Women’s Tennis Set for Non-Conference Clashes in Northern California

Women’s Tennis Set for Non-Conference Clashes in Northern California

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The UCLA women’s tennis team (1-2) embarks on a non-conference road trip to Northern California this week, with visits to Saint Mary’s (1-0) and No. 20 California (2 -1) scheduled for Friday and Saturday respectively. . The trip represents a return to the West Coast for the Bruins, who have just played two ITA Kickoff Weekend games in Coral Gables, Fla. Friday’s game starts at 11 a.m., while Saturday’s game starts at 12 p.m.

Fans can receive results updates from Moraga, Calif., on Friday on the UCLA Women’s Tennis Twitter account (@uclawtennis). Live streaming and live scores on Saturday from the Hellman Tennis Complex in Berkeley, Calif., will be available HERE.

No. 18 UCLA lost a 4-1 decision to the FIU on Sunday in the ITA kickoff weekend consolation match, ending its stint at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center in Coral Gables, Fla. in a first-round contest. The Bruins couldn’t capitalize on a 3-1 lead, built on the doubles runs and singles wins of Ava Catanzarite and Fangran Tian, ​​in that one. Catanzarite defeated two nationally ranked singles opponents while on campus at the University of Miami, knocking out Iowa State’s 80th-ranked Anna Supapitch Kuearum and Panthers’ 106th-ranked Kamila Umarova.

UCLA holds all-time records of 9-0 against Saint Mary’s and 50-37 against California. The Bruins have met the Gaels every year from 2015 to 2020, edging their Northern California neighbors 32-2. In the most recent matchup, during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, UCLA didn’t drop a set en route to a 7-0 victory at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Abbey Forbes picked up the win. Saturday’s meeting will mark the first in Moraga, Calif., since 2015, when the Bruins won 6-1. UCLA have crossed paths with the Golden Bears once in 2022, with the Bruins responding to a lost doubles point by picking up six singles wins to win 6-1. Kimmi Hance made the decision.

The Bruins made appearances at six events, including two nationals, over the fall. There were two championship performances, as Kimmi Hance and Elise Wagle teamed up to win the ITA Southwest Regional Championships doubles title in San Diego, while the combination of Vanessa Ong and Sasha Vagramov won the top Dennis Rizza Classic at Rolling Hills Estates, California. Anne-Christine Lutkemeyer, who was the top singles performer at the Women of Troy Invitational, had a team-high 11 singles wins. Hance, Ava Catanzarite and Fangran Tian have each beaten three nationally ranked opponents. Hance also made the final round in singles at the ITA Southwest Regionals.

The latest ITA National Singles Rankings was released on November 16, 2022 and features four Bruins in career-high positions. Leading was Ava Catanzarite, who debuted at No. 42, with Kimmi Hance right behind her at No. 46. Freshmen Fangran Tian (94) and Anne-Christine Lutkemeyer (120) made their first appearances in career. The tandem of Hance and Elise Wagle moved up to 11th on the doubles list after winning the top prize at the ITA Southwest Regional Championships.

2021-22 IN REVIEW
The 2021-22 UCLA women’s tennis team went 13-7, finishing second in the Pac-12 with a 7-1 record. The Bruins passed Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA Championships, but were defeated by host Oklahoma State in a 4-2 second-round decision. Elysia Bolton and Abbey Forbes qualified for the NCAA singles draw, while the duo of Bolton and Elise Wagle made the doubles draw. Bolton advanced to the second round of singles. Forbes (first team), Bolton (second team) and Kimmi Hance (honorable mention) received honors from all Pac-12 conferences. Forbes was also named the ITA Southwest Region recipient of the Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award.

Anne-Christine Lutkemeyer and Fangran Tian make up UCLA’s freshman class. Lutkemeyer (Irvine, CA), a Blue Chip recruit according to TennisRecruiting.net, was the No. 1 player in her class in 2020 and 2021. She won the singles championship at the 2021 PTT Newport Beach, CA. Women’s $25K Hard 2 event. At the junior level, Lutkemeyer won the 16-year-old Girls’ Singles crown at the 2018 USTA Spring International Championships in Carson, Calif. Tian (Beijing, China) won the Girls’ Singles title in the 2019 Australian Open Asia-Pacific Wildcard play-off event, earning a wildcard for the Australian Open Junior Championships 2020. She also earned a place in the singles draw for the 2019 Roland-Garros Junior Championship.

An acclaimed performance coach to many of the world’s top professional tennis players, volunteer assistant coach Rodney Marshall is new to head coach Stella Sampras Webster’s staff in 2022-23. Marshall joined the Bruins after spending the past five years in Orlando, Fla., where he worked with standout Americans Madison Keys, Caty McNally and Alison Riske-Armitraj. He oversaw strength and conditioning, nutrition and injury prevention for Keys, who finished 2022 with a WTA singles ranking of No. 11. From 2009 to 2018, Marshall served as lead national strength and conditioning coach. for USTA Player Development, Spearheading Strength and Conditioning. efforts for top American players from national training centers in Orlando and Carson, California. He also helped with nutrition, sports medicine and injury prevention. Marshall’s time at the USTA also gave him the opportunity to manage strength and conditioning programs for several United States Davis Cup teams under captains Patrick McEnroe and Jim Courier. He has also helped develop many of America’s top 100 women, including but not limited to Claire Liu, Christina McHale, and Sloane Stephens.

Ena Shibahara won her first Grand Slam championship in 2022, teaming up with Wesley Koolhof to capture the mixed doubles title at Roland Garros. She also recently made her first major women’s doubles final alongside Shuko Aoyama at the 2023 Australian Open. Shibahara reached a career-best 4th place in the WTA doubles rankings in March 2022. Catherine Harrison also had a standout 2022, making her Grand Slam singles and doubles debuts. She made it through to singles qualifying at Wimbledon and followed up her success with a first-round victory. Harrison and partner Ulrikke Eikeri made a second-round doubles appearance at French Open and the pair went on to accomplish the same feat at Wimbledon and the US Open. Harrison also won her first WTA title last year, partnering Sabrina Santamaria to win the Monterrey Open in Mexico. The following Bruins in the professional ranks reached career-high WTA rankings in 2022: Robin Anderson (No. 137 in singles and 181 in doubles), Harrison (214 in singles and 69 in doubles), Elysia Bolton (230 in doubles ), Chanelle van Nguyen (350 singles) and Jada Hart (489 doubles).

Head coach Stella Sampras Webster is in her 27th season at the helm of UCLA’s women’s tennis program, compiling an impressive overall record of 489-180 (.731). She is the second-longest-serving active coach at UCLA, behind men’s tennis head coach Billy Martin. Sampras Webster guided his alma mater to NCAA championships in 2008 and 2014, the first two in program history. His teams have finished in the top 10 nationally in 21 of his 25 completed seasons and in the top five 15 times. Three doubles pairs have won NCAA titles under the tutelage of Sampras Webster, most recently Gabby Andrews and Ayan Broomfield in 2019.

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