#5 UCLA Men's Tennis (18-4, 6-0)
Opponent 1: #17 Stanford (16-7, 4-3)
When: 12:00 PM PT, Friday, April 28, 2017
Where: Ojai Valley Athletic Club, Ojai, CA
As the Pac-12 regular season champions, the Bruins were awarded a bye for the first round of the conference tournament. Today they'll see their first tournament action when they face 17th-ranked Stanford in a midday semifinal.
UCLA finished the regular season on a high note with ten straight victories, a perfect 6-0 record in Pac-12 play, and a solid 4-1 against #7 Southern Cal.
UCLA and Stanford have already met once this season. That encounter was back in February, before the Bruins closed out the season with a winning streak. UCLA defeated Stanford 4-2 on that occasion, and it was a hard-fought match. The Bruins fell behind when they dropped the doubles point, and were trailing 0-2 when Stanford won the first singles point on court 6. But UCLA clawed its way back into the match when Martin Redlicki won in straight sets on court 2.
Meanwhile, every other singles contest was headed to a third set. Austin Rapp fought back after losing his first set to level the match with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 win on court 5. When Evan Zhu won his matchup on court 3, the Bruins took a 3-2 lead, and then Logan Staggs sealed the victory with a 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 win on court 4.
That's probably the kind of match that we should expect to see today. It will be a very good sign if the Bruins can capture the doubles point. If not, it's likely to be another nail-biter.