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Women's Tennis Earns Four ITA Regional Awards

Jun 14, 2021
Stella Sampras Webster in 2020 (Photo: Eric Hurd)

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The UCLA women's tennis program earned four 2021 Division I Southwest Regional Awards, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced Monday.

Head coach Stella Sampras Webster was recognized as the Wilson Coach of the Year and three veteran players joined her in garnering honors. Abi Altick received the Cissie Leary Sportsmanship Award, Annette Goulak was chosen as the Most Improved Senior and Jada Hart brought home the Senior Player of the Year award.

The national award winners will be announced Monday, June 21.

Sampras Webster led her team to the first outright conference championship in program history. The Bruins won each of their 10 Pac-12 regular-season matches by a combined 53-6 margin and finished 22-5 overall after advancing to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championships team tournament. The Wilson Coach of the Year award represents Sampras Webster's third, and first since 2012. She also won in 2000. Former UCLA coach Bill Zaima was previously honored on five occasions (1988-1990, 1995, 1996).

The Cissie Leary Sportsmanship Award honors a Division I women's student-athlete who displays inspiring dedication and commitment to her team, which has enhanced her team's performance and exemplified the spirit of college tennis. Altick shined on and off the courts for the Bruins during her senior. She went 5-3 in singles play and racked up 13 doubles wins against just three losses. In the classroom, Altick is an 11-time UCLA Athletic Director's Honor Roll member and recently received the Athletic Director's Academic Excellence Award at the annual Scholar-Athlete Recognition. She became the first Bruin to earn the award since Laura Gordon in 2006.

Goulak combined for 36 singles (18) and doubles (18) victories in 2021 after totaling just 27 (nine singles, 18 doubles) from 2017-2020. Her number of singles triumphs ranked second on the team and she sat atop the doubles wins chart, with partner Vivian Wolff. She suffered just three singles losses and three doubles defeats. Goulak and Wolff finished at No. 57 in the Oracle/ITA doubles rankings after dispatching of No. 16 Gia Cohen and Ava Hrastar of Georgia Tech in the NCAA Championships round of 16. Goulak joined Gabby Andrews (2019) as UCLA recipients of the Southwest region's Most Improved Senior award.

Hart made it eight Bruins who have collected Senior Player of the Year acclaim, as she joined Keri Phebus (1996), Gordon (2006), Riza Zalameda (2008), Yasmin Schnack (2010), Robin Anderson (2015), Catherine Harrison (2016) and Ayan Broomfield (2019). Hart became the ninth UCLA standout to be named an All-American at the end of four seasons when she reached the quarterfinal round of the NCAA doubles tournament alongside partner Elysia Bolton. Playing most of her matches on the second court, Hart also went 11-4 in singles competitions. She finished at No. 60 in the Oracle/ITA singles rankings and No. 28 with Bolton on the doubles list.