UCLA Set to Open Pac-12 Play in Pacific Northwest
Date/Time: Friday, March 5/1:30 PM PT
Sunday, March 7/12:00 PM PT
Live Stream/Live Stats (Friday): WSUCougars.com
Live Stream/Live Stats (Sunday): GoHuskies.com
Series vs. Washington State: UCLA leads, 24-2
Series vs. Washington: UCLA leads, 29-2
Last Meeting vs. WSU: WSU won 4-2 on April 12, 2019
Last Meeting vs. UW: UCLA won 4-0 on May 10, 2019
The No. 6 UCLA women's tennis team begins Pac-12 play and the month of March with a trip to the Pacific Northwest for dates with a pair of top-50 foes. The Bruins take on No. 47 Washington State (5-4) Friday at The Simmelink Courts at Hollingbery Fieldhouse (1:30 p.m., PT), before heading west to meet No. 39 Washington (7-1) Sunday at Bill Quillian Tennis Stadium (12 p.m., PT). UCLA has not faced either program since 2019.
Live streaming for Friday's match, if it is played indoors, will be available at WSUCougars.com. GoHuskies.com will have live video Sunday. Both programs utilize StatBroadcast.com for live stats.
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. WSU/UW
UCLA women's tennis holds a 29-2 advantage in its all-time series with Washington State, but the Cougars were victorious in the most recent meeting. On April 12, 2019, the Bruins collected the doubles point before WSU won the first three and four of five completed singles matches. Aneta Mikovska defeated Gabby Andrews, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(2), to seal the overall decision. UCLA is 29-2, meanwhile, against Washington. The Bruins swept a three-match season series from the Huskies in 2019, prevailing in the regular season, the semifinal round of the Pac-12 Championships and the third round of the NCAA Championships. The last of the meetings saw UCLA earn a 4-0 victory, as Andrews, Jada Hart and Abi Altick provided the singles wins after the Bruins took the doubles point in convincing fashion.
LAST TIME OUT
No. 6 UCLA nearly pulled off a clean sweep of No. 17 USC, cruising to a 6-1 non-conference victory at David X. Marks Tennis Stadium on Feb. 26. The Bruins collected the doubles point and never looked back, taking all six singles first sets and the initial four singles wins. Sasha Vagramov topped Summer Dvorak on Court 5, 6-2, 6-2, to clinch the victory. It was Vagramov's second decider in as many career rivalry matches. She backed up straight-set efforts by Abbey Forbes and Annette Goulak and was later supported by Vivian Wolff, in straight sets, and Elysia Bolton, in three.
IN THE RANKINGS
The Bruins remained at No. 6 in the Oracle ITA team rankings, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced Wednesday, March 3. 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 50-14 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).
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 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.
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 after achieving 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 86-38 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 110-37 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 recently climbed to a career-best No. 13 in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) singles rankings, achieved in large part due to her performances at the 2020 US Open and, most recently, the 2021 Australian Open. The ranking also represents the best-ever showing by a Bruin. Brady advanced to the singles final round at the Australian Open, surpassing her semifinal-round showing at the US Open just months earlier. Brady also captured the first WTA title of her career in the singles draw of the 2020 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 spots at the Abu Dhabi Open and the Yarra Valley Classic events early this year. The titles marked the fourth and fifth on the WTA Tour for Shibahara/Aoyama. Shibahara is currently slotted at a career-high No. 15 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 459-168 (.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.