Archive for the ‘Match Pre-game’ category

Bruins still waiting to go on…

May 19, 2011

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…we could go on in ten minutes or an hour. Florida and Kentucky are in an epic match as the Wildcats lead 3-2. However, this thing is far from over because the other matches are not decided and who knows what could happen.

As for us, our hoard of Bruin fans are here! We are personally waiting in our waiting room for the word that it is over–we will probably have just 10 minutes from the end of this match until ours starts….so it’s a quick turn around and we cannot get complacent here.

I feel another classic UCLA-Baylor coming up soon…LETS GO!

PS I uploaded a few videos the last few hours on the YouTube channel, too.

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Hour and half til match time!

May 19, 2011

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Hey everyone, we are here at the practice courts at Stanford warming up for the match against Baylor. It turned out to be a really hot day, especially compared to the bad conditions yesterday. I know that the trainers have all the ice buckets and cold towels ready to go!

We are not sure the exact time we go on–it depends on when the matches before us finish. We will keep you updated but I think we are a bit delayed. Still, Coach is preparing us for start on time and we have to be ready no matter what.

LETS GO BRUINS! IT’S ALMOST HERE!!

NCAA Round of 16 PREVIEW: #12 UCLA vs. #5 Baylor

May 18, 2011

It’s here, it’s finally here–the match we have been anticipating all week (and in essence) all year is tomorrow. It is hard to put in words what this means. We work all year hoping to make it to the Round of 16 for a chance at a championships. All those long hours on the court, in the waitroom, in the tutoring classroom, in the training room, in Coach’s office…we do it all for tomorrow and hopefully for a few more days after.

For me personally, and our seniors Holden and Amit, this is it–as they say! Our final chance for glory, redemption, and jubilation. Our final chance at an NCAA Championship. It all starts tomorrow. We have the Bruin faithful coming down to cheer us on in this quest and I am just so ecstatic that each and every one of you are coming up to Palo Alto; it means the world to me and of course, it means the world to the team. The Bruins mean business and here we come!

But, as dramatic as I make it out to be, Coach stressed in our nightly meeting that it is “still just tennis.” And he’s right–it’s still a match between two teams. Our opponent, appropriately enough, is the Baylor Bears; above all teams, we have had more recent history with them than any other. So here’s my scouting report on a team that we know well (and who know us well), too.

OPPONENT: #5 seeded Baylor Bears

CONFERENCE/RECORD: Big 12 Conference, 21-4 (6-0)

HEAD-TO-HEAD: UCLA is 3-6 all-time versus Baylor–one of the few times that the Bruins have an all0time losing record to. Our history with Baylor is intense and vivid as for whatever reasons, these two teams always seem to have the most epic matches. As it was written at UCLABruins.com:

“Whenever UCLA and Baylor square off in men’s tennis it’s guaranteed to be an exciting battle. The two teams have met nine times, with the last seven meetings decided by 4-3 scores.”

Date Winner Score Site
Feb. 6, 2011	UCLA	4-3	Waco
March 11, 2010	Baylor	4-3	Los Angeles
Feb. 22, 2009	Baylor	4-3	Waco
March 10, 2008	UCLA	4-3	Los Angeles
Feb. 10, 2007	Baylor	4-3	Waco
March 11, 2006	Baylor	4-3	Los Angeles
May 24, 2005	UCLA	4-3	College Station
May 25, 2004	Baylor	4-0	Tulsa
Feb. 26, 2004	Baylor	5-2	Los Angeles
As you can see, the matches always seem to come down to the final match at 3-all. In addition, we also have a special place in each other's recent history as Baylor defeated UCLA 4-0 in the finals of the NCAA Championships to win their first-ever NCAA title (in any sport) while a year later, we defeated then 4-3 for UCLA (and Coach Martin's first) first NCAA Championship in tennis since 1984. 

Most recently, we defeated Baylor 4-3 behind Clay Thompson's epic 3rd set match at Waco, TX, so we have confidence riding since we have beaten them once already. For a recap of that match, you can go HERE. Therefore, this match is a re-match of our early season clash, which again, was one of the most exciting--and closest--matches of the season.

KEY WINS: Win vs. Tennessee 4-3; Win vs. Stanford 5-2; Win at Texas 4-3; Win vs. Oklahoma 4-3

SCOUTING REPORT: Well, honestly, we know what to expect–we know their players quite well (and they know ours of course, too). They have an experienced lineup with three seniors to have been through these pressure-packed matches before and have undoubtedly gotten much better since when we beat them. Shortly after their loss to us, the dropped to #31 in the rankings! Obviously, we know how great of a team they are and that that ranking was absolutely ridiculous but it goes to show you that they finished the season so well and became a very high #5 seed behind the big wins I listed above. They are talented and capable of playing at a high level as evidenced by their results and high seed. In addition, they have changed pretty much their entire lineup compared to when we played them.

The Bears have five nationally ranked singles players and are led by #19th-ranked Senior John Peers, who has compiled an impressive 17-5 record this year in dual matches. After Peers, the  no. 2 player is Senior Sergio Ramirez, ranked 68th nationally and  13-9 in dual matches this year. Both Ramirez and Peers have experience and will look to start hot against us as they both won their matches when we played in Waco months ago. The other nationally ranked players are #97 Keke Grangeiro, #98 Dennis Lengsfeld, and #102 Roberto Maytin.

PREDICTION/COMMENTS: It’s the NCAA folks–it’s about who comes to play, who wants it more, and who is focused when it is all said and done. Baylor is a great team who we have had history with this year and in years past. And remember, they are the #5 seed for a reason and have put up some amazing results. No doubt they are going to be tough to beat….everyone is from here on out. But because of that, they are expected to win and have the pressure–not us and I think this is to our advantage, especially since we beat them early in the year. Granted, they are an entirely different team and we know it is going to take a great effort to beat these guys, but of course we know we can do so because we have done it before. I think doubles will be key because both teams have struggled in that aspect all year, so there is a lot to be said about who can jump out first–especially at NCAA’s. I can almost guarantee one thing though–no matter who wins, it will probably come down to the wire because it always does when the Bruins and Bears face off!

Anyway, I’m so excited to see many of you tomorrow for the match. And for those who cannot make it, you are with us in spirit! You can follow through Stanford’s LIVE Video and LIVE stats feed HERE. Of course, I’ll be blogging the best I can and Twitter-ing as well. It’s going to be tough to beat Baylor twice in one year, but we look forward to the challenge. LET’S GO BRUINS!!!!! IT’S GAME TIME!!!!!!!

Mid-afternoon update

May 14, 2011

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Hey Bruin fans, just wanted to give everyone another update–we are still just waiting for our match. The lady Bruins just won their doubles point against Quinnipiac and look to continue their success in singles.

The initial female match between USD-UNLV went long so everything is a bit pushed back. Yet, our girls should win relatively easily (knock on wood) and hopefully get us back on track. I’m guessing around a 3:30pm start time but it’s hard to say.

Until then, we have been memorized by the Djokovic-Murray match! And of course, the guys got pasta and also have sandwiches if they are hungry.

Keep you all updated..LETS GO BRUINS!

A morning update

May 14, 2011

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Good morning everyone–I’m just here at LATC awaiting our 12 noon hit before our 3pm match. While the girls play, we are quietly biding our time to go on–nerves have not really hit yet…we are more anxious that anything to go out there!

Unfortunately, it’s a cloudy day but that won’t stop us from bringing the heat, so to speak. In all seriousness, we are all just hanging at LATC–I have pasta coming for the players (gotta’ fuel up on those carbs) a bit later.

P.S. don’t forgot to check the YouTube channel, too!

See you all soon! 🙂

NCAA 2nd Round Preview: UCLA vs. Ole Miss

May 13, 2011

As promised, here is my nightly preview of tomorrow’s gigantic match–it’s of course the biggest match of the year. It’s win or go home, baby, and I don’t want to go home! Anyway, I’m back from another great team dinner full of smiles, laughs, and a very full stomach. Comes with the territory, I guess.

But I digress–tomorrow we face the #28th ranked Ole Miss Rebels out of the SEC conference. The winner gets a coveted spot in tennis’ equivalent Sweet 16 in Palo Alto, California. It is going to be a tough match tomorrow, so here is my rundown of tomorrow’s matchup:

OPPONENT: Mississippi (Nickname: Ole Miss)

CONFERENCE/RECORD: Southeastern Conference (SEC), 13-9 (5-6)

RANKING: #28

HEAD-TO-HEAD: UCLA is 4-1 all-time against Ole Miss, with their most recent meeting two years ago in the NCAA Championship Quarterfinals in College Station, Texas. In that match, then-Sophomore Nick Meister clinched the match with an epic third set win against now-#1 player Junior Marcel Theimann. In 2009, Ole Miss was one of the top ranked teams in the country and retain three players–including Theimann, Senior Tucker Vorster, and Senior Kalle Norberg–from that Elite Eight squad that pushed us to the brink. This is a team we are fairly familiar (I am too, it was a crazy match in ’09) with although many of their top players from that team are no longer on this current team.

KEY WINS: at #8 Florida, vs. #36 Tulsa (Loss 4-3 vs. #3 Tennessee, Loss 4-3 vs. #6 Georgia)

SCOUTING REPORT: To be frank, this is a really, really good team that as Coach Martin said earlier today, probably is ranked too low considering how talented their lineup is. Although their overall record and their conference record is not too impressive, they play in arguably the best conference in college tennis this year–the SEC. The SEC has four teams in the top 10: Tennessee (#3), Georgia (#6), Florida (#8), and Kentucky (#10). Therefore, they are battle-tested and have literally played a bunch of matches against the top teams in the country. They are led by the aforementioned #36th-ranked Marcel Thiemann and #52nd-ranked Tucker Vorster. Both are having fine seasons and obviously, their ranking indicates how strong the top of Ole Miss’ lineup is. In addition, one of their top players, Senior Kalle Norberg, has been out most of the year with a foot injury–and still are ranked #28th in the country. He will definitely play tomorrow which will be a giant boost to their lineup. (You can read about this HERE.)

PREDICTION: As I alluded to before, this is a team that is coming to LATC without feeling intimated because of the teams they have already faced this year. And because of that, I think we really need to come out extra-fired up; I know I always say that, but tomorrow I really mean it. From their statements (read HERE), they  feel like they can beat us and we need to set the tone early and let them know that it is not going to happen–not now and not in our house. Therefore, we need to come out and win the doubles point; from looking at some of their lower-ranked losses (Auburn, Mississippi State, and most recently to Tennessee in the SEC Championships), they also lost the doubles point. Therefore, it would be a giant boost for us. Although they are strong up top (and we are too), we feel we have the depth needed to hopefully win this match and guys like Holden and Max need to step up tomorrow like they both did so gigantically today. I know they will and I know everyone will!

Yet, with all that being said, this is going to be a war; folks, this Ole Miss team is as good as it gets and will really test us tomorrow. If we don’t come to play, we won’t be going to Palo Alto and this team thinks and knows that they can take our place. The last time we played in 2009 was probably the most intense and dramatic match of my college career (one of them, at least), and tomorrow could be the same. Hopefully, it won’t be, but be prepared Bruin fans for a battle.

We need your support so please come on out at 3pm to support the blue and gold. LET’S GO BRUINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bruins vs Bearcats — 1st Round NCAA’s!

May 13, 2011

The journey starts here today! It starts right now! We are about to go on in a few minutes and we are all amped to go–just a reminder that I’ll be putting YouTube videos on the UCLA Bruin tennis channel (linked on the right) so check up! I just posted a video a few minutes ago.

Hang on tight…the quest for an NCAA Championship begins NOW!