March 1, 2004
Bruins to Face No. 12 USC, Oregon at Home . . .
After traveling to Texas last weekend, eighth-ranked UCLA (6-4) returns home this week to host a pair of matches at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The action kicks off this Wednesday, as the Bruins host No. 12 USC (5-3) beginning at 1:30 p.m. That match will be the Pac-10 opener for both teams. USC took a 4-3 decison over UCLA back on Jan. 30 at the Marks Tennis Stadium. The Women of Troy lead the all-time series, 37-32. Following Wednesday's USC match, the Bruins will be in action again on Saturday, hosting Oregon (9-3) at Noon. UCLA leads that series 7-0.
Bruins Down Pepperdine, Fall to Texas . . .
UCLA went 1-1 in two matches last week. The Bruins started by posting a 5-2 decision over Pepperdine on Tuesday. UCLA won the doubles point and got singles victories from Feriel Esseghir, Sarah Gregg, Lauren Fisher and Laura Gordon. The Bruins traveled to Texas on Saturday for a key non-conference showdown with the No. 13 Longhorns. Despite taking the doubles point, UCLA couldn't pull out the victory, falling 4-3. Both Sarah Gregg and Lauren Fisher managed singles victories, however Texas pulled out four wins in singles play. Deadlocked at 3-3, the match came down to No. 2 singles, where Katie Ruckert came back to defeat Bruin sophomore Feriel Esseghir, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2. UCLA was without both Daniela Bercek and Alex McGoodwin due to injury.
UCLA in the ITA Rankings . . .
UCLA checks in at No. 8 in the ITA Rankings released on Feb. 24. Stanford is ranked No. 1, followed by Florida, Georgia, Washington and Vanderbilt. Individually, Jackie Carleton is ranked No. 13 in singles, followed by No. 44 Daniela Bercek and No. 74 Alex McGoodwin. Carleton and Lauren Fisher are ranked No. 17 in doubles. New team rankings will be released on Mar. 2 and new individual listings come out on Mar. 9.
ITA Top-25 1. Stanford 2. Florida 3. Georgia 4. Washington 5. Vanderbilt 6. North Carolina 7. Duke 8. UCLA 9. California 10. Northwestern 11. Clemson 12. USC 13. Texas 14. Fresno State 15. Harvard 16. William & Mary 17. Texas A&M 18. Illinois 19. Michigan 20. Notre Dame 21. Kentucky 22. Miami 23. BYU 24. Oregon 25. Arizona State
New Doubles Pairings . . .
Despite having the nation's No. 3-ranked doubles team at the time, head coach Stella Sampras Webster decided to split up Jackie Carleton and Lauren Fisher in order to experiment with some new combinations. Fisher has been playing with Daniela Bercek at the No. 1 position, while Carleton has teamed up with Feriel Esseghir at the No. 2 spot. Both new teams are 3-0 since pairing together. The Bruins have stayed consistent at the No. 3 spot with Laura Gordon and Alex McGoodwin (prior to injury).
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.
Head Coach Stella Sampras Webster . . .
Stella Sampras Webster enters her eighth season as the head coach of the UCLA women's tennis program with a career record of 118-73 (.618). In her first seven seasons at UCLA, Sampras Webster guided the Bruins to six top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including four top-5 showings (1997, 2000 2002 and 2003). In addition, UCLA has reached the NCAA Quarterfinals three out of the last four years (2000, 2002 and 2003). Under her tutelage, the Bruins have finished in the top-10 nationally, six out of seven years. In 2000, Sampras Webster was named the ITA West Region Coach of the Year.