April 17, 2000
LOS ANGELES -- The UCLA men's tennis team (19-3 overall, 6-1 Pac-10) closes out the 2000 dual match season this week with two crucial home matches against the Bay Area schools. On Friday, April 21, UCLA will battle No. 35 California (12-7, 2-5) at 1:30 pm. The following day, the Bruins will have a chance to avenge their two season losses to top-ranked Stanford (20-0, 7-0) when they host the Cardinal at noon.
About the Opponents
The California Golden Bears are 12-7 this season and finished sixth in the Pac-10 under seven-year head coach Peter Wright. The Bears have one player ranked in the ITA singles poll, No. 75 Erik Dmytruk. In doubles, the tandem of Dmytruk and Scott Kintz are ranked No. 22 in the nation. The Bears also welcome the return of junior Adrian Barnes, who returned last week after missing eight matches due to shoulder surgery. Friday's match between Cal and UCLA marks the second time both schools have met this season. On Saturday, April 8, UCLA handed Cal a 6-1 loss in Berkeley. All-time, UCLA owns a 65-6 series advantage over the Bears.
The top-ranked Stanford Cardinal heads to Southern California this week with a perfect 20-0 mark, making them the only undefeated Division I men's tennis team in the nation. This year's Pac-10 Champions, the Cardinal boast three top-20 singles players in No. 3 Alex Kim, No. 12 Geoff Abrams and No. 13 K.J. Hippensteel. Kim, who owns a 16-3 dual match record, dropped two matches this past weekend to No. 83 Alex Osterrieth of Arizona State and Alex Aybar of Arizona. Abrams has won 14 matches in a row and owns a 17-2 dual match record. Hippensteel, who entered the winter ranked No. 1 in the nation, returned to the ITA Rankings after missing nearly three months with a ruptured spleen. Junior Scotty Scott, who is listed at No. 94, rounds out the list of nationally ranked players. In doubles, the team of Kim and Abrams are ranked No. 1 in the nation with a 31-4 overall record. The duo, which won titles at the All-American Championships and National Collegiate Tennis Classic this season, has been ranked No. 1 since December. Also ranked in doubles are the tandem of Hippensteel and David Martin, who are listed at No. 21. Saturday's match between Stanford and UCLA is the last of three meetings this season. On February 27, then-No. 2 Stanford defeated then-No. 7 UCLA 4-3 in the finals of the National Team Indoors, which was held in Louisville, Kentucky. On April 7, the Cardinal edged past UCLA 4-3 in Palo Alto. All-time, UCLA leads the series against Stanford, 43-41.
Bruins Drop a Notch to No. 2
After a three week stint at No. 1, the Bruins dropped a notch to No. 2 in the latest edition of the ITA Rankings, which was released on April 12. In the latest ITA Individual Rankings which were also released on April 12, the Bruins have three players listed: No. 36 Jong-Min Lee, No. 40 Brandon Kramer and No. 87 Jean-Julien Rojer. Rojer, whose record is currently 20-1, has lost only one match this season to Stanford's Scotty Scott at the National Team Indoors in February. The doubles team of Kramer and Lee dropped >from an all-time high No. 4 in the nation to No. 5.
Bruins are Pac-10 Runner-Ups
Last year's Pac-10 co-Champions, UCLA closed out conference play with a 6-1 record to fall just one game shy of the title. Stanford finished Pac-10 play with a perfect 7-0 mark to capture the title for the third straight year, while USC came in at third with a 5-2 record.
UCLA earned two conference wins this past week, defeating Oregon 6-1 last Friday and then sweeping Washington 7-0 the following day. Against Oregon, UCLA swept the doubles competition and picked up singles wins from Brandon Kramer, Jean-Noel Grinda, Julien Rojer, Erfan Djahangiri and Lassi Ketola. Against Washington, UCLA cruised to a 7-0 shutout with Kramer, Rojer, Djahangiri and Ketola each recording straight set singles victories.
UCLA will send individuals to compete in the Pac-10 Individual Conference Championships, held annually in Ojai, California. The tournament begins on Thursday, April 27 and concludes on Sunday, April 30.