For the first time in two decades, the UCLA Bruins women’s tennis team has an ITA National Player to Watch recipient. Elysia Bolton is more than just an All-American, she has now beat out all of the regional honorees to nab the ITA’s National Player to Watch award during the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s virtual award ceremony this past week.
Presented annually since 1985, the ITA National Player to Watch honors any returning athlete who is expected to have a terrific year the next season. Bolton was selected as the Southwest Regional winner and became the first UCLA tennis player since Sara Walker won the award in 2000.
She beat out players from every other region, including the Southern, Northeast, Central, Midwest, Atlantic, Southeast, Northwest, Texas, Mountain, Ohio Valley and Carolina.
Of course, she preceded this with her ITA Southwest Region Rookie of the Year nominee during the shortened season. She received All-American status for her play and was apart of the nation’s top-ranked doubles team with Jada Hart. The were 18-3 this past season and won the doubles title at the ITA National Fall Championships.
She played on the No. 1 singles court nearly the entire time this past season, recording a record of 6-3 on the main court. She’s also held previous honors such as Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year and All-Pac-12 First Team honors as well.
Bolton reached a career-high ranking of No. 9 in the country during the season and as a rising junior for next year with the ITA National Player to Watch in her pocket, the sky is the limit for this star.