March 22, 2005
Pac-10 Play Begins This Week . . .
The fifth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team (15-2) opens up Pac-10 Conference play this week, hosting the Arizona schools at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Action kicks off this Friday, with the Bruins hosting 45th-ranked Arizona (7-6) beginning at 1:30 p.m. UCLA posted a 5-2 victory over the Wildcats in a non-conference match back on Mar. 12 in Tucson. On Saturday, UCLA will host Arizona State (6-5) at 1:00 p.m. The Bruins shutout the Sun Devils, 7-0 two weeks ago in Tempe. Live Stats will be available for both matches this weekend.
Last Time Out . . .
An undermanned Virginia Commonwealth University squad visited the Los Angeles Tennis Center last week, suffering a 7-0 loss to the Bruins. The Rams, ranked No. 36 in the country, had only five players available to play, forcing VCU to default the No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles positions. The Bruins went on to win both doubles matches and five of six singles matches in straight sets to claim the shutout, their 10th of the season.
UCLA Checks in at No. 5 This Week . . .
UCLA moved up two spaces to No. 5 in this week's ITA Team Rankings released on Tuesday. New individual rankings were also released and the Bruins are the only school in the country to have two players ranked in the top-10 (#7 Luben Pampoulov and #10 Benjamin Kohlloeffel). Three other Bruins are ranked in singles, including #50 Kris Kwinta, #64 Philipp Gruendler and #74 Alberto Francis. In doubles, Kohlloeffel and Pampoulov are ranked 59th. New team rankings are released every Tuesday. The next individual rankings are due out on April 5.
Kohlloeffel, Kwinta Continue to Roll . . .
Although they both had 12-match winning streaks snapped in the Bruins' loss to USC back on Mar. 1, Benjamin Kohlloeffel and Kris Kwinta have continued their winning ways, as both players have won 15 of their last 16 singles matches. Kohlloeffel, who owns a 32-4 overall record, has won his last three, playing at the No. 1 position in place of injured teammate Luben Pampoulov. His most impressive victory recently came when he defeated 13th-ranked Arnaud Lecloerec of VCU, 6-0, 6-2 in a dual match on Mar. 16. Kwinta, who has also won his last three matches to push his record to 21-6 overall, has been playing right behind Kohlloeffel at the No. 2 position.
Dehaine Steps Up . . .
Freshman Mathieu Dehaine, who had not played a singles match since a loss to Virginia's Darrin Cohen at the National Team Indoors in February, has done well since recently being inserted back into the singles lineup. With Luben Pampoulov out, Dehaine has had a chance to play and has made the most of it, winning all three matches he has played. His overall record is now 18-4.
USC vs. UCLA Likely to Be Big . . .
The race for this year's Pac-10 title could very well come down to UCLA's showdown with USC on April 15, in what will be the final match of the regular season for both teams. Stanford, who checks in at No. 10 in this week's rankings, figures to be the one team that could spoil this scenario. However, if the Bruins and Trojans both survive their trip to the Bay Area the weekend of April 8 and 9, look for the April 15 showdown at the LATC to be one of the biggest home matches in recent memory.
Head Coach Billy Martin . . .
The 1996 ITA National Coach of the Year and UCLA's 1975 NCAA singles champion, Billy Martin, owns a 268-52 (.838) overall record and is currently in his 12th season as head coach at UCLA. In 11 season's, Martin has guided the Bruins to the national title match three times and has never had a team finish out of the top five at the NCAA Championships.
TEAM (March 22) 1. Baylor 2. Illinois 3. Virginia 4. Duke 5. UCLA 6. Mississippi 7. Georgia 8. Florida 9. USC 10. Stanford 11. Oklahoma St. 12. Texas Tech 13. Pepperdine 14. Clemson 15. Mississippi St. 16. LSU 17. Texas A&M 18. Tulane 19. Washington 20. Notre Dame T21. Tennessee T21. Middle Tennessee 23. Texas 24. Harvard 25. Wake Forest