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No. 22 Women's Tennis Hosts No. 7 California Monday

Feb 19, 2022
Elysia Bolton (Photo: Ross Turteltaub)

The 22nd-ranked UCLA women's tennis team will take on its second top-10 opponent in as many matches Monday, when No. 7 California visits Los Angeles Tennis Center for a non-conference contest. The first of two scheduled matchups between the teams is set to begin at 12 p.m. PT. Admission to each match is free. For more on UCLA fan attendance COVID-19 policies and procedures, CLICK HERE.

Fans unable to attend home UCLA women's tennis matches in person can still follow live. Live streaming and live scoring can be found for all matches played at Los Angeles Tennis Center HERE.

Visiting No. 19 UCLA captured the first point against No. 5 Pepperdine Feb. 5 at Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center, but was ultimately overcome in a 5-2 decision. Kimmi Hance turned in victories on the singles and doubles courts for the Bruins. The Waves were triumphant on five of six singles courts, however, with Lisa Zaar clinching the team win at 4-2. The final in-progress match was completed.

UCLA women's tennis holds an all-time record of 49-37 versus California. The programs met three times in 2021, with the Golden Bears prevailing twice. The programs' non-conference matchup went the distance at Cal's Hellman Tennis Complex (Feb. 20), with Jada Bui ultimately making the difference with a three-set win on her home court. The Bruins' bounced back with a dominant performance at Los Angeles Tennis Center (April 10), collecting a 7-0 victory that clinched the Pac-12 title for Stella Sampras Webster's group. The rubber match came in the final round of the Pac-12 tournament in San Diego (April 26), where the Golden Bears recovered from a dropped doubles point to take four of five completed singles contests. Julia Rosenqvist sealed the 4-2 decision in three sets.

UCLA is tied for No. 22 in the latest ITA coaches poll, released Feb. 16. One week earlier, six Bruins – including each of the three freshmen for the first time – were slotted in the individual rankings. Abbey Forbes leads the way on the singles list, at No. 76. After taking the fall off, Elysia Bolton found herself at No. 100. Kimmi Hance debuted at No. 112 and Sasha Vagamov rounded out the quartet at No. 115. The doubles combination of Bolton and Elise Wagle checked in at No. 16, while Forbes and Ava Catanzarite found themselves at No. 33. As a team, the Bruins completed the 2020-21 season slotted at No. 5.

Bruins made appearances at five events during the fall. Abbey Forbes took part in two national singles tournaments, notching wins against nationally-ranked opponents at the ITA All-American Championships and ITA National Fall Championships. The combination of Vanessa Ong and Elise Wagle posted the standout performance, capturing the doubles title at the ITA Southwest Regional Championships to earn a spot in the year-end national field. Sasha Vagramov led the team with seven singles victories, a total helped in large part by her run to the ITA Southwest Regionals quarterfinal round.

2020-21 IN REVIEW
The 2020-21 UCLA women's tennis team collected the first outright Pac-12 title in program history, going 10-0 in regular-season conference tilts. The Bruins outscored their league foes by a 53-6 margin during the regular season. The team went on to reach the NCAA Championships quarterfinal round before it was felled by eventual national runner-up Pepperdine in a 4-3 decision that dropped its final record to 22-5. Abbey Forbes was named the Pac-12 Singles Player of the Year and earned the conference's Doubles Team of the Year award alongside Jada Hart. Forbes, Hart and Elysia Bolton all received ITA All-America recognition.

Defending Pac-12 Singles Player of the Year and two-time ITA All-America selection Abbey Forbes is one of six UCLA returners. She was also part of the conference's Doubles Team of the Year in 2021, alongside Jada Hart. Forbes logged a singles record of 24-3 and a doubles mark of 13-2 as a sophomore. Also back is Elysia Bolton, who is looking to become just the 10th four-time All-American in program history. Bolton went 10-4 in singles matches and 14-5 in doubles play, reaching the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships doubles tournament with Jada Hart in 2021. The senior class is comprised of Bolton and Taylor Johnson, the latter of which won five straight-set singles results against just one loss and teamed with Bolton and Abi Altick on the doubles courts last year. Junior Sasha Vagramov, who went 5-1 in Pac-12 singles matches and 9-5 overall, is also back. Coming off a near-perfect debut, sophomore Vanessa Ong (5-1 singles, 4-0 doubles) is back, and junior Caroline Goldberg rounds out the quartet of second- and third-year Bruins on the roster.

The quartet of Abi Altick, Annette Goulak, Jada Hart and Vivian Wolff is gone from the 2021 Pac-12 regular-season champions. Altick was a consistent presence on the singles (65-26 career record) and doubles (64-20) courts and occupied the third doubles court with Elysia Bolton and Taylor Johnson in 2021. Goulak had a standout final year, posting 18-3 singles and doubles records. Four-time ITA All-America selection Hart won 217 total matches (94-41 singles, 123-40 doubles) during her five seasons at UCLA and was named half of the 2021 Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year with frequent partner Abbey Forbes. Wolff played exclusively with Goulak on the second doubles court and went 11-7 in singles matches during her only season with the Bruins, playing primarily on Court 4.

The trio of Ava Catanzarite, Kimmi Hance and Elise Wagle is new to the UCLA roster. Each student-athlete was a Blue Chip prospect coming out of high school, according to Catanzarite, from Pittsburgh, Pa., won Girls' 16 doubles Gold Balls at the 2019 Easter Bowl in Indian Wells, Calif. and the 2018 National Winter Championships in Orlando, Fla. Torrance, Calif. native Hance captured the Girls' 18 doubles championship with partner Reese Brantmeier at the ITF JA Plantation (Orange Bowl) event in 2020. Wagle, out of Niskayuna, N.Y., took home the Girls' 16 doubles titles at the 2019 USTA Billie Jean King National Championships (with partner Katja Wiersholm) in San Diego, the 2018 Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships (with partner Carson Tanguilig) in Plantation, Fla. and the 2018 USTA Girls' 16 National Clay Court Championships (with partner Valenica Xu) in Memphis, Tenn.

Head coach Stella Sampras Webster is in her 26th season at the helm of the UCLA women's tennis program, compiling an impressive overall record of 477-174 (.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 21 of her 24 completed seasons and in the top five 15 times. Three doubles pairs have won NCAA titles under Sampras Webster's tutelage, most recently Gabby Andrews and Ayan Broomfield in 2019.