UCLA Tennis Players Sweep Pac-10 Weekly Honors
April 23, 2007
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - UCLA senior Benjamin Kohlloeffel and sophomore Ashley Joelson have been named the Pac-10 Men's and Women's Tennis Players of the Week for Apr. 16-Apr. 22, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.
Kohlloeffel, UCLA's career singles wins leader in just three seasons of play, capped off the final Pac-10 dual of his career with the deciding singles point in a 4-3 Bruin win over No. 9 USC that secured UCLA's fourth-straight Pac-10 Championship.
With the Bruins and Trojans each 6-0 in Pac-10 play coming in, the Pac-10 Championship came down to one last match: Kohlloeffel vs. 34th-ranked Jamil Al-Agba at No. 1 singles. Playing in his final regular-season home match on Saturday, Kohlloeffel, ranked No. 4 nationally, defeated Al-Agba, 6-4, 6-4.
Kohlloeffel, the defending NCAA Singles Champion, improved to 21-1 in dual play and 29-3 overall in singles. He also teamed with Philipp Gruendler to defeat the 43rd-ranked doubles team of Dejan Cvetkovic and Gary Sacks, 9-7, at No. 1 doubles. Gruendler and Kohlloeffel are 22-1 overall and ranked seventh.
Behind Kohlloeffel, the Bruins finished their first undefeated Pac-10 season since 1996. They earned the Pac-10's automatic bid into May's NCAA Championships. 10th-ranked UCLA (19-3) heads next to the Pac-10 Championships in Ojai, Calif. from Apr. 26-29.
In his three seasons, Kohlloeffel has amassed a singles record of 121-15.
This is Kohlloeffel's seventh Pac-10 Player of the Week honor as a singles player and fifth this season. He has also won once as a doubles team with Gruendler. It is the eighth weekly honor for UCLA.
Joelson, from Austin, Texas, captured the deciding singles match in the Bruins' 4-3 upset win over USC on Saturday, on the road and in a third-set tiebreak no less. Joelson also added the clinching doubles win vs. the Trojans and a singles victory earlier in the week against Pepperdine.
In Saturday's showdown between No. 12 UCLA and No. 8 USC, the critical doubles was secured by Joelson and partner Alex McGoodwin at the No. 2 spot, where they defeated USC's DeVera and Fink, 8-5. After the Bruins advanced to a 3-1 lead, USC rallied back to tie the match with Joelson's dual at No. 4 singles the last match on-court. Joelson, ranked 107th, had lost the first set, 6-3, to Dianne Matias, ranked 70th, but turned the tide in the second set, taking it 6-2.
The third set swung back and forth, with Joelson taking an early 3-0 lead, only to have Matias roar back with five straight games to hold a 5-3 edge. Joelson needed to hold serve, and then break back, which she did to even things at 5-5. Both players held again to reach the tiebreaker. In the breaker, Joelson came through, 7-2, finishing with a winning volley that gave the match to UCLA and earned them a tie for second in the Conference.
Things were less stressful but no less successful for Joelson last Wednesday, when she defeated Pepperdine's Caroline Raba, 6-1, 6-4 in the fourth singles slot as part of UCLA's 6-1 win over the 19th-ranked Waves.
UCLA (6-2 Pac-10, 15-7) tied the Trojans for second in the Pac-10. Up next is the Pac-10 Championships from Apr. 26-29 in Ojai, Calif.
This is the first career Player of the Week award for Joelson and the third all-time for UCLA.