9 a.m.

    Match 1 (9 a.m.): Washington State vs. Texas A&M
    Match 2 (1 p.m.): Cal at UCLA

    Match 3 (9 a.m.): Consolation Match
    Match 4 (1 p.m.): Championship Match

Fans are not permitted to attend events at UCLA Athletics venues, including Los Angeles Tennis Center, in adherence to the latest COVID-19 guidelines set by the state of California and Los Angeles County. Live streaming and live scoring for all home UCLA women's tennis matches will be available HERE.

UCLA women's tennis holds an all-time record of 47-35 against Cal. The Bruins are riding a seven-match winning streak, including a pair of victories in 2020, versus the Golden Bears. UCLA logged a 7-0 defeat of Cal at LATC on Feb. 21, 2020 and held on for a 4-3 decision in the teams' conference opener just two weeks later at the Hellman Tennis Complex. UCLA possesses records of 24-2 against Washington State (last meeting – 4-2 road loss on April 12, 2019) and 2-1 versus Texas A&M (last meeting – 4-1 win in NCAA Championships third round on May 15, 2015).

UCLA women's tennis starts 2021 at No. 2 in the Oracle ITA team rankings, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced Thursday, Jan. 14. Also revealed were the initial player rankings, which feature a Pac-12-high five Bruins and the pair of Elysia Bolton and Jada Hart at the No. 1 position among doubles standouts. Joining the top-ranked tandem in the rankings are Abbey Forbes (No. 7 singles), Sasha Vagramov (No. 113 singles) and Vanessa Ong (No. 119 singles, No. 9 newcomers). Bolton (No. 9) and Hart (No. 19) also earned top-20 spots on the singles list. While Ong made her first appearance in the singles rankings, Bolton matched her career-best showing.

2019-20 IN REVIEW
UCLA finished the coronavirus pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season with a 12-1 record, the program's best start since its 2014 NCAA championship campaign. The Bruins also advanced to the final round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships for the first time since 2014. The squad earned two wins against conference foe and defending NCAA champion Stanford, snapping the Cardinal's 38-match league winning streak in the process. Five different UCLA players garnered Pac-12 Player of the Week honors and the pair of Bolton and Hart finished the season where it starts 2021 – at No. 1. Bolton, Forbes and Hart achieved All-America status.

Bolton and Hart occupy the No. 1 spot in the Oracle/ITA doubles rankings for the third time since joining forces during the 2018 fall campaign. The pair holds a record of 48-12 over two seasons, including a 31-9 mark in 2018-19. Bolton/Hart is 3-1 against top-five teams and defeated then-No. 1 Anna Rogers and Alana Smith of NC State, 6-4, 6-3, to claim UCLA's first Oracle ITA National Fall Championships doubles title (Nov. 10, 2019).

Freshman Ong and University of Georgia transfer Vivian Wolff join the Bruins in 2020-21. Hailing from Oklahoma City, Ong was a Blue-Chip prospect who ranked as high as No. 2 in her class, according to Ong earned a berth into the 2016 US Open junior tournament, where she won three singles matches before falling to current WTA No. 8 Bianca Andreescu of Canada on the Grandstand court. Ong reached the quarterfinal rounds of the Eddie Herr Girls' 18 doubles and Orange Bowl Girls' 18 singles draws, respectively, in 2017. She went on to earn trips to the 2018 Easter Bowl Girls' 18 doubles semifinal round and the 2018 USTA International Spring Championships Girls' 18 singles quarters. Ong was a standout performer at the 2018 USTA Billie Jean King National Championships, registering quarterfinal-round showings in the Girls' 18 singles and doubles draws. Wolff, a senior, moves to the West Coast an owner of a 56-20 career singles record and a doubles mark of 45-17 over three seasons with the Bulldogs. She achieved All-America status with partner Elena Christofi for their performance during the 2019 fall season. Georgia registered a national runner-up finish in 2019 and Wolff proved a major part on the fourth singles court. The then-sophomore went 32-3, including a 24-1 showing in dual matches. Wolff won her final 20 singles decisions on the year and garnered First-Team All-SEC recognition.

Head coach Stella Sampras Webster is in her 25th season at the helm of the UCLA women's tennis program, compiling an impressive overall record of 453-166 (.732). She is the second-longest-tenured active coach at UCLA, behind men's tennis head coach Billy Martin. Sampras Webster has guided her alma mater to NCAA championships in 2008 and 2014, the first two in program history. Her teams have finished top-10 nationally in 20 of her 23 completed seasons and in the top five 14 times. Three doubles pairs have won NCAA titles under Sampras Webster's tutelage, most recently Gabby Andrews and Ayan Broomfield in 2019.