May 15, 2007
NCAA Round of 16 Begins This Thursday
Sixteen of the best college tennis teams in the country head to Athens, Ga. this week to take part in the NCAA Championships hosted by the University of Georgia. All 16 remaining teams, 13 of which are seeded, won two matches in regional action over the weekend to earn a spot in the round of 16. Ninth-seeded UCLA (21-3) opens up against eighth-seeded Oklahoma State (19-4) on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. (EST). The winner of that match gets either top-seeded Georgia or unseeded Florida in Saturday's quarterfinals.
Bruins vs. Cowboys
UCLA has never lost to Oklahoma State, taking a 3-0 record into Thursday's showdown. The last time these two teams met was during the first round of the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors back in 2005, a 4-2 UCLA victory. Another UCLA win came during the last time the NCAA Championships were held in Athens, as the Bruins took a 4-0 round of 16 decision over the Cowboys back in 2003.
UCLA Against the Round of 16
UCLA owns a 2-3 record this season against the 15 other teams still alive in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins' two wins came over Illinois (4-2 at the Team Indoors) and USC (4-3 on Apr. 21 at UCLA). UCLA's losses have been to Ohio State (4-2 at the Team Indoors), Baylor (4-3 on Feb. 10 in Waco) and USC (6-1 on Mar. 9 at USC).
Bruins Perfect in Regional Play
UCLA opened up this year's NCAA Tournament with a 4-0 victory over UNLV in regional action at the Los Angeles Tennis Center over the weekend. The Bruins easily won the doubles point and then posted three straight-set victories in singles play. Although the outcome was another 4-0 Bruin win, UCLA had a little tougher time with Texas Tech on Saturday. UCLA won the doubles point with victories at court Nos. 1 and 2 (Texas Tech won on court 3) and followed that up with singles wins from Benjamin Kohlloeffel (court 1), Philipp Gruendler (court 3) and Chris Surapol (court 4).
Another 20-Win Season
With its 4-0 win over UNLV in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, UCLA posted its 20th victory of the season, marking the ninth straight year that the Bruins have reached the 20-win mark. It is also the 13th 20-win season in Billy Martin's 14 years as head coach.
UCLA is First to 100
UCLA recently became the first school in the country to win 100 NCAA team championships, as the Bruin women's water polo team defeated top-ranked Stanford, 5-4 in the NCAA Final on Sunday in Los Alamitos, Calif. UCLA has won 70 NCAA championships in men's sports and 30 in women's sports. Sixteen different programs - nine men and seven women - have won at least one NCAA team championship. The UCLA men's tennis team, which has won 16 of those titles, won the school's first-ever NCAA Championship in 1950. Stanford ranks second in all-time NCAA team titles with 93.
UCLA's NCAA Team History
UCLA ranks second in all-time NCAA tennis titles with 16 (Stanford leads the nation with 17). The Bruins' last NCAA title came just two years ago, as UCLA ended a 21-year drought by capturing its first championship since 1984. UCLA has also claimed team titles in 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1960, 1961, 1965, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1982 and 1984. UCLA is the only school to compete in every NCAA Championship since the team format was adopted in 1977.
Last Year's Team Championships
UCLA entered last year's NCAA Tournament as the defending champion, having capturing the title with a win over Baylor in 2005. The 10th-seeded Bruins breezed through regional play a year ago, shutting out Stony Brook and Colorado in the first and second rounds. Those two wins advanced the Bruins to the round of 16 in Stanford, Calif. where they upset eighth-seeded Illinois, 4-2. UCLA's tournament came to an end in the quarterfinals when the Bruins suffered a 4-1 loss to NCAA Champion Pepperdine.
Four Bruins Selected for NCAA Individual Tournament
UCLA recently had three singles players and one doubles team selected for the individual portion of the NCAA Tournament which takes place following the team competition. Chosen for singles play were fourth-seeded Benjamin Kohlloeffel, Haythem Abid and Chris Surapol. Philipp Gruendler and Kohlloeffel will be representing UCLA in the doubles draw. Kohlloeffel is the defending NCAA singles champion, defeating Virginia's Somdev Devvarman, 6-1, 6-4 in last year's final.
Kohlloeffel Looking to Make History
Defending NCAA singles champion Benjamin Kohlloeffel has the chance to do something that no other UCLA player has ever done - defend an NCAA singles title. The senior from Herne, Germany will get that chance, as he has been selected as the No. 4 seed in this year's tournament. None of the nine Bruin singles champions before Kohlloeffel won more than one. The last person to win back-to-back titles at the NCAAs was Georgia's Matias Boeker, who claimed the championship in 2001 and 2002.
Undefeated at Home
UCLA finished a perfect 15-0 in home matches at the Los Angeles Tennis Center this season. It marked the Bruins' first undefeated season at home since finishing 18-0 in 2005. UCLA's home record the last three years is an impressive 43-2.