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Road to No. 102: Women's Tennis Edition

It's less than a week since UCLA's women's water polo team captured championship No. 101, and it's already time to start talking titles again.

This afternoon at 3 pm, UCLA's No. 7 women's tennis team faces off against No. 10 Southern Cal in Tulsa in the NCAA Round of 16.  From the official site:

No. 7 UCLA Heads to NCAA Round of 16 in Tulsa, Okla.

The seventh-seeded UCLA women's tennis team (20-5) picked up a pair of wins in regional play over the weekend to advance to the round of 16 of the NCAA Championships, May 15-20 in Tulsa, Okla. The Bruins are scheduled to face No. 10 USC this Thursday at 3:00 p.m. (CST). If the Bruins can win that match, they will face either Arkansas or No. 2 Georgia on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. The tournament is hosted by the University of Tulsa and played on campus at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.

Bruins and Women of Troy to Meet for a Third Time
The Bruins have already posted a pair of wins over the Women of Troy this season, winning 6-1 at USC on March 13, and 5-2 at UCLA on April 18. The last time these two teams met during the NCAA Tournament was back in 2005 at the University of Georgia. USC won that match 4-3.

UCLA Cruises in NCAA Regional Play
The Bruins hosted a four-team NCAA Regional at the Los Angeles Tennis Center last weekend, as Buffalo, Long Beach State and Denver rounded out the field. Denver defeated Long Beach State, 4-0 in its opening-round match, while UCLA defeated Buffalo by the same score. The Bruins were never really tested on the weekend, taking another 4-0 win over Denver in the second round to earn a spot in this week's round of 16.


(Senior Riza Zalameda; Photo by Russell White)

Per the Daily Bruin, the lady Bruins are coming into this rivalry match with a experience and confidence:

The entire team, with the exception of freshman Andrea Remynse, was a part of last year’s run to the championship match. [...]

[T[he Bruins have a great deal of confidence heading into today’s match against USC, thanks mostly to a pair of dominating wins over the Women of Troy.

"We have confidence that we’ve beaten them already, and so why not do it again?" senior Riza Zalameda said. "I think this is another opportunity to beat them and prove that we’re the better team. Any time we play against USC, we want to play our best."

The last time the two teams met in the NCAA Championships was in 2005 at the University of Georgia. The Women of Troy defeated the Bruins by a narrow 4-3 margin that year to end their postseason run. This time around, UCLA will be looking to return the favor.

Again, the match begins today at 3 p.m.  You can follow along and find live stats at Tulsa's tournament page here.

The men's team also will be in action in the Round of 16 tomorrow, but, for now, it's time for the ladies to get it on.  Go luck.