#5 UCLA Men’s Tennis (20-5, 6-0)
Opponent: #27 Ole Miss (17-9, 6-6)
When: 1:00 PM PT, Saturday, May 13, 2017
Where: Sunset Canyon Tennis Courts, Los Angeles, CA
Live Stats: UCLA Statbroadcast
For one day, at least, the Bruins did just fine without captain Gage Brymer on the court. In their opening game of the NCAA Tournament, UCLA demolished Army West Point, 4-0.
As expected, the Bruins dominated in doubles, with Austin Rapp & Logan Staggs winning 6-1 on court 2, and Maxime Cressy & Ben Goldberg earning a 6-4 victory on court 3 to claim the doubles point.
UCLA was even better in singles. Logan Staggs collected the second point of the contest with a quick 6-0, 6-3 win on court 3, and Ben Goldberg followed shortly thereafter with a 6-2, 6-1 victory on court 6 to put UCLA ahead 3-0.
In the absence of Brymer, Martin Redlicki moved up to court 1, and he proved he was up to the task, registering a 6-3, 6-4 win and earning UCLA's fourth point of the day.
At the time play was halted, the Bruins had yet to drop a set, and were ahead in all of the unfinished sets. Unfortuately, I think that level of dominance says as much (or more) about Army West Point than it does about UCLA.
This afternoon's opponent is #27 Ole Miss. Unlike Army West Point, Ole Miss is ranked, and unlike Army West Point, Ole Miss has a fair amount of experience against elite competition. That said, the Rebels are at least a notch below the Bruins, and I'm talking about the Brymer-less Bruins here. If Brymer were available, I'd be predicting a sweep for the Bruins. As it is, I'll be surprised if the Rebels take more than a point or perhaps two from the Bruins.
Ole Miss advanced to the second round of the regional by beating UC Santa Barbara 4-1 yesterday. However, the Rebels' victory wasn't as impressive as the final scoreline suggests. Ole Miss needed a tiebreaker to claim the doubles point, and only earned a straight sets victory on one of the six singles courts.
Today's contest is the kind of match that the Bruins should be able to win, with or without Gage Brymer. UCLA may struggle without their captain in the second week of NCAA Tournament action, but I'll be surprised if the Bruins season ends this afternoon.