Men's Tennis Hosts NCAA Regional Action This Friday and Saturday
May 8, 2007
Bruins Begin NCAA Tournament Play at Home This Friday
The ninth-seeded UCLA men's tennis team (19-3) opens up NCAA Tournament play this week, as the Bruins have been selected to host a four team regional at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Play begins this Friday with Texas Tech (13-9) taking on Virginia Commonwealth (18-8) at 10:00 a.m. That match will be followed by UCLA vs. UNLV (13-13) at 1:00 p.m. Friday's winners will advance to Saturday's second round at 3:00 p.m. The second round winner will advance to next week's round of 16 in Athens, Ga. Tickets for the NCAA Regionals are $7 for adults and $5 for youth/students.
2. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
6. North Carolina
8. Oklahoma State
13. Wake Forest
16. Florida State
Did You Know?
With a win over UNLV on Friday, the Bruins will have posted their ninth-consecutive 20-win season, and 13th in Billy Martin's 14 years as head coach.
Against the NCAA Field
Due to its proximity, UNLV is the only school of the four regional teams that UCLA has faced more than once. The Bruins own a 13-0 record against the Rebels, having last beaten them back in 2005. That same season, UCLA defeated Virginia Commonwealth, 7-0 in the only meeting between the two teams. UCLA has never faced Texas Tech. The Bruins are 7-3 this season against the field of 64.
Last Years Team Championships
UCLA entered last year's NCAA Tournament as the defending champion, having capturing the title with a 4-3 victory over Baylor in 2005. The 10th-seeded Bruins breezed through regional play a year ago, shutting out Stony Brook and Colorado in the first and second rounds respectively. Those two wins advanced the Bruins to the round of 16 in Stanford, Calif. where they upset eighth-seeded Illinois, 4-2. UCLA's tournament came to an end in the quarterfinals, however, as the Bruins suffered a 4-1 loss to eventual NCAA Champion Pepperdine.
Four Bruins Selected for NCAA Individual Tournament
UCLA recently had three singles players and one doubles team selected to represent UCLA in the individual portion of the NCAA Tournament, taking place following the team competition. Chosen for singles play were fourth-seeded Benjamin Kohlloeffel, Haythem Abid and Chris Surapol. Philipp Gruendler and Kohlloeffel will be representing UCLA in the doubles draw. Kohlloeffel is the defending NCAA singles champion, defeating Virginia's Somdev Devvarman, 6-1, 6-4 in last year's final.
UCLA's NCAA Team History
UCLA ranks second in all-time NCAA team titles with 16 (Stanford leads the nation with 17). The Bruins' last NCAA title came just two years ago, as UCLA ended a 21-year drought by capturing its first championship since 1984. UCLA also claimed team titles in 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1960, 1961, 1965, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1982 and 1984. UCLA is the only school to compete in every NCAA Championship since the team format was adopted in 1977.
Undefeated at Home
UCLA takes a 13-0 record in home matches at the Los Angeles Tennis Center into this week's NCAA Regionals. All three of the Bruins' losses have come either on the road or at a neutral site. If UCLA can win two matches this weekend, the Bruins will record their first undefeated season at home since finishing 18-0 in 2005.
UCLA Claims Fourth-Straight Pac-10 Title
UCLA clinched its fourth-straight Pac-10 title on April 21, defeating No. 9 USC, 4-3 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. With both teams entering the match with perfect 6-0 records in league play, the winner was awarded this year's title outright. With the match tied at 3-3, Benjamin Kohlloeffel clinched the victory for UCLA with his 6-4, 6-4 win over Jamil Al-Agba. It marked the first time that UCLA has went undefeated in the conference since 1996. The win also avenged a 6-1 loss to the Trojans earlier in the season in a non-Pac-10 counting match. UCLA, which became the first school to win four-straight Pac-10 titles since the north and south divisions were combined in 1998, is the first outright champion since 2003.
UCLA in the National Rankings
UCLA checked in at No. 9 in the final Fila/ITA National Team Rankings of the regular season released on April 30. The Bruins have been ranked as high as No. 3 this season (Feb. 6). UCLA currently has three players ranked in singles play, as Benjamin Kohlloeffel checks in at No. 4, followed by No. 28 Haythem Abid and No. 47 Chris Surapol. Kohlloeffel and partner Philipp Gruendler are ranked No. 14 nationally in doubles.
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. The second-seeded UCLA women's water polo team has the next shot, as they begin NCAA Tournament play this Friday in Los Alamitos, Calif.
Head Coach Billy Martin
Head coach Billy Martin takes an overall record of 319-62 (.837) into the NCAA Tournament. Martin, who is in his 14th season at the helm of the UCLA program, is coming off his eighth-consecutive 20-win season. 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.