May 9, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 1 ranked and top-seeded UCLA women's tennis team (21-2) opens up NCAA Tournament play at home this weekend, as the Bruins were selected to host a four-team regional, May 11-12, at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. UCLA will take on Eastern Kentucky (18-6) in the first round on Friday at 1:00 p.m. The other first-round match that day features Long Beach State (18-5) and Arkansas (12-13) at 10:00 a.m. Friday's winners will meet in the second round on Saturday at 3:00 p.m., with the winner of that match moving on to the NCAA Round of 16, May 17-22, in Athens, Ga.
Tickets for this week's NCAA Regionals can be purchased upon entrance to the Los Angeles Tennis Center (there are no advanced ticket sales). Prices are $7 for adults and $5 for youth/students. In addition to the women's regional, the fourth-seeded UCLA men's tennis team will also be hosting NCAA action at the LATC this week. The full regional schedule is as follows:
NCAA Tennis Regional Schedule
May 11-13 @ UCLA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
Friday, May 11
Arkansas vs. Long Beach State - 10:00 a.m. (women)
(1) UCLA vs. Eastern Kentucky - 1:00 p.m. (women)
Saturday, May 12
San Diego vs. Fresno State - 9:00 a.m. (men)
(4) UCLA vs. Eastern Kentucky - Noon (men)
Women's Second Round - 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 13
Men's Second Round - 1:00 p.m.
Live stats will be provided for all six matches during the weekend. Click the Live Scoreboard to follow.
In 13 years of NCAA Regional competition, only once has UCLA failed to reach the round of 16 (1999). That season, which was actually the first year of regional play, the Bruins were upset 5-2 in the second round by South Alabama. UCLA takes an overall NCAA Regional record of 25-1 into this Friday's showdown with Eastern Kentucky. If the seeds hold out until the round of 16, UCLA is looking at a possible matchup with 16th seeded Ole Miss on May 17 in Athens, Ga.
UCLA has never been the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championships, although the Bruins have been seeded as high as No. 2 (1994). UCLA is seeking the program's second NCAA title and third overall national championship. The Bruins captured the AIAW title in 1981, just one year before the NCAA began sponsoring women's tennis as an intercollegiate sport. UCLA's first NCAA Championship came four years ago in Tulsa, Okla. when the Bruins beat Cal, 4-0 in the title match.
Regardless of the team's showing in NCAA Regional play, the Bruins will be sending four players to Athens, Ga. for the NCAA Singles & Doubles Championships, May 23-28, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Bruin No. 1 Robin Anderson was the team's lone at-large selection to the NCAA singles draw and is seeded No. 4 behind only Allie Will (Florida), Beatrice Capra (Duke) and Nicole Gibbs (Stanford). Anderson will also be competing in the doubles draw with partner Skylar Morton. The Bruin duo is listed as a 5-8 seed in the draw. Also in the doubles draw will be the Bruin tandem of Courtney Dolehide and Pamela Montez. Complete NCAA selections can be found by clicking HERE.
The ITA recently released its final team, singles and doubles rankings prior to the start of NCAA competition. The rankings were actually calculated on March 30 but just released on Tuesday. As expected, UCLA is ranked No. 1 in the nation. It marks the 10th straight week that UCLA has held the top spot. The Bruins have six players ranked in singles led by Robin Anderson at No. 4. She is followed by Pamela Montez (#73), McCall Jones (#98), Kaitlin Ray (#114), Chanelle Van Nguyen (#119) and Skylar Morton (#124). UCLA's two ranked doubles teams are sixth-ranked Anderson and Morton, followed by ninth-ranked Courtney Dolehide and Montez.