Third-Seeded UCLA to Face No. 14 Florida State This Friday
May 13, 2008
No. 3 UCLA Heads to Oklahoma for NCAA Round of 16
The third-seeded UCLA men's tennis team (23-1) heads to Tulsa, Okla. this week for the round of 16 of the NCAA Men's Tennis Championships hosted at the University of Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center. The Bruins open up play on Friday afternoon, squaring off against No. 14 Florida State (21-6) at 6:00 p.m. (CST). It will mark the first-ever meeting between UCLA and Florida State in men's tennis. If the Bruins win, they will meet either Oklahoma State or sixth-seeded USC in Sunday's quarterfinals at 5:00 p.m. Live stats for all the matches in Tulsa can be accessed by clicking HERE
Martin Looks to Continue Quarterfinal Streak
If UCLA beats Florida State on Friday, head coach Billy Martin will have continued his streak of leading the Bruins to at least the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships every year of his coaching career (since 1994). In fact, UCLA has advanced to at least the quarterfinals in each of the last 20 seasons. The last time the Bruins failed to reach the quarterfinals was 1988, falling to Georgia, 5-4 in the round of 16 that year.
The Last Time in Tulsa
UCLA enjoyed quite a bit of success the last time Tulsa hosted the NCAA Championships, as the fourth-seeded Bruins made a run to the title match back in 2004. UCLA defeated Texas A&M and Clemson to set up a semifinal showdown against defending national champion Illinois. Not only were the Illini the top-seeded team in the tournament, they were riding the longest winning streak in NCAA history at 64 matches. Sophomore Philipp Gruendler's three-set win over GD Jones at No. 6 singles clinched a 4-2 upset for the Bruins. Although UCLA would go on to lose to Baylor, 4-0 in the final the next day, it ended up being a memorable tournament for the Bruins.
Bruins Cruise in NCAA Regional Play
UCLA advanced to this week's round of 16 following a pair of dominating performances in NCAA Regional action at the Los Angeles Tennis Center over the weekend. The Bruins didn't drop a single point in any match, registering a pair of 4-0 wins over Eastern Washington and Wisconsin.
UCLA Earns Highest NCAA Seed Since 2001
Checking in as a No. 3 seed in this year's NCAA Championships, UCLA recently earned its highest seeding since the 2001 Bruins were seeded No. 2 heading into the tournament that season. UCLA, which was the tournament's top-seeded team in 1999, has received a top 10 seed in each of the last 10 seasons.
NCAA Tournament History
UCLA ranks second in all-time NCAA men's tennis titles with 16 (Stanford leads the nation with 17). The Bruins' last NCAA title came in 2005, as UCLA ended a 21-year title drought by capturing its first championship since 1984. UCLA has also claimed team titles in 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1960, 1961, 1965, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1979 and 1982.
Did You Know?
UCLA is the only school to compete in every NCAA Tournament since the team format was adopted in 1977.
Srugo, Dehaine Selected for NCAA Singles Championships
Harel Srugo and Mathieu Dehaine have each been selected to represent UCLA in the NCAA Singles Championships, May 21-26 in Tulsa, Okla. The tournament, which begins the day after the team competition concludes, features a 64-player draw. UCLA's last NCAA Singles Champion was Benjamin Kohlloeffel, who captured the title with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over current Virginia player Somdev Devvarman in 2006.
Winning Streak Hits 17
UCLA takes a 17-match winning streak into its round of 16 match against Florida State on Friday. It marks the longest winning streak the team has had since the 1999 squad reeled off 18 wins in a row.
Bruins Win Fifth Straight Pac-10 Title
UCLA wrapped up the school's fifth straight Pac-10 men's tennis title on April 18, posting a 4-3 victory at No. 4 USC. For the second year in a row, both teams entered the final match of the regular season with perfect 6-0 records in conference play. After barely winning the doubles point - Jeremy Drean and Michael Look battled back from 2-8 down in the deciding match - UCLA got singles wins from Look, Harel Srugo and Nick Meister. Srugo clinched the match at court No. 1, posting a 6-4, 6-3 upset over seventh-ranked Robert Farah.
UCLA Ranked No. 3 Nationally
UCLA checks in at No. 3 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings released on April 28. The Bruins began the season ranked No. 9 and have climbed up the rankings ever since. Individually, UCLA has four players ranked, headlined by No. 23 Harel Srugo. He is followed by No. 40 Mathieu Dehaine, No. 61 Holden Seguso and No. 75 Haythem Abid. In doubles, Srugo and freshman Nick Meister are ranked No. 52. New rankings will not be released again until the end of the season.
Lone Loss to No. 1 Virginia
The Bruins played top-seeded Virginia about as tough as anyone did this season, falling 4-3 in a quarterfinal match at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors on Feb. 16 in Seattle. It ended up being UCLA's only loss of the season. The Bruins won the doubles point, then got singles wins from Holden Seguso and Jeremy Drean. With the match tied at 3-3, top-ranked Somdev Devvarman outlasted UCLA's Harel Srugo, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 at court No. 1 to help the Cavaliers pull off the win.
Perfect at Home
UCLA recently went undefeated at home for the second year in a row, as the Bruins posted a perfect 14-0 record at the Los Angeles Tennis Center this season. It marks the second year in a row that UCLA has gone undefeated at home (the Bruins were 15-0 in 2007). UCLA's last home loss was to Baylor back on March 11, 2006.
UCLA has won the doubles point in 21 of 24 matches this season. The Bruins even claimed the point in their lone loss on the year against top-ranked Virginia. In the three matches where the Bruins ended up surrendering the point - Pepperdine, Cal and Arizona - UCLA eventually came back to win. The Bruins have played with the same three doubles teams in all 24 matches this season.
Against the Tournament Field
UCLA owns a 16-1 record against teams that made the 64-team NCAA Championships. In addition, the Bruins are 5-1 against the other 15 teams in the round of 16. UCLA has played one of the toughest schedules in the country this season, as only five of the Bruins' opponents failed to make the tournament (San Diego, LMU, Oregon, Arizona and UC Irvine).
20 Wins Again
UCLA picked up its 20th win of the season against UC Irvine on April 16, marking the 10th straight year that the Bruins have posted at least 20 wins. Only twice in head coach Billy Martin's 15 years as head coach have the Bruins failed to reach the 20-win mark (1995 and 1998). UCLA's 23 wins this season is the highest total since the 2005 squad had 27.
UCLA has posted a 23-1 record this season despite missing its top four players from a year ago. Benjamin Kohlloeffel, Philipp Gruender and Chris Surapol all graduated, while Haythem Abid has been unavailable to play this year due to injury.
Lucky Number 3
UCLA has had the most success at the No. 3 singles and doubles positions this season, posting a combined 43-4 record. Three different players have played at the No. 3 singles position, led by freshman Holden Seguso's 11-1 record. Mathieu Dehaine (8-1) and Michael Look (1-0) have also seen time at that spot. In doubles, Look and partner Jeremy Drean have played every match at that the No. 3 spot, going 22-2 overall.
Bruin freshmen Holden Seguso and Nick Meister have both been pleasant surprises for head coach Billy Martin this season, as the two have more than held their own at their respective positions. Seguso, ranked 61st nationally, has gone 17-6 in dual-match play, splitting equal time between the Nos. 2 (6-5) and 3 (11-1) positions. He has also recorded a 16-5 record with Mathieu Dehaine at the No. 2 doubles spot. Meister, who achieved a national ranking of No. 100 back in Feb., is tied for the team lead in singles victories with 28. He anchors UCLA's No. 6 singles position, going 13-4 this season. Meister teams with Harel Srugo at the No. 1 doubles position, going 13-9.
Harel Srugo and Mathieu Dehaine lead the Bruins in wins over ranked singles opponents, as each player has 11 on the season. Freshman Holden Seguso is third on the team with seven. Srugo is the only player on the team to defeat two top 10 players this year, beating No. 2 Alex Clayton of Stanford and No. 7 Robert Farah of USC.
A Magical Season
No matter what happens in Tulsa, UCLA should be proud of the season it has enjoyed, as the Bruins are guaranteed to finish the year with no more than two losses. Not since 1996 has a Bruin team finished with two losses or fewer (UCLA was 27-1 that year). If UCLA was to go all the way and win the title, it would mark only the second time in the last 33 years that a Bruin team has finished a season with just one loss. In addition, with the exception of the 1996 team, you'd have to go back to 1986 to find a UCLA team with just two losses.
Freshman Nick Meister currently owns the longest singles winning streak on the team at 11. He hasn't lost a singles match since falling at Washington on March 28. Harel Srugo owns the next longest streak at six matches. The longest winning streak this season goes to Mathieu Dehaine, who won 13 matches in a row from Feb. 27 to April 16. The duo of Jeremy Drean and Michael Look owns the longest doubles winning streak this season at 16 matches.
101 And Counting
The UCLA women's water polo team recently captured the school's 101st NCAA Team Championship on Sunday, defeating USC, 6-3 in the title match at Stanford University. UCLA, which leads the nation in NCAA Team Championships, was the first school to reach 100 NCAA Championships when the women's water polo team won the title in 2007. Stanford ranks second in all-time NCAA Championships with 95. USC has 85.
Head Coach Billy Martin
UCLA head coach Billy Martin owns a 345-64 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.