March 6, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The top-ranked UCLA women's tennis team opens up Pac-12 play this week, as the Bruins host Washington State this Friday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center beginning at 1:30 p.m. It marks the first of 10 total Pac-12 matches in the next two months for UCLA, which is seeking its first conference title since 2008. There is no charge for admission to Friday's match. Fans can also follow the contest online by visiting UCLA's Live Stat Page.
The Cougars head to Los Angeles with a 9-2 overall record and are coming off a 7-0 victory over BYU on Feb. 24 in Pullman, Wash. Liudmila Vasilieva is the lone ranked singles player for Washington State, checking in at No. 72 in the latest ITA rankings.
UCLA, which at 12-0 is off to its best start since 1990, heads into the week on the heels of a dramatic 4-3 victory over second-ranked USC last Friday at the Trojans' Marks Tennis Stadium. With the dual match tied at 3-3, Bruin freshman Chanelle Van Nguyen rallied from a set down to defeat USC freshman Gabrielle DeSimone, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 5 singles position to clinch the win for UCLA. With the victory, Van Nguyen improved to 15-1 overall, upping her dual-match record to 12-0. She is the only player on the team to post a victory in every dual match this season. The Bruins also had singles wins from Robin Anderson at court No. 1 and Kaitlin Ray at court No. 6. UCLA won the doubles point for the 11th time in 12 matches this season. It marked UCLA's sixth-straight win in the series with USC. The result of the match did not count in the Pac-12 standings, as the designated league matchup between the two teams is slated for April 20 at UCLA.
New ITA team rankings were released on Tuesday and the Bruins' retained the No. 1 spot for the second week in a row. Defending NCAA Champion Florida is ranked second nationally, while Duke, USC and Stanford round out the top 5. Individual rankings will not be released again until March 13. Anderson is the highest ranked singles player on the team at No. 5. She is followed by Courtney Dolehide (No. 70), Pamela Montez (No. 74), Ray (No. 80), Van Nguyen (No. 94), McCall Jones (No. 104) and Skylar Morton (No. 107). No other school in the country currently has seven players ranked in singles. The Bruins' two ranked doubles teams are Anderson and Morton at No. 14 followed by Dolehide and Montez at No. 15. The Feb. 28 individual rankings can be found here: Singles | Doubles.
Following its showdown with Washington State, UCLA will have two days off before playing its final non-conference match of the year on Monday, as Pepperdine visits the Los Angeles Tennis Center at 1:30 p.m. The Bruins will then have a 10-day layoff for final exams and spring break before facing Colorado in Boulder on March 23.