Jan. 26, 2004
Bruins to Host LMU, Travel to USC This Week . . .
Both No. 11 UCLA and Loyola Marymount will open the 2004 season this Wednesday when the two teams face off at the Los Angeles Tennis Center beginning at 1:30 p.m. UCLA owns a perfect 11-0 record against LMU, defeating the Lions 7-0 last season. Lexus Gauntlet points will be on the line this Friday when UCLA travels across town to take on No. 6 USC at 1:30 p.m. USC leads the all-time series 36-32. Friday's match will not count in the Pac-10 standings.
UNLV Match Rescheduled for Mar. 31 . . .
The Bruins were scheduled to open up the season against UNLV last Friday, however both schools decided to reschedule the match for Mar. 31 at 11:00 a.m.
Bercek, Esseghir Shine at Pac-10 Indoors . . .
Bruin newcomer Daniela Bercek and sophomore Feriel Esseghir both turned in some impressive results at the Pac-10 Indoors two weeks ago in Seattle. In just her first tournament at UCLA, Bercek, unseeded in the 16-player Flight-I singles draw, defeated 35th-ranked Claire Carter (Washington) and No. 2-ranked Raquel Kops-Jones (Cal) en route to the final where she lost to No. 8 Daria Panova (Oregon). Shen then teamed with Sarah Gregg to take the Flight-II doubles championship. Esseghir defeated teammate Lauren Fisher, 7-5, 6-3 in the Flight-III singles final.
Bruin Lineup Among Nation's Best . . .
On paper, this year's Bruin team could be the best group of players in head coach Stella Sampras Webster's tenure. Leading the way will be sophomore All-American Jackie Carleton, who saw significant action at No. 1 singles in 2003. She will be followed by sophomore Feriel Esseghir and freshmen Daniela Bercek and Alex McGoodwin. Junior Lauren Fisher is another player who figures to be in the mix after sitting out last season due to injury. Frontrunners for a spot in the singles lineup include, juniors Sarah Gregg and Anya Loncaric, and sophomore Laura Gordon.
National Team Indoors Begin Next Week . . .
UCLA will be one of 16 teams vying for the title at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors, Feb. 5-8 in Madison, Wis. With a format similar to the season-ending NCAA Championships, the National Team Indoors is an early look at who will be the favorites come May. Other teams scheduled to compete include: BYU, California, Georgia, Harvard, Kentucky, North Carolina, Northwestern, USC, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Washington, William & Mary and host Wisconsin.
UCLA in the ITA Rankings . . .
UCLA picks up where it left off in 2003, checking in at No. 11 in the ITA Rankings released on Jan. 13. Defending NCAA Champion Florida is ranked No. 1. Rounding out the top-5 are Stanford, California, Duke and Georgia. New team rankings will be released on Jan. 27. Individually, Jackie Carleton is ranked No. 17 in singles. In doubles, Carleton and Fisher check in at No. 3. Singles and doubles rankings will not be released again until Feb. 24.
ITA Top-25 (Jan. 13) 1. Florida 2. Stanford 3. California 4. Duke 5. Georgia 6. USC 7. Washington 8. William & Mary 9. North Carolina 10. Tennessee 11. UCLA 12. Vanderbilt 13. Harvard 14. Northwestern 15. Kentucky 16. Clemson 17. VCU 18. South Alabama 19. Arizona State 20. Fresno State 21. Notre Dame 22. Miami (Fla.) 23. Illinois 24. Texas A&M 25. Tulane
UCLA Home Matches Live Via the Internet . . .
All UCLA home matches can be followed live at UCLA's official athletic website www.uclabruins.com. Fans can access the matches by clicking on the "Live Stats" link in the Events Calendar on the front page or by going into the women's tennis schedule. There is also a link on the women's tennis page.