#8 UCLA Men’s Tennis (17-4, 5-0)
Opponent: #6 Southern Cal (22-4, 5-1)
When: 3:00 PM PT, Friday, April 21, 2017
Where: Sunset Canyon Tennis Courts, Los Angeles, CA
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
This afternoon's contest between the eighth-ranked Bruins and the sixth-ranked Trojans is more than just a clash between crosstown rivals. The Pac-12 regular season crown is up for grabs today, and with that prize goes the top-seed in the upcoming conference tournament.
It's also Senior Day--the last home game for five Bruin seniors: Gage Brymer, Joseph Di Giulio, Travis Martin, Michael Guzman, and Nishanth Yamani.
Both teams enter the rivalry week battle in good form. Since losing to Stanford at the beginning of the month, the Trojans haven't dropped a point in three subsequent matches. The Bruins have been even hotter; UCLA is riding a nine-game winning streak, including big wins over #4 Baylor, #11 Cal and #15 Stanford.
The Bruins and Trojans have already met twice this season. In mid-February, UCLA edged Southern Cal 4-3 in the first round of the ITA Division 1 National Men's Team Indoor Championship. Three weeks later, the Trojans earned a measure of revenge with a 4-1 home win over the Bruins.
As the latest Oracle/ITA Division 1 Collegiate Rankings show, the teams match up well. The Bruins' highest ranked player is Gage Brymer at #21 while the Trojans' highest ranked player is #22 Brandon Holt. UCLA's Martin Redlicki checks in at #57 and USC's Logan Smith isn't far behind at #79.
The Trojans have a slight edge when it comes to doubles. Although Southern Cal's top pair of Brandon Holt & Riley Smith (#10) holds a thin margin in the ITA rankings over UCLA's duo of Martin Redlicki & Evan Zhu (#12), the Trojans have a second top-100 ranked team (#85 Nick Crystal & Laurens Verboven) and the Bruins don't. In the two previous meetings between the teams, Southern Cal won the doubles point on both occasions.
The lineups for today's match have already been announced and there are no surprises:
Today. 3 PM. Be There. pic.twitter.com/wQ6477itdh— UCLA Men's Tennis (@uclatennis) April 21, 2017
This should be a very intense and entertaining battle. These teams and players know each other well, and with the prize of the Pac-12 regular season title going to the winner, the stakes are high.
Go BRUINS! Beat SC!