April 12, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 6 UCLA men's tennis team (18-2; 4-0 Pac-12) hosts a pair of Bay Area rivals this weekend, as No. 11 Stanford and No. 12 Cal visit the Los Angeles Tennis Center for two crucial Pac-12 contests. Play begins on Friday, as the Bruins are scheduled to take on the Cardinal (14-5; 4-0 Pac-12) at 1:30 p.m. UCLA returns to the court again on Saturday to host Cal (11-7; 4-0 Pac-12) at 1:00 p.m. Admission is free for both matches. Fans who are unable to attend can follow the live stats by clicking HERE.
Attention: With rain in the forecast for Friday, there is a chance that the UCLA-Stanford match could get postponed or possibly re-scheduled for Sunday. In the event of rain, fans are encouraged to go to the team's twitter page (@uclatennis) or call the UCLA sports information office (310-206-7870) for status updates.
UCLA leads the all-time series with Stanford, 59-49. The two teams squared off earlier this season at Stanford, with UCLA winning that non-conference match 6-1. The lopsided victory is largely attributed to Cardinal senior Bradley Klahn, the 2010 NCAA Singles Champion, sitting out the match due to injury. He's back and playing at the No. 1 position again for the Cardinal, meaning that Friday's showdown will likely be much closer. He and teammate Ryan Thacher check in at No. 5 in this week's ITA Doubles Rankings.
The Bruins already own two victories over Cal this season, as UCLA notched a 4-3 win over the Bears in Berkeley on Feb. 3 before earning another 4-3 win in a consolation match at the ITA National Team Indoors on Feb. 19. Both of those contests came down to the very last match, with Nick Meister clinching the win in Berkeley and Clay Thompson winning the decider in Virginia. Although those wins definitely helped UCLA's national ranking, Saturday's match is the one that counts in the Pac-12 standings and the Bruins will need to make it three in row over the Bears for a solid chance at a conference title. UCLA leads the all-time series with Cal, 86-12. Saturday marks UCLA's last regular-season home match and will feature a special senior ceremony for graduating seniors Nick Meister, Jeff Gast and Evan Lee.
UCLA moved down one spot from No. 5 to No. 6 in this week's national team rankings. In the singles rankings, senior Nick Meister is the highest-ranked Bruin at No. 32. He is followed by Clay Thompson (No. 62), Adrien Puget (No. 71) and Marcos Giron (No. 117). Meister and Puget are also ranked No. 46 in doubles. Complete ITA rankings can be found HERE.
UCLA rounds out the regular season next Friday at No. 1 USC. The Trojans are one of just two teams to beat UCLA this season, posting a 6-1 victory at the LATC on Feb. 29. Next Friday's match at USC's Marks Tennis Stadium is scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m.