No. 8 Men's Tennis Team to Host San Diego, Boise State This Week
Feb. 5, 2008
No. 8 Bruins Return Home to Play Two
Coming off a very successful weekend in the Bay Area, the eighth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team (3-0) heads home this week to host two matches at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. First up for the Bruins is a showdown with San Diego (1-1) on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. The Bruins have never lost to the Toreros, taking a 23-0 record into the match. UCLA will be in action again on Friday, taking on Boise State (5-1) at 1:30 p.m. The Bruins lead that series 3-1 overall.
UCLA Begins the Year 3-0
After having two matches postponed due to the weather, UCLA finally kicked off its 2008 season last week, defeating No. 16 Pepperdine, Stanford and Cal to quickly begin the season with a 3-0 record. The Bruins dropped the doubles point in two of the three matches, but eventually battled back in singles play to pull off the wins. UCLA has won all three matches by the same 5-2 score.
Srugo Steps It Up
Harel Srugo, a transfer from Old Dominion, picked up a huge win in just his first dual match as a Bruin last week. Playing at the No. 1 singles position, Srugo, from Kibbutz Gazit, Israel, cliched UCLA's 5-2 win over No. 16 Pepperdine with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over No. 22 Andre Begemann. With the Bruins leading 3-2, Srugo's victory was extremely crucial, as Mathieu Dehaine was in a third set with No. 13 Bassam Beidas at court No. 2. Dehaine ended up winning the match in three sets.
Freshmen Playing a Big Role
Bruin freshmen Holden Seguso and Nick Meister have played a big part in the Bruins' successful start to the season. Seguso, from Bradenton, Fla., owns a 2-1 singles record, posting straight-set wins over No. 73 James Lemke (Pepperdine) and Eoin Heavey (Cal). Seguso has played at both the Nos. 2 and 3 positions. Meister, the Bruins' No. 6 singles player from Trabuco Canyon, Calif., is also 2-1 in dual-match play, registering straight-set wins over Brian Brogan (Pepperdine) and Greg Hirshman (Stanford). His lone loss came as the result of a retirement in the third set against Cal's Pedro Zerbini.
UCLA's 3-0 start is even more impressive when you consider that its likely No. 1 player, Haythem Abid, hasn't played in any of the matches due to a wrist injury. Abid, a junior from Tunis, Tunisia, had wrist surgery in the fall and will likely not return until sometime in March. He posted a 24-5 overall singles record last season and was ranked No. 32 nationally.
UCLA in the ITA Rankings
UCLA checks in at No. 8 in the latest ITA Rankings released on Feb. 5. Individually, senior Mathieu Dehaine is ranked No. 32 in singles. He is followed by Haythem Abid at No. 38. Individual rankings are not due out again until Feb. 20.
ITA Team Rankings (Feb. 5)
3. Ohio State
9. Notre Dame
11. Wake Forest
14. Florida State
15. North Carolina
17. Louisiana State
20. Oklahoma State
22. Texas A&M
Bruins Looking for Fifth Straight Pac-10 Championship
UCLA has won the last four Pac-10 titles and is looking for its fifth in a row in 2008. After earning co-championship honors from 2004-06, the Bruins won the title outright last year by defeating USC, 4-3 in the final match of the regular season. Unfortunately UCLA's two wins over Stanford and Cal last week do not count in the Pac-10 standings, as only the second meeting between two conference teams in a season counts towards league play. The two exceptions for UCLA are matches against Washington and Oregon, as the Bruins only meet those teams once every year. UCLA kicks off Pac-10 play at Washington on March 28.
USTA/ITA National Team Indoors Just Around the Corner
UCLA gets to see where it stacks up on the national scene next week, as the Bruins are one of 16 teams competing in the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors in Seattle, Wash. The event, which is run much like the season-ending NCAA Championships, will be hosted at the University of Washington's Nordstrom Tennis Center. The Bruins have enjoyed past success at the Indoors, winning seven titles in the 33-year history of the event.
Fans unable to attend any match at the Los Angeles Tennis Center can follow the action live at UCLA's official website. The live stats can be accessed either by going to the men's tennis schedule or by clicking on the 'Live Stats' icon located on the main men's tennis page. Or by clicking HERE
Kwinta On Court
Tennis fans attending UCLA matches for the first time this season will recognize a familiar face on the Los Angeles Tennis Center courts, as former Bruin Kris Kwinta is head coach Billy Martin's lead assistant following the departure of Jason Sher. Kwinta, who lettered at UCLA from 2004-05, earned All-America honors in 2004. He followed that up with another successful season in 2005, as he won the clinching match in UCLA's 4-3 victory over Baylor in the NCAA Final.
Martin Begins 15th Season
UCLA head coach Billy Martin is in his 15th season at the helm of the Bruin tennis program. Martin, the only person in NCAA history to capture team titles as both a player and a coach, owns a 325-63 overall coaching record. In his 14 seasons, Martin has never had a team finish out of the top 5 at the NCAA Championships. He led UCLA to the school's 16th NCAA Championship in men's tennis back in 2005.