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No. 3 Women's Set for Saturday Visit to San Diego

Feb 11, 2021
Abbey Forbes (Photo: Jesus Ramirez)

2020-21 Statistics | Match Notes (PDF)

MATCH INFORMATION
Date/Time: Saturday, Feb. 13/1:00 PM PT
Live Stats: USDToreros.com
Series vs. San Diego: UCLA leads, 17-0
Last Meeting vs. USD: UCLA won 5-2 on Feb. 12, 2017

THIS WEEK
Fresh off two top-10 wins at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, the No. 3 UCLA women's tennis team returns to action Saturday at San Diego. First serve from the Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center is set for 1 p.m., PT. The scheduled match marks the second of the season for the Toreros, who debut at home Friday against Cal State Fullerton.

FOLLOW LIVE
Live scoring for Saturday's match will be available HERE.

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.

UCLA VS. USD
UCLA women's tennis is unbeaten in 17 matches played against San Diego. The programs last met Feb. 12, 2017, when the Bruins dealt the Toreros a 5-2 loss at the Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center. UCLA, which made quick work of collecting the doubles point, dropped the first singles decision of the day and led by just a 3-2 margin after Jada Hart was forced to retire. Gabby Andrews would clinch the win in straight sets on Court 5, though.

LAST TIME OUT
Second-seeded UCLA picked up a pair of top-10 wins at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, dispatching of tournament host and No. 10 Oklahoma State and No. 5 Pepperdine. The Bruins needed just one doubles win and one singles win to defeat the Cowgirls, who were shorthanded due to COVID-19 protocols. A second-round match with No. 3 Texas saw the Longhorns jump out to a 3-0 lead and hold on for a 4-2 decision that sent UCLA to consolation play. Pitted against the Waves, the Bruins held on for a 4-2 victory thanks in large part to the efforts of ninth-ranked Elysia Bolton on Court 2. The junior overcame third-set deficits of 0-3 and 2-5 versus Shiori Fukuda, forcing a tiebreaker with the No. 12 player in the nation. Bolton prevailed, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(3), to send UCLA home with its second win of the trip. The ITA Indoors All-Tournament Team, announced Wednesday, featured three Bruins. Jada Hart was voted the top performer at the No. 3 singles spot after notching two wins over ranked opponents. Abi Altick and Taylor Johnson shared the No. 3 doubles line after going 2-0 and clinching the initial point against Pepperdine.

BOLTON, HART EARN PAC-12 WEEKLY HONORS
One season removed from collecting five of eight Pac-12 Player of the Week awards, UCLA student-athletes have received the first two conference honors of 2021. Elysia Bolton, who was on court for the first and final points of the Bruins' ITA Kickoff Weekend win over Texas A&M, received the first. The award represents the third of her career. Most recently, Jada Hart brought in the sixth of her time at UCLA. The latest came after a trip to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships that included singles wins over No. 94 Lulu Sun of Texas and No. 45 Lexi Ryngler of Pepperdine. UCLA women's tennis has garnered 32 Pac-12 Player of the Week awards in program history.

IN THE RANKINGS
The Bruins checked in at No. 3 in the Oracle ITA team rankings, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced Wednesday, Feb. 10. The 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 and Hart occupy the No. 1 doubles spot for the third time since joining forces during the 2018 fall campaign. The pair holds a record of 50-13 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.

NEWCOMERS
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 85-37 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 108-36 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 457-167 (.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.