February 23, 1999
This Week - UCLA Returns Home To Host Rice
UCLA returns home to host Rice University on Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The match begins at Noon and admission is FREE. A twice rained out match with UC Irvine that was tentatively scheduled to be played this Thursday, Feb. 25 has been cancelled indefinitely.
About This Week's Opponent - Rice
Rice University is listed No. 49 in the fall edition of the national rankings and owns a 6-3 record entering the week, but play at USC on Thursday, Feb. 26 before coming to UCLA. The Owls have one singles player and one doubles team listed in the latest edition of the national rankings. Anchoring the lineup from the top is No. 17 ranked Ele Ustundag, a senior lefthander from Istanbul, Turkey. Ustundag enters the week with a 22-5 singles record, including a 6-2 mark in dual matches. He teams with Shane Stone to form the Owl's top doubles team, which ranks No. 18 in the nation and owns a 5-2 dual record. This is UCLA's first series meeting with Rice since records began in 1967.
Last Week - Bruins Claim National Indoor Title
UCLA won its sixth USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships over the weekend by registering four victories in the prestigious tournament hosted by the University of Washington. The Bruins also tuned up for the tournament with a victory at Washington on Tuesday. The Bruins opened the tournament with a 5-2 win over SMU, then survived a long battle with Washington to win 4-3. In the semifinals it was Duke who fell victim 4-2, then UCLA defeated Illinois 4-1 to claim the title.
UCLA Player Notables - Match Clinchers & First Losses
UCLA's lone senior Jason Cook played the hero in the marathon match against Washington as he rallied back to defeat Marius Lunde 0-6, 7-6, 7-6 in the NO. 3 slot. In his first singles match since Jan. 30, Jong-Min Lee sealed the semifinal win with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 victory over Porter Jones of Duke in the No. 5 position. Jean-Noel Grinda clinched the championship match with a 7-4 victory in the third-set tiebreaker to win the match 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 over Illinois' No. 44 ranked Oliver Freelove in the top-slot.
Two Bruins had their perfect singles dual match records blemished in the same match at the National Indoor. Sophomore Chris Sands and junior Marcin Rozpedski each fell in three sets in the four-plus hour marathon match with Washington on Feb. 19. Sands is now 10-1 in dual matches, while Rozpedski stands 5-1. The Bruins No. 2 doubles team of senior Jason Cook and junior Brandon Kramer also suffered its first dual match loss over the weekend, falling to Duke. The duo is now 11-1 in duals ad 13-2 overall.
New Individual Rankings Out
The First ITA National individual rankings of 1999 were released on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Two UCLA individuals are listed in singles, as Jean-Noel Grinda reemerged at No. 14, but Zack Fleishman dropped into a tie for No. 100. The Bruins doubles tandem of Jason Cook and Brandon Kramer made their first appearance at No. 9 in the nation.
Next Up - Bruins Play At Cross-town Rival USC
The Bruins travel across town for their second match of the season against cross-town rival USC on Wednesday, March 3. The match will be played at the Marks Tennis Stadium on the USC campus.
UCLA MTN Quick Facts
Current Team Rank: Tie No. 5 - Fall (12/8)
Team's Dual Match Record: 11-1
Pac-10 Record: 2-1
Head Coach: Billy Martin (6th season)
Current Career Dual-match Record: 121-26
Last Year's Record: 17-8 overall, 5-2 Pac-10
Final Team Ranking: Nation - 7
Bruins' Last Lineup w/Records Pos Name Dual Overall 1S Jean-Noel Grinda 9-3 16-4 2S Zack Fleishman 6-5 12-10 3S Jason Cook 9-3 10-4 4S Brandon Kramer 9-1 19-6 5S Jong-Min Lee 4-2 10-5 6S Chris Sands 10-1 17-5 7S Marcin Rozpedski 5-1 5-1 8S Noah Newman 1-0 7-4 1D Grinda / Lee 8-2 8-3 2D Cook / Kramer 11-1 13-2 3D Rozpedski / Sands 4-2 4-2