Jan. 27, 2009

Courtesy of UCLA Athletics

The fourth-ranked UCLA men's tennis team (1-0) has three matches on tap this week beginning with Boise State (3-0) on Tuesday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Bruins are then scheduled to play two qualifying matches in preparation for the 2009 ITA National Team Indoors, Feb. 13-16 in Chicago. UCLA has been selected to host one of the four-team qualifying events that will be held at 16 sites across the country. UCLA opens up the qualifying on Friday against South Alabama at 1:00 p.m. Prior to that match, SMU and Fresno State will do battle at 10:00 a.m. Friday's winners will meet in the next round on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The non-winning teams will also play on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. There is no cost for admission to any of the qualifying matches at the LATC. Live stats for all the matches can be accessed by clicking HERE. A schedule of all the qualifying matches for the ITA Indoors can be found HERE.

Boise State Comes in Off Upset
Although UCLA owns a 4-1 all-time record against Boise State, the Broncos will provide a tough test for the Bruins on Tuesday, as they are coming off a 6-1 upset over No. 14 Pepperdine. Three of Boise State's singles players are ranked nationally, led by No. 22 Clancy Shields. He is followed by No. 85 Stanley Sarapanich and No. 90 Kean Feeder. The Bruins defeated the Broncos, 7-0 last year at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

Bruins Beat BYU to Start the Year
UCLA downed BYU, 7-0 in its 2009 season opener last week at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The match, which began following a two-hour rain delay, actually finished under the lights of the LATC. The Bruins won the doubles point by taking two of the three matches before going on to take all six singles contests in straight sets.

Abid Returns
Redshirt junior Haythem Abid appeared in his first dual match since 2007 last week, playing No. 1 singles and doubles in a 7-0 win over BYU. Abid teamed with sophomore Amit Inbar in doubles, defeating the BYU duo of Cassidy Mears/Thomas Shubert, 8-6. Abid then posted another victory in singles, taking down Shubert again at the No. 1 spot, winning 6-2,6-2.

Transfers Inbar, Brooklyn Join Bruins in 2009
UCLA has a pair of new players on this year's team who were both key members of different teams in 2008. Junior Matt Brooklyn, who was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection last year, joins the Bruins after two seasons at Arizona State. He played No. 1 singles and doubles for the Sun Devils until Arizona State dropped men's tennis after the 2008 season. Inbar, a sophomore, was Maryland's No. 1 player as a freshman last year. Both players are expected to play key roles in UCLA's run for a championship this season.

UCLA in the Rankings
UCLA checks in at No. 4 in the latest rankings issued by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). Ohio State is the top-ranked team, followed by Texas, Georgia, UCLA and Virginia. The Bruins ended last season ranked No. 5. UCLA has two players ranked in singles, with Matt Brooklyn at No. 67 and Nick Meister at No. 78. UCLA does not have any doubles teams currently ranked.