April 25, 2012
LOS ANGELES - With the regular season now complete and the NCAA Tournament still three weeks away, members of the top-ranked UCLA women's tennis team will try to claim some individual titles this week, as several Bruin players are taking part in the Pac-12 Championships from April 26-29 in Ojai, Calif. A total of four Pac-12 draws will be contested in Ojai, as the tournament features Championship and Invitational draws for both singles and doubles. The women's event will be played at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club on Thursday and Friday before moving over to Libbey Park on Saturday and Sunday. With no live stats available, fans are encouraged to follow the team's twitter page: @uclawtennis.
UCLA freshman Robin Anderson is one of the favorites for a title in Ojai, as she is seeded No. 2 in the Championship draw behind Stanford's Nicole Gibbs. Anderson opens up play on Thursday against Utah's Callie Craig. Joining Anderson in the main draw are McCall Jones and Pamela Montez. Jones faces the tough task of squaring off against the top-seeded Gibbs in the opening round, while Montez takes on Arizona's Natasha Marks.
Below is a complete schedule of UCLA's opening round matches (times have not yet been posted):
Anderson vs. Craig (Utah)
Montez vs. Marks (Arizona)
Jones vs. Gibbs (Stanford)
Dolehide/Montez vs. Janssens/Schleich (WSU)
Anderson/Van Nguyen vs. Christian/Santamaria (USC)
Jones/Seguso vs. Goransson/Schutting (Cal)
Seguso vs. Dillon (Stanford)
Dolehide vs. DeSimone (USC)
Thomas vs. Castany (Arizona)
Fleming/Thomas vs. Fournier/Koning (WSU)
The Bruins are coming off of a tough end to the regular season last week, falling to No. 4 USC, 6-1 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on April 20. The Bruins, who had beaten the Women of Troy twice earlier in the year, never quite found their rhythm in the match. After losing the doubles point, UCLA managed to only get one singles win when freshman Chanelle Van Nguyen downed Gabrielle DeSimone, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 at court No. 5. It was an unfortunate end to a great regular season for UCLA, which came just short of claiming the school's first conference title since 2008. Instead, USC is guaranteed at least a share of the Pac-12 title and will win it outright if Washington State beats Stanford in a make-up match this Wednesday.
Despite the loss, UCLA still remains No. 1 in this week's ITA rankings released on Tuesday. Florida, Duke, USC and Stanford round out the top 5. Individually, UCLA has six singles players in the ITA Top 125 led by Anderson at No. 4. The five other Bruin players who are ranked are: Jones (No. 93), Montez (No. 98), Chanelle Van Nguyen (No. 106), Skylar Morton (No. 115) and Kaitlin Ray (No. 117). UCLA has two top 10 doubles teams, with Anderson and Morton at No. 7, followed by Dolehide and Montez at No. 9. UCLA is the only school in the country with two top 10 doubles teams.
Ray had her 26-match singles winning streak snapped in UCLA's loss to USC. Ray, who was undefeated in dual-matches heading into the regular-season finale, suffered a 6-3, 7-5 defeat to Valeria Pulido at court No. 6. She had not lost a singles match since falling to Miami's Anna Bartenstein at the Kramer Classic back in October. With 29 singles victories to date, Ray is tied for the team lead in wins with fellow freshman Robin Anderson.
The NCAA selection show for the 2012 Women's Tennis Championships will be on Tuesday, May 1 at 2:00 p.m. (PST). The show, which will reveal the 64-team tournament draw, will air live on NCAA.com. Click HERE for more information.