April 15, 2008
No. 6 Bruins to Host No. 10 USC This Friday
The sixth-ranked UCLA women's tennis team (17-5; 6-1 Pac-10) has a chance to make history this week, as the Bruins can earn the school's first-ever Pac-10 Championship with a victory over No. 10 USC (17-6; 5-2) this Friday at 1:30 p.m. USC leads the all-time series 43-36, however the Bruins already own a 6-1 win over the Women of Troy earlier this season in a non-Pac-10 counting match at USC. Live stats for Friday's contest can be accessed by clicking HERE.
The Pac-10 Title Race
Three teams are tied atop the conference standings heading into the final week of the regular season. If UCLA (6-1) beats USC (5-2) this Friday, the Bruins will earn a share of the 2008 Pac-10 Championship with either Stanford (6-1) or Cal (6-1). If UCLA falls to USC, either Stanford or Cal will win the title outright.
NCAA Tournament Bids
If Stanford and UCLA tie for the Pac-10 title, the Cardinal will earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament due to its win over UCLA back on April 5. If UCLA and Cal end up as co-champions, the Bruins will earn the automatic bid since they beat the Golden Bears, 4-3 on April 4. All three teams are going to receive high seeds in the NCAA Tournament regardless, so the automatic bid isn't as important in the Pac-10 as it is in other conferences.
Pac-10 Championship History
Stanford has won 20 of 21 Pac-10 titles since the conference began naming champions in 1987. The Cardinal has also won the title outright every year since the Pac-10 Southern and Northern Divisions merged in 1998. UCLA would earn the school's first-ever Pac-10 title with a win on Friday. Cal is looking for its second title after taking the inaugural championship back in 1987.
Gauntlet Points on the Line
UCLA can wrap up the five total Lexus Gauntlet points available in women's tennis with a win over USC on Friday. The Bruins already have 2.5 points from beating the Women of Troy earlier this season. UCLA needs all the points it can get, as USC currently leads the all-sport race 47.5 to 32.5. A total score of 57.5 is required to clinch the trophy. More information about the Lexus Gauntlet can be found at www.gauntlettrophy.com.
Did You Know?
UCLA is seeking its first season sweep over USC since 2000. The Bruins defeated the Women of Troy by scores of 5-4 and 6-3 that year.
Zalameda Named Pac-10 POW
Senior Riza Zalameda defeated a pair of highly-ranked opponents at the No. 1 singles position last week, earning her Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. Zalameda, ranked No. 11 in the country, began the week with a 6-2, 7-6(4) victory over No. 38 Danielle Steinberg of Arizona on Friday. She followed that up with a 6-3, 5-7, (12-10) decision over No. 31 Nadia Abdala of Arizona State on Saturday. Zalameda was equally as impressive in doubles, as she and teammate Tracy Lin, ranked ninth nationally at the time, teamed together for two wins. UCLA won both matches 7-0. It marks the fourth time in her career that Zalameda has been named player of the week.
UCLA Moves Up to No. 6
UCLA is actually tied with Cal at No. 6 in this week's rankings released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association on Tuesday. Riza Zalameda continues to be the Bruins' highest ranked singles player at No. 11. She is followed by No. 32 Tracy Lin, No. 41 Yasmin Schnack, No. 59 Andrea Remynse and No. 88 Elizabeth Lumpkin. In doubles, Zalameda is ranked in the top 20 with two different players (#2 w/Lin, #23 w/Schnack). Lin is also ranked No. 58 with Remynse. New team and individual rankings will be released next week.
ITA Top 25 (Apr. 15)
2. Georgia Tech
13. North Carolina
15. Fresno State
17. Notre Dame
19. Florida State
So Long Seniors
Friday will mark the final regular season home match for four Bruin seniors who have been instrumental in the success of the UCLA program in recent years. Riza Zalameda, Tracy Lin, Alex McGoodwin and Elizabeth Lumpkin will all be honored during the Bruins' match against USC.
NCAA Selection Show
The 2008 NCAA Division I men's and women's tennis selection announcements will air between 2 and 2:30 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, April 29, on ESPNews.
As soon as the regular season ends this week, members of the UCLA women's tennis team will turn their attention to the Pac-10 Championships, April 24-27 in Ojai, Calif. The individual tournament, which features two singles and two doubles draws, typically begins at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club before moving to Libby Park on the weekend. Visit www.ojaitourney.org for more information.
Head Coach Stella Sampras Webster
UCLA head coach Stella Sampras Webster, who recently picked up the 200th victory of her career, is in her 12th season at the helm of the Bruin women's tennis program with an overall record of 203-103. Sampras Webster has guided the Bruins to the NCAA Tournament every year of her career, highlighted by a pair of appearances in the NCAA Final (2004 and 2007). She has also led UCLA to six top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships.