UCLA to Host Stanford, Cal in Pac-12 Showdowns
Date/Time: Friday, April 9/1:30 PM PT
Saturday, April 10/12:00 PM PT
Live Stream/Live Stats: UCLABruins.com
Series vs. Stanford: Stanford leads, 81-21
Series vs. California: UCLA leads, 48-36
Last Meeting vs. Stanford: UCLA won 4-1 on March 7, 2020
Last Meeting vs. Cal: Cal won 4-3 on Feb. 20, 2021
Victorious in eight of its last nine matches, the UCLA women's tennis team begins its final homestand of the regular season with visits from Stanford and California. Friday, the Bruins (13-3, 7-0 Pac-12) look to ride momentum from their last two meetings with the Cardinal (10-2, 6-1), which they won by a combined 8-1 margin during the shortened 2020 dual-match campaign. That one is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m., PT. The Golden Bears (13-4, 6-1) pay a visit Saturday, looking to capture the rubber match of the season series. First serve is set for 12 p.m., PT. UCLA, Stanford and Cal currently occupy the top spots in the Pac-12 standings.
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 VS. STANFORD/CAL
UCLA women's tennis holds all-time record fo 21-81 versus Stanford, but came out on top of both meetings between the programs during the shortened 2020 dual-match campaign. In the latest clash, held March 7, 2020, the Bruins recorded a 4-1 victory to snap the Cardinal's regular-season Pac-12 unbeaten streak at 38 and collect their first win at Stanford since 2014. Annette Goulak clinched the decision, joining Abi Altick and Abbey Forbes in logging straight-set triumphs. In the finished doubles matches, UCLA's pairs posted a 12-1 advantage. UCLA is 48-36 versus California in previous matches, most recently suffering a 4-3 non-conference loss at Hellman Tennis Complex on Feb. 20, 2021. The Bruins could not seize the doubles point and had an uphill battle from there. They were able to claim leads at 2-1 and 3-2, but dropped each of the remaining contests in three sets. Jada Bui of the Golden Bears decided the match on Court 4. Forbes, Jada Hart and Sasha Vagramov picked up singles wins for UCLA.
LAST TIME OUT
UCLA closed out the road portion of its regular-season schedule with a sweep of Pac-12 foes Arizona State and Arizona. The Bruins bested the Sun Devils, 4-3, rallying from a 3-2 deficit after dropping three singles matches in a row. Three-set victories by Annette Goulak and Jada Hart, who clinched the outcome, proved the difference. The next day, Taylor Johnson picked up the final win of a 4-0 decision against the Wildcats. Hart and Abbey Forbes, who also posted a 2-0 singles record on the trip, were also victorious individually for UCLA, which needed a comeback effort to take the doubles point.
IN THE RANKINGS
The UCLA women's tennis team remained slotted at No. 4 in the Tennis Channel/USTA Top 25, it was announced Wednesday. Oracle ITA also released its latest team rankings Wednesday, unveiling both its computerized rankings and the coaches poll. The Bruins are No. 9 in the computerized rankings and No. 7 in the coaches poll. The newest Oracle ITA player rankings, revealed Tuesday, March 30, include Elysia Bolton, Abbey Forbes and Jada Hart of UCLA. Forbes is the No. 11 singles player, while Bolton checks in at No. 113 and Hart sits in a tie at No. 121. Forbes and Hart also appear on the doubles list, making up the No. 79 combination.
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." On March 19, she earned career win No. 200 alongside doubles partner Abbey Forbes. Hart holds a career singles record of 91-39 and currently sits in a tie for 11th place, with Kelly Rudolph, on the program's career wins list (since 1991). On the doubles side, she possesses a record of 114-38 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.
Ten of Abbey Forbes' 14 singles opponents in 2021 have been slotted in the top 100 of the Oracle ITA singles rankings when the meetings occurred. Eleven have been nationally ranked. Forbes, who is listed at No. 11 in the rankings, is 9-1 against top-100 opponents and 13-1 overall. She is 4-0 against top-20 foes, knocking off then-No. 1 Ashley Lahey of Pepperdine, then-No. 5 Anna Turati of Texas and then-No. 18 Haley Giavara of California on two occasions. All four of those matches, as well as six other Forbes wins, were finished in straight sets. Her only loss of the season came against then-No. 33 Jessica Failla of Pepperdine, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Stillwater, Okla.
FORBES JOINS BOLTON, HART IN POTW CLUB
One season removed from collecting five of eight Pac-12 Player of the Week awards, UCLA student-athletes have received three conference honors in 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 third of her career. Jada Hart brought in the sixth of her time at UCLA after a trip to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships that included singles wins over then-No. 94 Lulu Sun of Texas and then-No. 45 Lexi Ryngler of Pepperdine. Most recently, Abbey Forbes earned her second-career POTW nod after knocking off the nation's then-No. 1 player, Ashley Lahey of Pepperdine, in the Bruins' 4-3 loss to the Waves. UCLA women's tennis has garnered 33 Pac-12 Player of the Week awards in program history.
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.
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 climbed to a career-best No. 13 in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) singles rankings on Feb. 22. That was 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. Shibahara and partner Shuko Aoyama won the biggest title of their careers at the Miami Open earlier this month. The duo has also claimed the top spots at the Abu Dhabi Open and the Yarra Valley Classic events in 2021. Shibahara/Aoyama has now won six titles on the WTA Tour. Shibahara reached a career-high No. 13 in the WTA doubles rankings on April 5.
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 466-169 (.734). 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.