#5 UCLA Men's Tennis (19-4)
Opponent 1: #7 Southern Cal (24-5)
When: 6:00 PM PT, Saturday, April 29, 2017
Where: Ojai Valley Athletic Club, Ojai, CA
Video: Pac-12 Network
For the second time in just a little over a week, the Bruins and the Trojans will battle for a Pac-12 championship. Last time it was the Pac-12 regular season title, and UCLA notched a 4-1 victory. This time around, the Bruins and Trojans will be fighting for the Pac-12 Tournament title, with UCLA attempting to repeat its double title-winning feat from last season.
After a first-round bye, UCLA met Stanford in one of the tournament semifinals. The Bruins emerged with a 4-0 win, but it wasn't as easy as the final score indicates. The key matchup came in doubles when Austin Rapp and Joseph Di Giulio earned a narrow 7-5 victory. That swung the doubles point to the Bruins, and with UCLA's superior depth in singles, it was always going to be tough for Stanford to win four of the six points in individual play.
The Trojans didn't have the benefit of a first-round bye. They drew Utah in the first round and overwhelmed the Utes to earn a 4-0 win. In the second round, Southern Cal battled tenth-ranked California, and in what turned out to be similar to their regular season encounter, the Trojans scored a convincing 4-1 win.
UCLA and USC have already played three times this season. In February, the Bruins took down the Trojans 4-3 in the first round of the ITA Team National Indoor Championships. Three weeks later, in a non-conference clash in Marks Stadium, the Trojans got their revenge with a 4-1 win. The last encounter was just over a week ago on Senior Day with the Pac-12 regular season title on the line, and UCLA knocked out Southern Cal 4-1.
Today we'll find out if the Bruins can win round 4 against their rivals and, in the process, defend their Pac-12 Tournament title. UCLA also hopes to extend its 11-match winning streak today and continue to build on its momentum with the NCAA Tournament set to begin on Friday.
Go BRUINS! Beat SC!