April 19, 2011
Men's Tennis to Host Cal Poly, No. 3 USC: The No. 9 UCLA men's tennis team (15-5; 3-2 Pac-10) closes out the regular season at home this week, hosting Cal Poly (14-3) on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. and third-ranked USC (19-2; 5-0 Pac-10) on Friday at 3:00 p.m. Both matches are free to attend and take place on campus at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Live stats for each match can be accessed by clicking HERE.
Following the Bruins: As always, for a behind-the-scenes look at the UCLA men's tennis program you can follow team manager Barry Goldenberg's blog located at uclatennis.wordpress.com. The men's tennis team also has dedicated Twitter and Facebook pages.
Win Prizes This Friday: Fans in attendance at this Friday's showdown with USC will get the opportunity to win prizes by taking part in both the Bruin Raffle and Bruin Trivia Contest. Both are free to take part in. There will also be free pizza given out on a first come, first served basis so be sure to arrive early. Prizes will be given away during the intermission between singles and doubles.
UCLA vs. USC: Friday marks the second meeting between UCLA and USC this season, as the Trojans registered a 5-2 win over the Bruins on March 2 at USC. UCLA's two points on the afternoon came from seniors Amit Inbar and Holden Seguso, who each notched wins in singles play. Inbar upset 19th-ranked Daniel Nguyen, 6-4, 6-2 at court No. 2, while Seguso was a 6-3, 6-2 winner over JT Sundling at court No. 6. UCLA leads the all-time series between the two schools 69-37.
Looking at the Trojans: With a 19-2 overall record, USC is ranked No. 3 in the latest ITA Rankings released on Tuesday. The Trojans are also 5-0 in Pac-10 play and can win the conference title outright with a win over UCLA this Friday. USC is guaranteed at least a share of the title even if they lose this week. The Trojans have the No. 1 player in the nation in junior Steve Johnson. Other ranked Trojan players include No. 35 Jaak Poldma, No. 38 Daniel Nguyen and No. 54 Raymond Sarmiento.
Bruins Upset No. 6 Pepperdine: UCLA had only one match last week and it ended up being a big win, as the Bruins registered a 4-3 upset over No. 6 Pepperdine at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center in Malibu. The Bruins won the doubles point when Alex Brigham and Adrien Puget outlasted Pepperdine's 33rd-ranked Hugh Clarke and Finn Tearney, 9-8(5) at court No. 1. UCLA was able to follow up that point with three wins in singles play, as Clay Thompson (court No. 3), Adrien Puget (court No. 4) and Holden Seguso (court No. 6) were all victorious. It marked the team's third win over a top 10 opponent this year, following victories over No. 9 Baylor and No. 10 Florida.
UCLA in the ITA Rankings: After upsetting No. 6 Pepperdine last Monday, UCLA made a significant jump in the ITA Team Rankings released on Tuesday, moving up from No. 14 to No. 9. It's the highest UCLA has been ranked since checking in at No. 8 on March 8. Individually, freshman Daniel Kosakowski continues to be the highest ranked Bruin player, coming in at No. 34. The two other UCLA players ranked in singles are No. 85 Amit Inbar and No. 95 Clay Thompson. In doubles, Alex Brigham is currently ranked with two different partners, checking in at No. 47 with Adrien Puget and at No. 76 with Inbar. For an in-depth look at this Tuesday's rankings, click HERE.
Thompson Leading the Way: Freshman Clay Thompson is the first UCLA player in the 20-win club this year, as he takes a 20-7 overall singles record into this Wednesday's match with Cal Poly. He enters the rankings for the first time since March 1 this week, checking in at No. 95. Another freshman, Daniel Kosakowski, is right behind Thompson in wins, taking a 19-11 record into the week.
Pac-10 Championships Just Around the Corner: Following the conclusion of the regular season this Friday, UCLA heads up the 101 Freeway for the 2011 Pac-10 Championships, April 28-30, at Libby Park in downtown Ojai. As usual, the tournament features four Pac-10 draws (Main and Invitational for both singles and doubles). The last Bruin player to win the main singles draw in Ojai was Marcin Matkowski in 2003. The last Bruin team to claim the main draw doubles title at the Pac-10 Championships was the pairing of Mathieu Dehaine and Jeremy Drean in 2006. UCLA's last Invitational singles champion was Chris Surapol in 2006, while Lassi Ketola and Travis Rettenmaier are the most recent Invitational doubles champions (2000). For more information about this year's tournament, please visit www.ojaitourney.org.
NCAA Selections Set for May 3: The 64-team draw for the 2011 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships will be announced live on ncaa.com on Tuesday, May 3 at 2:30 p.m. UCLA will find out that day if it has been selected to host NCAA Regional action the weekend of May 12 & 13. Stanford will serve as the host site for this year's round of 16.