No. 2 UCLA to Face Oklahoma State in Indoors Opener
Date/Time: Friday, Feb. 5/1:30 PM PT
Saturday, Feb. 6/TBD
Sunday, Feb. 7/TBD
Live Stream/Live Stats: WeAreCollegeTennis.com
Series vs. Oklahoma State: UCLA leads, 3-1
Last Meeting vs. OSU: UCLA won 4-1 on Feb. 2, 2019
The No. 2 UCLA women's tennis team will play three matches in three days at the Greenwood Tennis Center in Stilwater, Okla, site of the 2021 ITA National Team Indoors Championships. The Bruins get started Friday at 1:30 p.m., PT, when they face off against host and No. 10 Oklahoma State. The winner will meet the advancing team between No. 3 Texas and No. 13 Northwestern Saturday at 4:30 p.m., while a consolation match will take place at 1:30 p.m. The top half of the bracket features No.1 North Carolina, No. 5 Pepperdine, No. 6 Georgia Tech and No. 9 Ohio State. The championship match will be held Sunday at 4:30 p.m., with consolation contests leading up to it.
Live streaming and live scoring for all ITA National Team Indoor Championships matches will be available on the tournament page at WeAreCollegeTennis.com.
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 at UCLABruins.com.
LAST TIME OUT
The host Bruins cruised through their ITA Kickoff Weekend regional with 4-0 victories over No. 19 California and Texas A&M, advancing to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Rain postponed the first day of competition. Each of UCLA's top two doubles pairs, Elysia Bolton/Jada Hart and Annette Goulak/Vivian Wolff, went 2-0. Bolton (Court 2) and Abbey Forbes (Court 1) also controlled the top singles courts with four combined wins. Bolton clinched the championship match. Freshman Vanessa Ong debuted on Court 6 against the Golden Bears, clinching the season opener. Annette Goulak also logged a singles win.
UCLA AT ITA INDOORS/VS. OSU
Fourth-seeded UCLA posted a runner-up finish at the 2020 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Chicago. The Bruins registered 4-0 wins over host Illinois, Florida State and top-ranked Stanford before falling to No.-2 seed North Carolina by a 4-0 score in the final round. Then-freshman Sasha Vagramov, playing on Court 6, clinched each of the Bruins' wins. Since the tournament began in 1988, UCLA has turned in five second-place results (1990, 1995, 2013, 2014, 2020). The Bruins broke through in 2012, taking the top spot with a 4-0 win over top-seeded Duke in Charlottesville, Va. Second-seeded UCLA took the doubles point narrowly and Robin Anderson picked up a three-set win on the top court to clinch the victory.
UCLA women's tennis holds a 3-1 all-time record against Oklahoma State. The programs last squared off Feb. 2, 2019, when the No. 8 Bruins defeated the No. 9 Cowgirls by a 4-1 score at Greenwood Tennis Center. Returners Abi Altick and Elysia Bolton, as well as the doubles team of Bolton and Jada Hart, logged wins in that match.
IN THE RANKINGS
The Bruins remained at No. 2 in the Oracle ITA team rankings, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced Wednesday, Jan. 27. The initial player rankings, revealed Jan. 13, 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.
BOLTON/HART IN THE TOP SPOT
Elysia Bolton and Jada 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 50-12 over three 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).
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 Elysia Bolton and Jada Hart finished the season where it starts 2021 – at No. 1. Bolton, Hart and Abbey Forbes achieved All-America status.
Freshman Vanessa 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 TennisRecruiting.net. 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.
SHE'S NOT. DONE. YET!
In a letter to the UCLA community April 23, 2020, Jada Hart announced she would take advantage of an additional year of eligibility provided by the NCAA after the coronavirus pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season. Hart said, "Knowing I was going to get an extra year to end my UCLA career on my terms was an opportunity I could not pass up ... I'm very blessed to get one more year to wear the blue and gold and be surrounded by an amazing team that I get to call MY FAMILY." Hart holds a career singles record of 83-37 and currently sits in a tie for 16th place on the program's career wins list (since 1991). On the doubles side, she possesses a record of 108-35 and captured the 2019 Oracle ITA Fall National Championships doubles title with partner Elysia Bolton. Hart has a chance to become the ninth four-time All-American in UCLA women's tennis history.
BRUINS IN THE PROS
A bevy of Bruins is active on the professional circuits, with Jennifer Brady (2014, 2015) and Ena Shibahara (2017, 2018) currently building off breakout 2020 campaigns. Brady currently sits at a career-best No. 24 in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) singles rankings, achieved in large part due to her performance at the 2020 US Open, where she became the first Bruin to reach a women's Grand Slam singles semifinal round. Leading up to her standout US Open performance, Brady captured the first WTA title of her career in the singles draw of the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky. Shibahara, meanwhile, has attained much of her success in doubles play. Alongside regular partner, Shuko Aoyama, Shibahara claimed the top spot at the Abu Dhabi Open in January. The title marked the fourth on the WTA Tour for Shibahara/Aoyama. Shibahara is currently slotted at a career-high No. 20 in the WTA doubles rankings.
HEAD COACH STELLA SAMPRAS WEBSTER
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 455-166 (.733). 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.