Women’s tennis scores two weekend wins, works on clinching doubles point

Sophomore Abi Altick and doubles partner freshman Taylor Johnson blew a 4-1 lead against Arizona State on Friday, but bounced back with a 6-2 doubles win against Arizona on Sunday for UCLA women's tennis. (Jacqueline Gerdne/Daily Bruin)

The Bruins opened Pac-12 play with back-to-back wins, but Stella Sampras Webster still identified some room for improvement.

“Who knows what we are going to do with our doubles teams,” the coach said. “We’ll look to see how we can have more balance in our doubles lineup. We’re losing that doubles point and that’s just something that we’ve got to figure out.”

No. 6 UCLA women’s tennis (9-2, 2-0 Pac-12) defeated Arizona State (5-6, 0-2) and Arizona (8-5, 0-2) on consecutive days by an identical 4-2 margin. The Bruins dropped a closely fought doubles point against the Sun Devils and lost No. 1 doubles against the Wildcats.

UCLA lost the doubles point in four of its last six matches.

The tandem of sophomore Abi Altick and freshman Taylor Johnson were leading 4-1 on court three against Arizona State’s duo of Samantha Alicea and Sammi Hampton, but eventually lost 7-6 (9-7).

“We were pretty much leading the whole match but they kept coming back and we couldn’t quite close it out,” Altick said. “It was disappointing but (Johnson) and I came back well in singles.”

The pair came out strong the following day to clinch the doubles point with a 6-2 victory.

“They were really determined to close it after they got up,” Sampras Webster said. “They could have easily got a little tight but they did a great job.”

UCLA’s top doubles pair this weekend – the No.16 duo of freshman Elysia Bolton and redshirt junior Jada Hart – lost 7-5 against Arizona State and 6-2 against Arizona.

“I don’t really know (what went wrong),” Bolton said. “On Friday, we just lost and today (Saturday), it didn’t really come together for us. Just didn’t play our best.”

Bolton and Hart are 16-7 overall, 5-4 in dual matches and 0-2 on court one.

“Everyone is really good on court one and it’s hard if you get broken or have a bad game,” Sampras Webster said. “These teams are good and they will take advantage. I think it was a good experience for them to play against one of the top teams in the country.”

Senior Ayan Broomfield was benched against Arizona for rest. Senior Alaina Miller retired in the middle of her match against Arizona’s Talya Zandberg, losing 7-6 (7-4), 3-0.

“(Miller) will be fine but she had some issues so we decided to pull her,” Sampras Webster said. “It’s nothing serious, but we didn’t want anything to get worse. We got (Altick) to clinch so I think it was the right move.”

UCLA will next face No. 23 Pepperdine at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center in Malibu on Wednesday.

Read more here: http://dailybruin.com/2019/03/11/womens-tennis-scores-two-weekend-wins-works-on-clinching-doubles-point/
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