No. 5 Bruins to Host UC Irvine Before Heading to No. 4 USC
April 15, 2008
2008 Pac-10 Championship to be Decided This Friday at USC
The fifth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team (19-1; 6-0 Pac-10) will be looking to claim its fifth straight conference championship this week, as the Bruins head to No. 4 USC (19-3; 6-0) this Friday at 3:00 p.m. It marks the second year in a row that the Bruins and Trojans enter the final match of the regular season unbeaten in Pac-10 play. UCLA won last year's meeting 4-3 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. USC is looking for its first league title since earning co-champion honors with UCLA back in 2004. Live stats and video can be accessed by clicking HERE. Prior to the USC match, UCLA will host UC Irvine (10-12) on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. That match was originally scheduled for Jan. 23 but had to be rescheduled due to rain.
Trojans Seeking Revenge
UCLA already owns a victory over USC this season, as the Bruins recorded a 5-2 win over the Trojans in a non-Pac-10 match back on March 6 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. In that contest, UCLA won the doubles point and then clinched the match in singles when freshman Nick Meister earned a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Abdullah Magdas at court No. 6. Mathieu Dehaine, Jeremy Drean and Michael Look also took singles wins against USC.
Gauntlet Points on the Line
UCLA can wrap up the five total Lexus Gauntlet points available in men's tennis with a win over USC on Friday. The Bruins already have 2.5 points from beating the Trojans earlier this season. UCLA needs all the points it can get, as USC currently leads the all-sport race 47.5 to 32.5. A total score of 57.5 is required to clinch the trophy.
Srugo Named Pac-10 Player of the Week
UCLA swept both the men's and women's Pac-10 Tennis Player of the Week honors on Monday, as Harel Srugo and Riza Zalameda were each recognized by the conference. Srugo went 2-0 in singles over the weekend, helping the Bruins to wins over Arizona (5-2) and No. 18 Arizona State (4-3). His three-set victory over No. 116 Matt Brooklyn of ASU clinched the match for UCLA. Srugo also defeated No. 74 Claudio Christen of Arizona, 6-4, 6-3. Zalameda defeated two top 40 players in a pair of 7-0 victories over the same two schools.
Did You Know?
With wins over UC Irvine and USC this week, the Bruins will enter the postseason with a 21-1 overall record, marking the first time since 1996 that a UCLA team has entered the postseason with one loss or fewer (the 1996 team was 24-0).
Bruins Check in at No. 5 Nationally
UCLA checks in at No. 5 in the latest ITA Rankings released on Tuesday. Undefeated Virginia maintains the No. 1 spot, followed by Ohio State, Georgia and USC. Individually, Harel Srugo is the Bruins' highest ranked singles player at No. 23. He is followed by No. 27 Mathieu Dehaine and No. 52 Holden Seguso. Freshman Nick Meister and Srugo are ranked No. 45 as a doubles tandem. New team and individual rankings will be released again next Tuesday.
ITA Top 25 (Apr. 15)
2. Ohio State
10. Florida State
11. North Carolina
16. Texas Tech
20. Oklahoma State
21. Arizona State
23. Texas A&M
Perfect at Home
UCLA is on the verge of finishing the regular season undefeated at home for the second year in a row, as the Bruins will move to 12-0 with a win over UC Irvine this Wednesday. If UCLA can then win two more matches in NCAA Regional play, the Bruins will finish 14-0 at home, just one win shy of the 15-0 mark posted by the 2007 team.
Unlike last year, where UCLA had eight different doubles teams play in at least one dual match, the Bruins have had the same three combinations in all 20 matches this season. Nick Meister and Harel Srugo, ranked No. 45 nationally, make up the Bruins' No. 1 team. The duo owns a 15-10 overall record, including an 11-8 mark in dual matches. UCLA's No. 2 team of Mathieu Dehaine and Holden Seguso owns a 14-4 record, while No. 3 Jeremy Drean and Michael Look are an impressive 22-5 on the year. The duo has lost just two dual matches (18-2).
Winning Streak Hits 13
UCLA has equaled its longest winning streak from a year ago, as the Bruins take a 13-match streak into this Wednesday's showdown with UC Irvine. With a win against the Anteaters, UCLA will have its longest streak since 2004 (also 14 straight). If the Bruins can beat USC this Friday as well, it will mark the longest winning streak since the 2001 team won 16 in a row to start the year.
Going Out With a Bang
Mathieu Dehaine is making the most of his final season in Westwood, as the senior from Meudon, France takes a 12-match winning streak into this Wednesday's UC Irvine encounter. Dehaine has not lost a singles match since falling to 71st-ranked Ivan Puchkarov of Oklahoma State back on Feb. 17. Since then Dehaine has defeated five ranked opponents to push his overall record to 22-5. He is also 17-2 in dual-match play.
Head Coach Billy Martin
UCLA head coach Billy Martin owns a 341-64 overall coaching record in his 15th season at the helm of the Bruin tennis program. In his 14 seasons, Martin has never had a team finish out of the top 5 at the NCAA Championships, leading UCLA to the school's 16th NCAA men's tennis title in 2005.