No. 3 Bruins to Host Virginia, No. 18 USC
March 3, 2003
On Tap . . .
The No. 3-ranked UCLA men's tennis team (11-1) returns to the Los Angeles Tennis Center this week to host Virginia and No. 18 USC. Action begins Wednesday when the Bruins host the Cavaliers (9-1) at 1:30 p.m. It will mark the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Virginia features local Southern California players Doug Stewart and Rylan Rizza. On Friday, UCLA opens up Pac-10 play with No. 13 USC at 1:30 p.m. The Trojans enter the week 7-4 overall, having already lost to UCLA, 6-1 back on Jan. 31 at USC. UCLA leads the all-time series, 57-30. Friday's match will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by Fox Sports Net. The match can be seen two days later on Sunday, Mar. 9 at 3:00 p.m. (PST).
Battle for the Lexus Gauntlet . . .
USC currently has a 45-30 advantage in the season-long battle for the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy, awarded to the school with the best showing in all 18 sports that both USC and UCLA sponsor. USC won the inaugural trophy last year. For more info. on the Lexus Gauntlet, visit www.gauntlettrophy.com.
Bruins Check in at No. 3 Nationally . . .
With its loss to Florida at the National Indoors two weeks ago, UCLA fell out of the top spot for the first time this season and currently stands at No. 3 in the nation behind Florida and No. 1 Illinois. Preseason No. 1 UCLA held the top spot for six weeks. New team rankings will be released on Wednesday.
ITA Team Top-251. Illinois2. Florida3. UCLA4. Baylor5. California6. Stanford7. Duke8. Mississippi9. Kentucky10. Washington11. Alabama12. Texas A&M13. Minnesota14. North Carolina15. South Carolina16. Texas17. Auburn18. USC19. VCU20. Ohio State21. South Florida22. Georgia23. LSU24. Vanderbilt25. Wake Forest
Six Bruins Listed in ITA Individual Rankings . . .
Six UCLA players were ranked in either singles or doubles when the new individual rankings were released last week. Leading the group was junior Tobias Clemens who checked in at No. 8 nationally. Other Bruin players ranked in singles included, No. 26 Chris Lam, No. 45 Marcin Matkowski, No. 64 Erfan Djahangiri and No. 87 Lassi Ketola. In doubles, Matkowski and teammate Rodrigo Grilli are ranked No. 16 in the country, while Clemens and Ketola check in at No. 26. New individual rankings will not be released again until Mar. 12.
Bruins Reach Semifinals at USTA/ITA National Team Indoors . . .
UCLA posted a 2-1 record at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors in Louisville, Ky., Feb. 20-22. The top-seeded Bruins started the tournament with a 4-0 victory over San Diego State. UCLA then defeated No. 8 Duke, 4-1 in the quarters to set up a meeting with No. 6 Florida in the semifinals. In that match, the Bruins lost the doubles point for the first time all year. In singles action, UCLA fell behind 3-0 following Gator victories at court Nos. 5 and 6. Bruin senior Rodrigo Grilli was able to cut the lead to 3-1 with his victory at No. 3 singles, however Florida ended up clinching the match at the No. 2 position. Second-seeded Illinois defeated Florida, 4-2 in the final, becoming the only team other than UCLA and Stanford to win it since 1983.
UCLA Home Matches Live Via the Internet . . .
All UCLA home matches can be followed live at UCLA's official athletic website www.uclabruins.com. Fans can access the matches by clicking on the 'Live Stats' link in the Events Calendar on the front page or by going into the men's tennis schedule.
Head Coach Billy Martin . . .
The 1996 ITA National Coach of the Year and UCLA's 1975 NCAA singles champion, Billy Martin, owns a 217-41 record in his 10th season as head coach at UCLA. He has led the Bruins into the NCAA Tournament in each of his nine seasons, guiding the team to six top-4 finishes, including trips to the finals in 1996 and '99. UCLA has also won four Pac-10 titles during his tenure. Inducted into the ITA Tennis Hall of Fame in 1996, Martin's playing career is full of highlights. To this very day he is still regarded as one of the best junior players in the history of the sport. He captured the 1973 and '74 singles titles at the Junior Wimbledon, Junior U.S. Open and Junior Orange Bowl tournaments. Just this past year, Inside Tennis Magazine ran an article that named him 'Junior Player of the Century.'