Men's Tennis Opens Up Conference Play in Arizona
March 28, 2006
Bruins Begin Pac-10 Play in Arizona . . .
After taking time off for final exams and spring break, the No. 9 UCLA men's tennis team (11-4) returns to action this week, traveling to the desert for its first two Pac-10 matches of the year against Arizona State (6-9) on Friday at 1:30 p.m. and Arizona (9-5) on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The Bruins beat both schools by identical 6-1 scores earlier in the year, however those matches did not count in the Pac-10 standings.
UCLA Too Much for No. 3 Duke . . .
UCLA looked impressive in its last outing, upsetting third-ranked Duke, 6-1 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center back on Mar. 15. After taking the doubles point, the Bruins won five of six singles matches. Second-ranked Benjamin Kohlloeffel picked up one of his biggest wins of the season, downing fourth-ranked Ludovic Walter, 6-3, 7-6(3) at the No. 1 position.
UCLA in the Fila/ITA Rankings . . .
UCLA remains at No. 9 in the Fila/ITA Team Rankings released on Tuesday . Individual rankings were released on Mar. 21. Benjamin Kohlloeffel is the highest-ranked UCLA player, checking in at No. 2 in singles play. He is followed by No. 71 Mathieu Dehaine, No. 86 Chris Surapol, No. 94 Haythem Abid and No. 109 Michael Look. In doubles, Philipp Gruendler and Kohlloeffel check in at No. 4. New team and individual rankings will be released again on Apr. 4.
Bruins Gunning for Third-Straight Pac-10 Title . . .
Only seven matches remain on UCLA's schedule and all of them count in the Pac-10 standings. The Bruins are looking to earn their third Pac-10 title in as many years after claiming the crown in 2004 and 2005. At No. 9, UCLA is currently the highest-ranked team in the conference. Stanford, ranked No. 22 this week, is the only other Pac-10 team ranked in the Fila/ITA Top-25. Washington (#26) and Cal (#30) are the two other conference teams on the verge of cracking the top-25.
West Coast Championships . . .
For the first time since UCLA hosted it in 1997, the NCAA Championships return to the West Coast in 2006, as Stanford University has been selected to host the first-ever men's and women's combined tournament. The women's team event kicks off on May 18, while the men begin action two days later on May 20.
So Close . . .
All four of UCLA's losses this season have resulted in 4-3 scores. In addition, every team to have beaten the Bruins this year has been ranked in the in the top-12 nationally: #2 Georgia, #4 Pepperdine, #7 Baylor and #12 Stanford. UCLA owns a 4-4 record against top-25 teams.
Head Coach Billy Martin . . .
UCLA head coach Billy Martin owns a 291-57 (.836) overall record in his 13th season in Westwood. He led UCLA to its first NCAA title in more than 20 years this past May, as the Bruins pulled off a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Baylor in the 2005 NCAA final. As a player at UCLA in 1975, Martin captured the NCAA Singles Championship before going on to a very successful professional career. He is a member of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame.
Fila/ITA Team Rankings (Mar. 28)
6. Ohio State
8. North Carolina
17. Texas A&M
18. Notre Dame
24. Boise State
25. Wake Forest