Men's Tennis Hosts No. 19 USC This Friday
April 12, 2005
The Rivalry Continues . . .
With just one regular-season match remaining, the No. 7-ranked UCLA men's tennis team (20-3; 5-1 Pac-10) can guarantee itself at least a share of the 2005 Pac-10 title with a victory over No. 19 USC (11-11; 3-3) this Friday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center beginning at 1:30 p.m. The Bruins are looking to avenge a 5-2 loss to the Trojans suffered back on Mar. 1 in a non-Pac-10 counting match at USC. UCLA leads the all-time series 60-32 and has dominated the dual matches in recent years, winning 19 of the last 24 meetings, including eight in a row from Mar. 4, 1998 - Feb. 1, 2002. Lexus Gauntlet points will also be on the line, as the Bruins currently lead the all-sport race 45-40. Friday will mark the final regular-season home match for senior Luben Pampoulov, Kris Kwinta, Alberto Francis and Chris Lam. As with all UCLA home tennis matches, admission is free. Fans unable to attend can follow the live scoring online by clicking here. Fox Sports Net is covering the match and is planning on airing it on its Fox Sports West 2 affiliate on April 17 at 5:00 p.m.
Race for the Pac-10 Title . . .
With identical 5-1 records, UCLA and Washington are the only two teams to enter the final weekend of play with just one loss in the Pac-10, meaning a win by either team would guarantee it at least a share of this year's league title. A loss by both team would also do that. The Huskies travel to Eugene, Ore. this weekend to face the Ducks, a team they beat 6-1 earlier in the year. Barring an upset, the Bruins will most likely have to beat USC on Friday to win its second Pac-10 title in as many years.
Most Recently . . .
UCLA is coming off a split in Northern California over the weekend. After being upset 4-3 by 35th-ranked Cal on Friday, the Bruins rebounded the following day to edge No. 18 Stanford by the same score. UCLA won the doubles point in both matches, but couldn't hold on against the Golden Bears, dropping four of six in singles play. The Bruins were able to win at the bottom three singles positions against Stanford to pull out the narrow 4-3 decision. UCLA had defeated Cal (7-0) and Stanford (4-3) earlier in the season at the LATC.
Bruins Check in at No. 7 . . .
Following a split in the Bay Area over the weekend, UCLA fell one spot to No. 7 in this week's ITA Team Rankings released on Tuesday. Individual rankings were last released on April 5 and the Bruins are still the only school in the country to have two players ranked in the top-10 in singles (No. 7 Luben Pampoulov and No. 8 Benjamin Kohlloeffel). Three other Bruins are also ranked, including No. 48 Kris Kwinta, No. 66 Philipp Gruendler and No. 73 Alberto Francis. In doubles, Kohlloeffel and Pampoulov are ranked 40th, while Kohlloeffel and Gruendler are ranked 42nd. Francis and Kwinta return to the rankings this week at No. 59. New team rankings are released every Tuesday. Individual rankings are due out again until April 19. Complete ITA Top-25 below.
Home Sweet Home . . .
UCLA has not lost at the Los Angeles Tennis Center this year, taking a perfect 15-0 record into this Friday's match with USC. Since the 2000 season, the Bruins have posted a home record of 64-7. UCLA's last loss to USC at the LATC was a 5-2 set back on April 3, 1991. Since then, the Bruins have taken the last 14 on their home courts.
Statistically Speaking . . .
Benjamin Kohlloeffel leads the Bruins in singles victories, owning a 36-6 overall record this year. The next highest win total is 27, held by Alberto Francis, who is 27-7 overall. Luben Pampoulov is third at 25-6. In doubles, Francis and Kris Kwinta are the only duo to reach the 20-win mark, as they own an overall record of 21-8.
The Doubles Point . . .
In 19 of 23 matches this season, the Bruins have taken a 1-0 advantage heading into singles play by winning the doubles point. Only four teams have been able to claim the doubles point off of UCLA (Oklahoma State, Florida, Stanford and Arizona). Strangely enough, the Bruins are 4-0 when losing the point and 16-3 when winning it.
UCLA's One-Two Punch . . .
UCLA is the only school in the country with two singles players ranked in the top-10 nationally in sophomore Benjamin Kohlloeffel (#8) and senior Luben Pampoulov (#7). Kohlloeffel, who is 36-6 overall, has the most wins at the No. 1 spot, owning an 11-1 overall record. Additionally, he is 8-2 at the No. 2 position. Pampoulov, who is 25-6 overall, is 4-6 in the No. 1 slot, however he has been hampered by a neck injury for much of the year. He is undefeated at the No. 2 position with a 6-0 mark.
Winning Streaks . . .
UCLA's recent seven match winning streak was snapped after a loss to Cal last week. The Bruins' longest streak of the season was nine matches, starting with the season opener and ending with a 4-2 loss to Virginia at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors. In singles play, Alberto Francis owns the longest current winning streak on the team, winning his last seven matches. In doubles, Benjamin Kohlloeffel and Philipp Gruendler have won eight in a row.
Doubles Lineup Looks to Be Set . . .
After experimenting with several different doubles combinations this season, head coach Billy Martin looks to have settled on three teams that will likely be used in NCAA Tournament play. The most experienced duo on the team is the 59th-ranked tandem of Alberto Francis and Kris Kwinta. Together they own a 21-8 overall record, including a 13-6 record in dual-match play. Next up is the 42nd-ranked duo of Philipp Gruendler and Benjamin Kohlloeffel, who are 8-0 since first teaming together in mid-March. The Bruins' No. 3 team looks to be seniors Chris Lam and Luben Pampoulov. That team is 6-0 overall.
Looking Ahead . . . Head Coach Billy Martin . . .
Following this Friday's regular-season final against USC, the Bruins will head to Ojai, Calif. for the annual Pac-10 Championships, April 21-24. The Pac-10s are an individual event, featuring two 32-player singles draws (Pac-10 Main and Pac-10 Invite) and two 16-player doubles draws (Main and Invite). Chris Lam turned in the best singles performance last season, reaching the main draw semifinals. Information about this year's event can be accessed at
The 1996 ITA National Coach of the Year and UCLA's 1975 NCAA singles champion, Billy Martin, owns a 273-53 (.837) overall record and is currently in his 12th season as head coach at UCLA. In 11 season's, Martin has guided the Bruins to the national title match three times and has never had a team finish out of the top five at the NCAA Championships.
TEAM (April 12)1. Baylor2. Virginia3. Mississippi4. Illinois5. Duke6. Florida7. UCLA8. Pepperdine9. Texas Tech10. Georgia11. Washington12. Kentucky13. Texas A&M14. Oklahoma St.15. LSU16. Stanford17. So. Carolina18. Tulane19. USC20. Mississippi St.21. Texas A&M22. Florida State23. Tennessee24. Cal25. Wake Forest
Head Coach Billy Martin . . .