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HONOLULU — No. 1 UCLA (2-0) posted victories over Saint Mary’s (0-2) and Stephen F. Austin (0-2) on Thursday at the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Beach Classic at Queen’s Beach to open the 2023 season. The Bruins defeated the Gaels 5-0 in the first dual at 1:30 p.m. PT and also swept the Ladyjacks, 5-0, in the second dual at 4:00 p.m. PT at Queen’s Beach. With the two victories, UCLA improved to 9-0 all-time against Saint Mary’s and 1-0 against SFA.
In the first dual against the Gaels, the Bruins went 10-1 in sets to complete the sweep. The pairings for UCLA on all five courts for the 2023 opener were completely different than the final match of the 2022 season.
Sophomore Jessie Smith paired with graduate student Abby Van Winkle on court two to put the Bruins up 1-0 with a straight-set win over SMC’s Hannah Couch and Karmin Brown, 21-10, 21-12.
The Bruins went up 2-0 on court five as senior Rileigh Powers and graduate student Haley Hallgren, who made her Bruin debut in the dual, defeated the Gaels’ Angie Bour and Cameron Martinez, 21-9, 21-15.
Senior Lexy Denaburg teamed up with freshman Maggie Boyd (another Bruin debut) on court one to clinch the dual with a straight-set win over SMC’s Haille Garcia and former Bruin Hawley Harrer, 23-21, 21-14.
Junior Tessa Van Winkle and graduate student Jaden Whitmarsh put UCLA up 4-0 after they posted a 21-15, 21-9 win on court four over the Gaels’ Sadie Shipman and Allie Cataldo.
Sophomore Natalie Myszkowski and junior Peri Brennan completed the sweep on court three with a thrilling comeback win over SMC’s Genevieve Bane and Paola Peralta in three sets, 20-22, 21-13, 15-12.
The Bruins swept the Ladyjacks in the second dual, 5-0, with every court and every duo changing except on court five. UCLA was met with little resistance against SFA with the Bruins sweeping all five courts in straight sets including three of the 10 sets with the Ladyjacks being held to single digits.
Tessa Van Winkle and sophomore Sophie Moore got things started with an easy 21-7, 21-6 win on court three over Stephen F. Austin’s…
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