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Women's Tennis Hosts Crosstown Rival USC Friday

Feb 23, 2022
Sasha Vagramov (Photo: Ross Turteltaub)

The UCLA women's tennis team will face off with crosstown rival USC Friday at Los Angeles Tennis Center. The non-conference matchup will begin at 1:30 p.m. PT. The Bruins are ranked No. 19 in the latest Tennis Channel/USTA College Tennis Top 25, while the Trojans are slotted at No. 17. Admission to the match is free. For more on UCLA fan attendance COVID-19 policies and procedures, CLICK HERE.

Free pizza will be available to the first 200 fans in attendance.

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.

UCLA put on a dominant singles display Monday, defeating California by a 6-1 score in a non-conference match at Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Bruins surrendered the doubles point, but bounced back to take each singles decision. Just one contest needed a third set. Kimmi Hance clinched the overall win. Hance and Sasha Vagramov each logged victories on the singles and doubles courts.

UCLA women's tennis holds an all-time record of 59-51 versus USC. The Bruins outscored the Trojans by a 10-1 margin last year, logging a 4-0 win at home (April 16) and a 6-1 victory on the road (Feb. 26). In the teams' 2021 regular-season finale, UCLA honored its seniors and proceeded to record the clean sweep. Abbey Forbes clinched the win, following Elysia Bolton and Sasha Vagramov in posting triumphant singles efforts. The Bruins completed an undefeated Pac-12 regular season with the victory. In the non-conference meeting, UCLA collected the doubles point and never looked back, taking all six singles first sets and the first four singles wins. Vagramov picked up the decider. Salma Ewing earned the lone singles victory for USC.

UCLA climbed from No. 23 to No. 19 in the latest Tennis Channel/USTA College Tennis Top 25, released Wednesday. On Feb. 9, six Bruins – including each of the three freshmen for the first time – were slotted in the ITA 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 by the ITA.

In its 6-1 non-conference win against visiting California Feb. 21 at Los Angeles Tennis Center, UCLA responded emphatically to losing the doubles point. The Bruins claimed each singles first set and ultimately five straight-set victories. Elise Wagle, who overcame a 1-5 first-set deficit, was forced into a 10-point tiebreaker, which she won to complete the sweep. The Golden Bears were ranked No. 7 at the time of the match. The last time UCLA was victorious in such a fashion was April 18, 2007, when the Bruins recovered versus Pepperdine at LATC.

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 478-174 (.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.