Bruins Down Volunteers, 4-1 in NCAA Round of 16
May 21, 2005
College Station, TX - The seventh-seeded UCLA men's tennis team (24-3) earned its 17th-straight appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals Saturday, downing 10th-seeded Tennessee, 4-1 in a round of 16 showdown at Texas A&M's George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The Bruins will next face second-seeded Virginia (27-2) on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. (CST). The Cavaliers advanced following a 4-0 victory over 15th-seeded Washington.
UCLA and Tennessee (16-9) began the afternoon by battling for the one point awarded for doubles play. The Volunteers actually won the first match when Mark Dietrich and Morgan Wilson posted an 8-6 decision at court No. 2. The Bruins, however, were leading on both remaining courts and managed to even it up when Chris Lam and Luben Pampoulov posted an 8-4 victory at court No. 3. With all eyes focused on court No. 1, 19th-ranked Alberto Francis and Kris Kwinta upset ninth-ranked Ockie Oosthuizen/Ben Rogers, 8-5, giving the Bruins a 1-0 advantage heading into singles play.
UCLA got out to a quick start in singles action by winning the first set on four of six courts. Although play was close at the bottom four positions, the Bruins' top-two singles players turned in a pair of dominating performances to give UCLA a 3-0 advantage in the match. First to finish was Pampoulov at court No. 1, as he lost just two games en route to a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Dietrich. Bruin sophomore Benjamin Kohlloeffel was nearly as dominating at court No. 2, registering a 6-2, 6-1 decision over Bobby Cameron.
Tennessee then got on the board when Wilson recorded a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Lam at court No. 4. The remaining three matches were very close, however UCLA's Philipp Gruendler sealed the victory for the Bruins when he notched a 6-3, 6-4 win over Kaden Hensel at court No. 6.
'The combination of the heat and the humidity was as bad as I can remember in my 23 years of NCAA tennis,' said UCLA head coach Billy Martin. 'Those were some tough, tough conditions. It was tough for all the kids and we were very lucky to get through that.'
The Bruins were leading the two singles matches that were suspended. Kwinta, who had lost the first set 6-0, battled back to win the second set 6-1 and was leading 2-1 in the third at court No. 3. Francis had won the first set 6-2 and was tied at 3-3 in the second set of his match at court No. 4.
UCLA's battle with Virginia on Sunday will mark the second meeting between the two teams this season, as the Cavaliers registered a 4-2 victory over the Bruins at the National Team Indoors back on Feb. 18. The all-time series is tied at 1-1, as UCLA posted a 4-3 victory over Virginia at the Los Angeles Tennis Center back in 2003.