April 18, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The chance for an undefeated conference season and a No. 1 seed in next week's Pac-12 Championships is on the line for the No. 5 UCLA men's tennis team, as the Bruins (20-2; 6-0 Pac-12) head across town this Friday for a colossal matchup with top-ranked USC (25-0; 6-0 Pac-12) at 3:00 p.m. UCLA and USC are the two remaining undefeated teams in Pac-12 play, as both teams head into the showdown with 6-0 records in the league. Live stats for the match can be accessed by going to USC's live scoreboard. Fans are also encouraged to follow UCLA's twitter page @uclatennis.
Friday marks the second meeting between UCLA and USC this season, as the Trojans downed the Bruins, 6-1 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on Feb. 29. UCLA's lone point in that match came from Adrien Puget, who downed Emilio Gomez, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(7) at court No. 4. The Trojans are the three-time defending NCAA Champions.
The winner of this Friday's encounter will lock up the No. 1 seed in the first-ever Pac-12 Team Championships, which run from April 25-28 in Ojai. Either way, the top 2 seeds have a bye to the semifinals and both UCLA and USC will not begin play until Friday, April 27. For more information about the tournament, visit www.ojaitourney.org.
UCLA is coming off of a weekend sweep of No. 12 Cal and No. 11 Stanford. The Bruins were nearly flawless on the weekend, downing Cal, 7-0 before notching a 6-1 win over Stanford. The win over Cal marked UCLA's third win over the Bears this season, as the Bruins posted 4-3 wins at both the ITA National Team Indoors and on the road in Berkeley.
UCLA moved up one spot from No. 6 to No. 5 in this week's national team rankings issued by the ITA. The Bruins trail only USC, Virginia, Ohio State and Georgia. Individually, Nick Meister is at a season-high No. 21 in singles. He is followed by No. 61 Puget, No. 78 Clay Thompson and No. 86 Marcos Giron. UCLA has three doubles teams ranked this week, with Alex Brigham and Puget leading the way at No. 41. Puget is also ranked with Meister at No. 48, while Meister is also ranked with freshman Dennis Novikov at No. 76. Complete rankings can be found by visiting the ITA rankings page.
The UCLA Daily Bruin ran a story on Wednesday that focuses a number of high-level Southern California juniors who have chosen to play close to home and attend UCLA. The article, written by Jason Drantch, can be found by clicking HERE.