March 6, 2007
Cross-Town Rivals Collide This Week
In what is considered one of the best rivalries in college tennis, the sixth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team (9-2) travels to the Marks Tennis Stadium this week to face No. 9 USC (9-0) on Friday at 1:00 p.m. The Bruins have dominated the series in recent years, posting an 18-4 record against the Trojans since 1997. UCLA, which won both meetings last year, leads the all-time series 63-32 (since 1967). UCLA also currently leads the race for the Lexus Gauntlet trophy 47.5-17.5. Live internet scoring for Friday's match can be accessed by going to www.usctrojans.com
UCLA began the week by posting a 6-1 victory over No. 14 Pepperdine at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on Wednesday. The Bruins, who were knocked out of last year's NCAA Tournament by the eventual champion Waves, lost the doubles point but rallied to win all six singles matches. In the featured singles match of the afternoon, UCLA's fifth-ranked Benjamin Kohlloeffel avenged one of his two singles losses on the season, as he downed 15th-ranked Andre Begemann, 6-3, 6-3. The Bruins rounded out the week at the Pacific Coast Doubles Championships in La Jolla, Calif. Haythem Abid and Mathieu Dehaine advanced to the semifinals of the event.
Kohlloeffel Named Pac-10 POW Again
For the third time five weeks, senior Benjamin Kohlloeffel has taken home the Pac-10 Player of the Week award. The senior from Herne, Germany upped his singles record to 19-2 on the season (including 11-0 in dual matches) following his straight-set victory over Pepperdine's 15th-ranked Andre Begemann last Wednesday. Kohlloeffel also teamed with Philipp Gruendler at the No. 1 doubles position, downing 26th-ranked Omar Altmann/Richard Johnson, 8-2. Kohlloeffel and Gruendler are 13-0 overall and 10-0 in dual-match play.
First Computer Team Rankings Released
UCLA went from No. 5 to No. 6 in this week's Fila/ITA team rankings, as it marked the first computer rankings of the season. Up until this point, a poll of voters had determined where teams were ranked on a weekly basis. From this point on, a computer formula that calculates a team's best wins will determine the rankings. Georgia is currently ranked No. 1, followed by No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Virginia, No. 4 Baylor and No. 5 Illinois.
Kohlloeffel Leads Individual Rankings
Individually, Benjamin Kohlloeffel is the highest-ranked Bruin singles player, checking in at No. 4 nationally. He is followed by No. 47 Chris Surapol, No. 48 Haythem Abid and No. 124 Mathieu Dehaine. In doubles, Philipp Gruendler and Kohlloeffel break into the rankings for the first time this season, debuting at No. 7. New team rankings will be released next Tuesday, while individual rankings are not due out again until Mar. 20.
The Pac-10 Standings
Many people wonder why UCLA has a 0-0 mark in Pac-10 play despite having already faced Stanford and Cal. The reason is that only the second meeting between Pac-10 teams in a season is the one that counts in the conference standings. The two exceptions for UCLA are Washington and Oregon, two teams that the Bruins face only once a year. So although the Bruins are scheduled to take on USC this week, and the Arizona schools next week, UCLA's Pac-10 opener won't be until a March 30 meeting with Oregon at the LATC.
Benjamin Kohlloeffel takes an 11-match singles winning streak into this Friday's match with USC. He has not lost since falling to Stanford's Richard Wire in the first round of the Sherwood Collegiate Cup back in early January. He and partner Philipp Gruendler also own the longest winning streak in doubles, as the duo is undefeated this season at 13-0. After capturing the Sherwood Collegiate Cup, they have went on to go 10-0 in dual-match play.
Undefeated at Home
UCLA is 7-0 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center this season. In fact, the Bruins own a 12-match winning streak at the LATC dating back to last season. UCLA's last home loss was a 4-3 decision against Baylor back on March 11, 2006. If the Bruins can remain undefeated at home, it will be the second time in three years that this has occurred, as UCLA was 18-0 at the LATC back in 2005.
Closing in on NCAA Title #100
With 99 NCAA team titles, the UCLA Athletic Program is on the verge of making history as the first school to reach No. 100. After a couple of close misses by the women's soccer and volleyball teams in the fall, UCLA is still looking to reach the century mark.
Head Coach Billy Martin
Head coach Billy Martin takes an overall record of 300-59 (.836) into his 14th season at the helm of the UCLA program. Martin is coming off his eighth-consecutive 20-win season, as the 2006 Bruins ended the year with a 20-6 overall record. He has never had a team finish out of the top 5 at the NCAA Championships. Martin was promoted from assistant coach to head coach following the retirement of Glenn Bassett at the conclusion of the 1993 season. Martin, a former NCAA singles champion (1975), led UCLA to the NCAA title in 2005, marking the Bruins' first championship since 1984.