May 16, 2006
UCLA to Face Fourth-Seeded Florida in NCAA Round of 16 . . .
The No. 19-ranked UCLA women's tennis team (15-6) heads to Stanford, Calif. this week for the NCAA Championships hosted by Stanford University. The Bruins will meet fourth-seeded Florida (23-1) in the round of 16 on Thursday, May 18 beginning at 3:00 p.m. The winner of that match will meet either fifth-seeded Baylor or 12th-seeded Vanderbilt on Friday at 6:00 p.m. Live stats for all NCAA Tournament matches will be available at Stanford's NCAA Team Page located HERE
UCLA vs. Florida Series History . . .
UCLA and Florida have faced off a total of 18 times, with the Gators owning an 11-7 advantage in the all-time series. The last time these two teams met was in the quarterfinals of the 2003 USTA/ITA National Team Indoors, a match Florida won 4-3. The last time the Gators and Bruins met during the NCAA Tournament was in 1996 (Florida d. UCLA, 5-1). UCLA's last win over Florida was a 6-0 decision during the 1991 NCAA Semifinals.
Individual NCAA Qualifiers . . .
Four UCLA singles players and one doubles team have earned the right to take part in the NCAA Singles & Doubles Championships, beginning one day after the team competition on May 23. The Bruins' at-large selections to the 64-player singles draw are Laura Gordon, Riza Zalameda, Tracy Lin and Alex McGoodwin. Gordon and Zalameda have also earned at-large acceptance to the 32-team doubles draw. UCLA's last NCAA Singles Champion was Keri Phebus in 1995. Daniela Bercek and Lauren Fisher were the last doubles duo to win an NCAA title, accomplishing the feat in 2004.
The Last Time at Stanford . . .
The last time Stanford hosted the NCAA Championships was back in 2002, and UCLA advanced to the quarterfinals that season. The Bruins defeated cross-town rival USC, 4-1 in the round of 16 before falling to third-seeded Georgia, 4-2.
NCAA Regional Action in Malibu . . .
UCLA advanced to the round of 16 following a pair of victories in NCAA Regional action at Pepperdine on May 12 and 13. The Bruins opened up tournament play with a 4-0 first-round victory over San Diego State. That set up a second-round meeting with 13th-seeded Pepperdine, a team the Bruins lost to 4-3 earlier in the year. UCLA jumped out to a 1-0 lead following doubles play and never looked back, receiving singles wins from Tracy Lin, Ashley Joelson and Elizabeth Lumpkin to pull off the 4-0 upset.
Last Year at the Championships . . .
UCLA was selected as a No. 10 seed in the 2005 NCAA Championships, earning the right to host first and second round action at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. After posting a pair of 4-0 decisions over Illinois State and Washington, the Bruins advanced to the round of 16 in Athens, Ga. Once in Georgia however, UCLA dropped a close 4-3 decision to cross-town rival USC. Individually, Riza Zalameda advanced to the semifinals in the singles draw at the NCAAs, falling to third-seeded Audra Cohen of Northwestern, 6-4, 6-4. In doubles, Daniela Bercek and Zalameda advanced to the quarterfinals as the No. 4 seed.
Bruins Send Men & Women to Stanford . . .
UCLA is one of eight schools sending both men's and women's teams to the round of 16 this week at Stanford. The other schools are: Stanford, Florida, Baylor, Duke, Miami, Notre Dame and North Carolina.
Championship U . . .
The UCLA women's water polo team defeated USC, 9-8 in the NCAA Finals this past Sunday, capturing the 99th NCAA Team Championship for the Bruin athletic program. The women's tennis team has the unique distinction of being the first UCLA team to get a shot at capturing title No. 100. UCLA's 99 titles leads the nation, with Stanford (91) and USC (84) close behind.
UCLA Listed at No. 19 in Fila/ITA Rankings . . .
UCLA checked in at No. 19 in the final Fila/ITA Team Rankings of the regular season released on May 1. Individual rankings were also released, and Laura Gordon is UCLA's highest ranked singles player at No. 21. She is followed by No. 46 Tracy Lin, No. 54 Riza Zalameda, No. 56 Alex McGoodwin and No. 94 Ashley Joelson. In addition, Gordon and Riza Zalameda are ranked No. 12 in doubles, while Lumpkin and McGoodwin check in at No. 47. New team and individual rankings will not be released again until after the NCAA Championships.
Complete May 1 rankings listed HERE.
Joelson Peaking at the Right Time . . .
Freshman Ashley Joelson, UCLA's No. 5 singles player, owns a 10-2 record through the month of April and into May. Her current six-match winning streak began at the Pac-10 Championships in Ojai, where she won four in a row to take the Invitational singles title. During NCAA Regional action this past weekend, Joelson won both her matches in straight sets, winning the clinching match in the Bruins' 4-0 victory over SDSU in the first round. She leads the team in both dual match (16) and overall (31) singles wins.
Gordon vs. Ranked Opponents . . .
As the Bruins' No. 1 singles player, Laura Gordon has faced more ranked opponents (21) than any other player on the team. She takes an 11-10 record into the round of 16, owning wins over two top-10 players. She defeated Stanford's fourth-ranked Alice Barnes and 10th-ranked Theresa Logar at the Freeman Memorial Championships in Las Vegas back in January.
Three Bruins Earn All-Pac-10 Acclaim . . .
Senior Laura Gordon was named a first-team All-Pac-10 selection last week, headlining a group of three Bruins who were honored by the conference with postseason awards. Sophomores Riza Zalameda (second team) and Tracy Lin (honorable mention) were also honored. It marked the first-ever All-Pac-10 awards for Gordon and Lin. Zalameda was also a second-team selection last year. Player of the Year honors went to Cal's Zsuzsanna Fodor, Freshman of the Year went to USC's Amanda Fink, The Doubles Team of the Year was Stanford's Alice Barnes/Anne Yelsey, and the Coach of the Year was Richard Gallien of USC.
Zalameda Hoping for Another Run in NCAA Singles Draw . . .
Riza Zalameda turned in one of the strongest performances ever by a UCLA freshman in last year's NCAA Singles draw, advancing all the way to the semifinals. Unseeded in the 64-player draw, Zalameda upset sixth-seeded Robin Stephenson of Alabama, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the first round. She then posted straight-set victories over North Carolina's Kendall Cline and Texas A&M's Helga Vieira in the next two rounds. Her biggest win of the tournament came in the quarterfinals, where she knocked off second-seeded Julie Coin, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. Zalameda's magical run ended in the semifinals, where she lost to third-seeded Audra Cohen of Northwestern, 6-4, 6-4.
Lumpkin Solidifies No. 6 Spot . . .
After appearing in just 12 dual matches last season, sophomore Elizabeth Lumpkin has been a major contributor to the lineup in 2006. She is 15-3 in dual matches this season, posting a 6-0 mark at the No. 5 spot and a 9-3 mark at the No. 6 position. Lumpkin, who won the clinching match in UCLA's 4-0 second-round victory over Pepperdine last week, owns an overall record of 22-10.
Lin Following in Brother's Footsteps . . .
Sophomore Tracy Lin is the second member of her family to play in the NCAA Tournament, as her brother Eric was a four-year letterman in tennis at UCLA from 1994.97. Eric, a three-time All-American, helped the Bruins to three semifinal appearances, including a trip to the finals in 1996. Tracy is looking to duplicate that success this season, as she takes a 28-11 overall record in the round of 16.
The Doubles Point . . .
UCLA has claimed the doubles point in 15 of 20 matches this season (Note: doubles was not played against Stanford on Feb. 18). The Bruins are 14-1 when winning the point, and just 1-5 when they lose it.
Gordon Honored on Senior Day . . .
Senior Laura Gordon was honored with a short ceremony between singles and doubles in the Bruins' final regular-season home match back on Apr. 21. Gordon arrived at UCLA as a recruited walk-on back in the fall of 2002 and has steadily progressed all the way up to the No. 1 singles and doubles positions this season. She owns an overall singles record of 87-44, including an overall doubles mark of 80-48. She was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team at No. 6 singles back in 2004, helping the Bruins reach the finals that year. She is also the lone remaining player from that team.
2007 Recruits . . .
UCLA will welcome two new members to the squad in 2007, as head coach Stella Sampras Webster signed Yasmin Schnack (Sacramento, Calif.) and Stephanie Wetmore (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) this past November. Schnack is currently rated as the fifth best recruit in the nation according to TennisRecruiting.net. Wetmore is a top-10 player in the girls' 18s division in Canada.
Head Coach Stella Sampras Webster . . .
Stella Sampras Webster is in her 10th season as the head coach of the UCLA women's tennis team. She owns a career record of 165-89 (.650). In her first nine seasons at UCLA, Sampras Webster guided the Bruins to eight top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including five top-5 showings (1997, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004). In 2004, she led UCLA to the NCAA Finals for the first time since 1991. It also marked the first time since 1991 that the Bruins surpassed the 20-win mark, finishing with a 21-8 overall record. This past September, she gave birth to twin girls Sophia and Savannah.
Projected NCAA Lineup . . .