Bruins and Trojans to Meet This Friday to Decide 2009 Pac-10 Championship
April 15, 2009
Bruins and Trojans Meet to Decide 2009 Pac-10 Championship
The ninth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team (16-5; 5-0 Pac-10) is just one win away from capturing the program's sixth straight Pac-10 Championship, as the winner of this Friday's showdown with No. 7 USC (19-4; 5-0 Pac-10) will earn this year's conference title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. First serve is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at UCLA's Los Angeles Tennis Center. It marks the second meeting between the two teams this season, as the Bruins posted a 4-3 non-conference victory over the Trojans on March 5 at USC's Marks Tennis Stadium.
Going for Six in Row
Not only is UCLA gunning for its sixth straight Pac-10 Championship, the Bruins are also looking for their sixth straight victory over USC. The streak started when UCLA posted a 4-3 win over USC in the last match of the 2007 regular season. The Bruins then took all three meetings last season, winning twice in the regular season and once more in the round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament. UCLA's fifth straight win in the series was on March 5 of this year at the Mark's Tennis Stadium.
The March 5 Meeting
Junior Haythem Abid was one of the key players in the Bruins' 4-3 victory over USC earlier this season, as he upset No. 1-ranked Robert Farah, 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 1 singles spot. He also teamed with Nick Meister at the top doubles position, downing the fourth-ranked team of Farah/Steve Johnson, 8-5. Holden Seguso and Amit Inbar were also singles winners for the Bruins in that match.
Both Teams Streak Into Showdown
Both UCLA and USC enter Friday's match with winning streaks. The Bruins have won their last nine, with their last loss coming against Stanford (4-3) back on Feb. 28 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Trojans come in with a seven-match winning streak, last losing to Texas A&M on March 19 in College Station, Texas.
Bruins Down Waves on Monday
In a tune-up for this Friday's match with USC, the Bruins posted a 5-2 victory over No. 17 Pepperdine on Monday at the Ralps-Straus Tennis Center in Malibu. UCLA got a strong showing from the bottom half of the lineup, as Ahmed Ismail (court No. 6), Amit Inbar (court No. 5) and Meister (court No. 4) all posted straight-set wins to give the Bruins a 4-0 lead. Meister clinched it with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Mahmoud Kamel. Junior Matt Brooklyn also posted his first career win at the No. 1 spot, defeating 32nd-ranked Bassam Beidas, 3-6, 7-5, (10-6).
UCLA in the Campbell's/ITA Rankings
UCLA remained at No. 9 in the Campbell's/ITA Team Rankings released on Tuesday. Individual rankings were also released for the first time in two weeks. Haythem Abid is the Bruins' highest ranked singles player at No. 49. He is followed by No. 95 Matt Brooklyn, No. 105 Nick Meister and No. 116 Michael Look. In doubles, Abid and Meister are ranked No. 24. Brooklyn and Harel Srugo are ranked No. 68 despite not teaming together since Feb. 15. Complete rankings can be accessed by clicking HERE.
NCAA Selections Set for April 28
Selections for the 2009 NCAA Men's and Women's Tennis Championships will be announced on April 28 at 2:20 p.m. (PST) on ESPNews. Host sites for first and second round regional play will also be announced. A total of 128 teams will participate in this year's NCAA Tournament (64 men's & 64 women's). Teams that advance through regional play will earn the right to travel to College Station, Texas for the round of 16 on up. UCLA is the defending champion on the women's side, while Georgia captured the men's title last year