Feb. 22, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Off to its best start in 14 years, the third-ranked UCLA women's tennis team (10-0) hosts one of its biggest matches of the 2012 season this Friday, as No. 5 Cal (6-1) visits the Los Angeles Tennis Center for a 1:30 p.m. showdown. Although the result will not count in the Pac-12 standings, both teams are looking for a victory in order to attain a high seeding in the NCAA Championships in May. Members of the UCLA marketing department will be on hand to pass out free pizza and encourage fans to enter the free Bruin trivia and raffle contests. There is no charge for admission to home regular-season UCLA tennis matches. Live stats will also be available for those who are unable to attend.
UCLA and Cal split both meetings last year, with each team winning on its home courts. The Golden Bears notched a 4-3 win in Berkeley on Feb. 4 before UCLA returned the favor on March 26, posting a 4-3 win in Los Angeles. UCLA leads the all-time series with Cal, 36-28.
UCLA had only one match last week, registering a 4-0 victory over then-No. 5 Baylor on Saturday in Waco, Texas. It marked the Bruins' fourth-straight shutout and seventh in their last eight matches. After defeating seventh-ranked Beatrice Capra of Duke in the National Team Indoor final, freshman Robin Anderson picked up her second top 20 win of the week against the Bears, downing 17th-ranked Diana Nakic, 6-2, 6-2. For her efforts she was named this week's Pac-12 Player of the Week. She was also named the Most Outstanding Player at the National Team Indoors, as the tournament released its all-tournament team last Friday. Also earning spots on the all-tournament team were Kaitlin Ray, Skylar Morton and Chanelle Van Nguyen.
For the first time since Jan. 3, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association released new individual rankings last Thursday. With seven singles players currently ranked in the ITA Top 125, UCLA has more ranked players than any other school in the country. Leading the way is Anderson, who moved up from No. 8 to No. 6 in the latest rankings. The six players following her are: Ray (No. 60), McCall Jones (No. 90), Pamela Montez (No. 98), Van Nguyen (No. 102), Courtney Dolehide (No. 114) and Morton (No. 121). The Bruins' two ranked doubles teams are: Anderson/Morton (No. 12) and Dolehide/Montez (No. 16).
Complete ITA Rankings located here: ITA Rankings Page
Following its victory at the Indoors, the Bruins moved up from No. 4 to No. 3 in the Feb. 16 team rankings. UCLA held that spot in the most recent team rankings released on Tuesday. Stanford is the top-ranked team in the nation followed by No. 2 Florida.
The Bruins are scheduled to play just one more non-conference match before beginning Pac-12 play at home against Washington State on March 9, as UCLA and USC will meet on Thursday, March 1 at the Marks Tennis Stadium on the campus of USC. The Pac-12 counting match between the two teams will not take place until April 20 at the LATC.