No. 10 UCLA to Host No. 9 USC for Pac-10 Championship
April 17, 2007
Pac-10 Title on the Line This Friday
The Los Angeles Tennis Center plays host to one of the biggest college tennis showdowns in the country this week, as the No. 10 UCLA men's tennis team (18-3; 6-0 Pac-10) hosts No. 9 USC (20-1; 6-0 Pac-10) this Friday at 1:30 p.m. Both teams head into the match with identical 6-0 records Pac-10 play, meaning Friday's winner will win the conference title outright. UCLA is seeking its fourth Pac-10 title in a row, while USC is looking for its first conference championship since 2004 (a year they shared it with UCLA). Points for the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy will also be on the line. UCLA, which already has enough points to win this year's title (57.5), can earn another 2.5 points with a victory. All regular-season matches at the LATC are free to the public. Those unable to attend can follow the live stats by clicking Here
Senior Day and Alumni Reunion Planned
Friday is the last regular season home match for Bruin seniors Benjamin Kohlloeffel, Philipp Gruendler and Chris Surapol. A special ceremony for the three will take place following the match. At the intermission between singles and doubles, UCLA will recognize a number of Bruin alumni who will be on hand to take part in UCLA's first-ever Alumni Reunion. More that 100 former Bruin players are expected to attend.
The Bruin-Trojan Series
UCLA leads the all-time series 63-33. The Bruins have dominated the series in recent years, winning 15 of the 19 meetings since 2000. The Bruins also own a 16-match home winning streak against the Trojans, as USC's last win at the Los Angeles Tennis Center came back in 1991 (5-2).
March 9 - UCLA vs. USC
Friday will mark the second meeting between UCLA and USC this year, as the Trojans took a 6-1 decision over the Bruins back on Mar. 9 at the Marks Tennis Stadium. That match did not count in the Pac-10 standings, as only the second meeting between two teams in a season is considered the league match. USC, with the support of a large, vocal crowd, won the doubles point and then took five of six in singles play. March 9 Recap
Unbeaten at Home
UCLA is 12-0 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center this season, as all three losses have come either on the road or at a neutral site. Although the Bruins will likely play at least two more matches at the LATC after Friday (NCAA Regionals), the Bruins are on the verge of their first undefeated season at home since finishing 18-0 back in 2005.
Kohlloeffel Looking to Avenge Only Loss
Although Benjamin Kohlloeffel wasn't the only Bruin to lose a singles match against USC back on Mar. 9, the Bruin senior is especially motivated for this Friday's showdown, as it marks his chance to avenge his only dual-match loss of the year. Kohlloeffel, who owns a 20-1 record in dual-match play, suffered a 6-4, 7-6(2) setback to 77th-ranked Dejan Cvetkovic. It marked one of Cvetkovic's biggest victories, as Kohlloeffel was ranked No. 3 in the nation at that time.
Kohlloeffel Named Pac-10 POW After Surpassing Career Win Mark
Senior Benjamin Kohlloeffel posted the 120th victory of his career in a dual match against Cal last Saturday, making him the UCLA career leader in singles wins (since career records began being kept in 1990). Kohlloeffel surpassed the 119 career victories set by another German player, Tobias Clemens, from 2001-04. It is the fourth time this season that Kohlloeffel has won the Pac-10's weekly award.
UCLA in the Rankings
For the third week in a row, UCLA remained at No. 10 in the Fila/ITA National Team Rankings. UCLA has been ranked as high as No. 3 this season (Feb. 6). The Bruins also have three players ranked in singles play, as Benjamin Kohlloeffel checks in at No. 4, followed by No. 29 Haythem Abid and No. 48 Chris Surapol. Kohlloeffel and partner Philipp Gruendler are ranked No. 7 nationally in doubles.
Gruendler/Kohlloeffel Streak Ends
UCLA's No. 1 doubles team of Philipp Gruendler and Benjamin Kohlloeffel suffered its first loss of the season against Stanford last week, as the Bruin tandem lost 8-5 to 27th-ranked Matt Bruch/Blake Muller. That loss snapped a 21-match winning streak by the duo. Gruendler and Kohlloeffel, the reigning Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year, rebounded a day later against Cal to improve to 22-1 on the season.
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.