June 4, 2007
NCAA Tournament Wrap
Seeded No. 12 to start the tournament, UCLA advanced all the way to the NCAA Finals in 2007, ending top-seeded Stanford's national championship hopes along the way. The Bruins began NCAA play by hosting a four-team regional at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. After handily downing Quinnipiac, 4-0 in the first round, the Bruins had a little bit tougher time with No. 17 Florida State in the second round, clawing out a 4-2 decision. Once in Athens, the Bruins began their string of upsets with a 4-0 round of 16 thrashing over No. 5 Northwestern, a team that beat UCLA, 5-2 at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors in February. That victory set up a quarterfinal meeting with No. 4 Florida. After taking a 3-0 lead, the Bruins saw the Gators win the next three matches to tie it at 3-3. Senior Alex McGoodwin took control from there, clinching a 4-3 victory for UCLA with a 6-4, 7-6 decision against Florida's Csilla Borsanyi at the No. 5 position. That win was especially sweet for the Bruins, as Florida posted a 4-3 win over UCLA in the round of 16 at last year's NCAA Championships. UCLA had a familiar opponent in the semifinals, as top-seeded Stanford had already notched a pair of 4-3 victories over the Bruins during the regular season. In fact, the Cardinal had won the last 20 meetings between the two teams. UCLA knew it had a shot if it could win the doubles point, and the Bruins did just that, taking a 1-0 advantage into singles play with wins at the top two courts. Once singles play began, UCLA fell at the No. 1 spot, but quickly picked up two wins at courts Nos. 2 and 3 to take a 3-1 lead. Stanford cut the lead to 3-2 with a win at court No. 5, but sophomore Ashley Joelson made sure it didn't get any closer than that, defeating Whitney Deason, 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-3 at court No. 4 to give UCLA a 4-2 win and its first victory in the series since 1998. The Bruins' dramatic NCAA Tournament run came to an end in the final, as third-seeded Georgia Tech captured the school's first NCAA Championship with a 4-2 victory.
UCLA had one singles player and two doubles teams listed on the All-Tournament Team. Freshman Yasmin Schnack earned all-tournament honors at the No. 3 singles position. The freshman from Sacramento, Calif. went 5-0 during the tournament (her match against Quinnipiac was suspended). She also posted clinching victories in wins over No. 17 Florida State (second round) and No. 5 Northwestern (round of 16). Schnack and Riza Zalameda were named to the all-tournament team at the No. 1 doubles position. They went 4-2 in tournament matches, posting a big upset over third-ranked Whitney McCray/Kristi Miller of Georgia Tech in the final. Lastly, Ashley Joelson and Alex McGoodwin were named all-tournament at No. 2 doubles, going a perfect 4-0 during the Bruins' run to the final.
Lin Rolls in NCAA Individuals
Tracy Lin turned in the best individual performance of any Bruin player at the NCAA Championships, advancing all the way to the quarterfinals of the singles draw. Unseeded in the 64-team tournament, Lin began the tournament with a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory over South Carolina's Gira Schofield in the opening round. She followed that up with a huge upset in the second round, knocking out eighth-seeded Megan Moulton-Levy of William & Mary, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. Suddenly in the round of 16, Lin managed to register yet another win, this time over Florida's Csilla Borsanyi, 6-4, 7-6(3). Lin's run was ended in the quarterfinals, however, as 2005 NCAA Champion Zuzana Zemenova of Baylor posted 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-2 decision over the Bruin junior. Both Yasmin Schnack and Riza Zalameda were beaten in the first round of singles play, however combined to win a match in doubles to advance to the round of 16.
UCLA had three players earn All-America honors in 2007. Riza Zalameda was named a singles and doubles All-American for the third time in her career. She was named a singles All-American by finishing the season ranked No. 18 in the Final Fila/ITA Rankings (players in the top 20 are named All-Americans). She also earned All-America honors in doubles with partner Yasmin Schnack, as the duo finished the season ranked No. 7 nationally (teams ranked in the top 10 are All-Americans). Tracy Lin also picked up the first All-America honor of her career this past season, as the junior from Anaheim, Calif. advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA singles draw (players who reach the round of 16 are named All-Americans).
Lumpkin, Brown Honored by the ITA
UCLA's Elizabeth Lumpkin and Rance Brown each won awards from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in 2007. Lumpkin won the West Region's ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship. The award goes to a women's player who displays inspiring dedication and commitment to her team, which has enhanced her team's performance and exemplified the spirit of college tennis. Brown was named the West Region's ITA Assistant Coach of the Year. It marks the second time in his career that he has won the award, as he took home the honors in 2000 as well.
UCLA in the Final ITA Rankings
As a team, UCLA finished at No. 3 in the Final ITA Rankings published on June 1. It marks the Bruins' highest year-end ranking since also checking in at No. 3 back in 1991. Individually, UCLA had five players ranked in singles, led by Riza Zalameda at No. 18. She is followed by Tracy Lin (#27), Yasmin Schnack (#41), Ashley Joelson (#112) and Elizabeth Lumpkin (#121). All three of UCLA's doubles teams ended the season ranked, headlined by Schnack and Zalameda at No. 7. Joelson and Alex McGoodwin (#32), and Lumpkin and Stephanie Wetmore (#39) also made the list. Complete Final ITA Rankings
UCLA had five players win 20 or more singles matches in 2006-07. Leading the group was freshman Yasmin Schnack, who posted a team-best 27 wins in just her first season of college tennis. She ended the year with an overall record of 27-13. Junior Elizabeth Lumpkin (24-12), Alex McGoodwin (23-11) and Anna-Viktoria Lind (23-8) weren't far behind. The Bruins' last 20-match winner was Ashley Joelson, who finished the season 20-16 overall.
UCLA's Yasmin Schnack and Riza Zalameda captured the doubles title at the 2007 Pac-10 Championships, becoming the first Bruin duo to win the event since Mariko Fritz-Krockow and Sara Walker did it in 2001. Schnack and Zalameda turned in one of the most dominating final's performances in the history of the event, defeating Stanford's Lindsay Burdette/Anne Yelsey, 6-1, 6-0.
The Bruins had three players named to All-Pac-10 Conference teams, as Riza Zalameda, Tracy Lin and Yasmin Schnack were all honored by the league. It marked the first time that Zalameda was named to the first team after being a second-team selection in 2005 and 2006. It was Lin's second All-Pac-10 honor, as she was an honorable mention selection a year ago. It was the first such honor for Schnack, who is in her first season at UCLA.
In the Classroom
UCLA had five players earn All-Pac-10 Academic honors recently. Headlining the group were first-team selections Alex McGoodwin, Tracy Lin and Elizabeth Lumpkin. McGoodwin, a senior from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., owns the second highest cumulative grade point average in the conference at 3.91. She is majoring in Geography and Environmental Studies, and was recently named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District-VIII team, meaning she is now eligible for Academic All-America honors. It marks McGoodwin's third straight selection to the first team (players are not eligible as freshmen). Lin, a junior from Anaheim, Calif., owns a 3.64 GPA and is majoring in Physiological Science. Lumpkin, a junior from Naperville, Ill., carries a 3.79 GPA and is majoring in Political Science. Rounding out the group are second-team selection Riza Zalameda and honorable mention selection Anna-Viktoria Lind.
Looking Ahead to 2007-08
With five returning starters and one of the top newcomers in the nation set to join the team in the fall, UCLA should be one of the favored teams to take home next year's NCAA title. Alex McGoodwin, who played No. 5 singles and No. 2 doubles (w/Ashley Joelson) was the lone senior on this year's team. In other words, six of the seven players who appeared in the NCAA Final will be back next season. Providing the leadership next year should be the Bruin's three seniors - Tracy Lin, Riza Zalameda and Elizabeth Lumpkin. Junior Ashley Joelson and sophomore Yasmin Schnack should also play key roles. UCLA's No. 3 doubles player Stephanie Wetmore, and 20-match winner Anna-Viktoria Lind will also pushing for spots in the singles lineup. In addition, the Bruins' top recruit, Andrea Remynse, will also likely see time in the top-half of the lineup.
Sampras Webster Makes Another Final
Twice in the last four years head coach Stella Sampras Webster has guided the Bruins to the NCAA Final, as UCLA also made an appearance in the championship match back in 2004. This season, the Bruins finished the year with a 21-8 overall record, the first 20-win season of Sampras Webster's career. It also marked the most victories by a Bruin team since 1991 (UCLA won 23 matches that season). UCLA has made the NCAA Tournament in each of Sampras Webster's 11 seasons as head coach. She owns an overall coaching record of 186-98 (.655).