Bruins Claim First-Ever ITA National Team Indoor Title
Charlottesville, Va. - The second-seeded UCLA women's tennis team picked up one of the biggest wins in program history on Monday, defeating top-seeded Duke, 4-0 in the finals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships at the Boars Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va. It marks UCLA's first-ever National Team Indoor title, as the Bruins fell in both prior finals appearances in 1990 and 1995.
"The freshmen have really been amazing this week, but today was a total team effort," said UCLA head coach Stella Sampras Webster following the win. "Everyone contributed today. We needed four points to win the match. Everyone competed well and was able to make a difference."
Similar to its 4-0 semifinal win over USC the previous day, UCLA got behind early in doubles, as the Blue Devils opened the match with an 8-2 upset victory at the No. 2 position. UCLA's Courtney Dolehide and Pamela Montez, however, evened things up for the Bruins with an 8-4 win at court No. 1. That sent all the attention to court No. 3, where the doubles point hinged on a match featuring UCLA's McCall Jones and Carling Seguso taking on Hanna Mar and Annie Mulholland. The Bruin seniors came through in the clutch, recording a 9-7 victory to give UCLA the doubles point.
"That doubles match had a lot of momentum shifts," added Sampras Webster. "We were up 5-2, then it was 5-5, then we were up 7-5. We had our two seniors out there, and we knew we could depend on them because they have been there before. They did a good job of staying with the plan. It was very exciting for them to clinch the point for us."
With the doubles point in hand, UCLA began singles play strong, winning the first set on four of six courts. In the only straight-set contest of the afternoon, freshman Kaitlin Ray gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead when she downed 35th-ranked Monica Turewicz, 7-5, 6-4 at court No. 6.
Although she lost the first set to Duke's Mary Clayton at court No. 5, freshman Chanelle Van Nguyen was also a winner on the afternoon, storming back to take a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory to give UCLA a 3-0 advantage. Van Nguyen has been outstanding since arriving at UCLA in January, registering a perfect 11-0 singles record. She was the only Bruin player to win all four of her matches in Virginia.
Monday's battle at court No. 1 featured two of the top players in America, with eighth-ranked Robin Anderson of UCLA squaring off against seventh-ranked Beatrice Capra of Duke. The two players had an epic encounter in the consolation final at the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships back in November, with Capra taking a 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (6) victory. Anderson got her revenge on Monday, notching a match-clinching 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 victory to give UCLA the 4-0 win.
At 9-0, UCLA is off to its best start since 1998 when the team started 10-0.
The Bruins are at Baylor this Sunday.
#4 UCLA 4, #3 Duke 0
ITA National Team Indoor Championships (Final)
Feb 13, 2012 at Charlottesville, VA (Boars Head Sports Club)
1. #23 Courtney Dolehide/Montez (UCLA) def. Clayton/Goldfield (DUKE) 8-4
2. Capra/Kahan (DUKE) def. #12 Anderson/Morton (UCLA) 8-2
3. Jones/Carling Seguso (UCLA) def. Mar/Annie Mulholland (DUKE) 9-7
UCLA Wins Doubles Point
1. #8 Robin Anderson (UCLA) def. #7 Beatrice Capra (DUKE) 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
2. #38 Hanna Mar (DUKE) vs. #62 McCall Jones (UCLA) 1-6, 7-5, 4-2, unfinished
3. Ester Goldfield (DUKE) vs. #70 Pamela Montez (UCLA) 6-1, 6-7, 4-3, unfinished
4. #118 Rachel Kahan (DUKE) vs. Skylar Morton (UCLA) 3-6, 6-3, 5-5, unfinished
5. Chanelle Van Nguyen (UCLA) def. #66 Mary Clayton (DUKE) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
6. Kaitlin Ray (UCLA) def. #35 Monica Turewicz (DUKE) 7-5, 6-4
UCLA 9-0; National ranking #4
Duke 8-1; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,5,1)