May 9, 2005
NCAA Regionals Begin This Friday . . .
The No. 10-seeded UCLA women's tennis team has been selected to host a four-team NCAA Regional this week at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Action kicks off this Friday with Washington (14-8) and Long Beach State (15-10) doing battle at 10:00 a.m. That match will be followed by UCLA (15-5) and Illinois State (18-7) at 1:00 p.m. Friday's winners will meet in the second round on Saturday at 3:00 p.m., with the winner of that match advancing to the NCAA Round of 16, May 19-22 in Athens, Ga. Tickets for this week's regionals can be purchased at the gate for $5 (youth/student) and $7 (adult). The complete NCAA Tournament draw can be accessed by clicking HERE.
6. Georgia Tech
13. North Carolina
Another USC Showdown? . . .
For the second year in a row, UCLA and USC are on a collision course for a round of 16 showdown in Athens. After losing to the Women of Troy twice during the regular season, the Bruins posted a 4-2 victory in last year's championships. The two teams split both meetings this season, each winning on its home court. If both teams get through regional play, it will mark the third time in the last four years that they will meet in the round of 16, as UCLA also posted a 4-1 victory in 2002.
Last Year at the Championships . . .
UCLA's run to the NCAA Final last season also began at home at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Bruins hosted a four-team regional, earning a spot in the round of 16 following victories over Long Beach St. and Pepperdine in the first and second rounds respectively. Once in Athens, Ga., UCLA defeated USC, Miami and Clemson to earn a spot in the national championship match for the first time since 1991. In that match, second-seeded Stanford posted a 4-1 victory, ending the Bruins hopes for their first NCAA title.
Bercek Looking to Defend Title . . .
Daniela Bercek and Lauren Fisher claimed last year's NCAA Doubles Championship by defeating Marshall's Jessica Johnson/Ashley Kroh, 6-4, 6-4 in the title match. Although Fisher has since graduated, Bercek is still a serious contender to defend her crown with freshman Riza Zalameda. The duo is seeded fourth in this year's doubles draw. The individual portion of the NCAA Championships kicks off on May 23.
Bruins End Regular Season at No. 12 . . .
UCLA checks in at No. 12 in the final team rankings of the regular season released on May 2. Individually, the Bruins have five players ranked in singles led by No. 11 Daniela Bercek. Following Bercek are No. 26 Riza Zalameda, No. 96 Laura Gordon, No. 102 Alex McGoodwin and No. 111 Tracy Lin. In doubles, Bercek and Zalameda check in at No. 4. New team and individual rankings will not be released again until the conclusion of the NCAA Championships.
Did you Know? . . .
Stanford, UCLA and Florida are the only schools in the country to have at least five singles players listed in the current ITA Rankings. The Cardinal lead the country with seven ranked players, while both UCLA and Florida have five ranked.
Head Coach Stella Sampras Webster . . .
Stella Sampras Webster is in her ninth season as head coach at UCLA, owning an overall record of 148-82 (.643). In her eight seasons in Westwood, the Bruins have finished in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships seven times, including a trip to the finals in 2004. As a player, Sampras Webster was a four-time All-American at UCLA from 1988-91, capturing the NCAA Doubles title (w/Allyson Cooper) as a freshman in 1988.