LOS ANGELES - The No. 3 UCLA men's tennis team heads to arguably the biggest event of the regular season this week, as the Bruins will be one of 16 teams competing at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors, Feb. 15-18 in Seattle. UCLA is seeded third at the event and opens up play this Friday against No. 14 Tennessee
at 8:00 a.m. (PST) at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.
UCLA (7-0) qualified for the Team Indoors by winning a pair of qualifying matches during ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the Los Angeles Tennis Center in late January. The Bruins dispatched of Cal Poly, 4-0 in the first round before downing BYU, 6-1 in qualifying round.
UCLA is a seven-time winner at the Indoors, last winning in 2001. The event was held in Seattle that year. The Bruins have also finished runner-up on two occasions, with the last one coming in 2004, also in Washington.
New individual rankings were released for the first time since Jan. 3 on Tuesday. Sophomore Marcos Giron continues to be the team's highest-ranked singles player, checking in at No. 13 (down one spot from No. 12 in the previous rankings). Junior Adrien Puget enters the rankings for the first time this year at No. 42. He is followed by Dennis Mkrtchian at No. 55 and Dennis Novikov at No. 58. UCLA does not currently have any doubles teams in the rankings.
The Bruins are coming off a pair of impressive home victories over Bay Area rivals Stanford and Cal last week. UCLA dispatched of the No. 19 Cardinal, 7-0 on Friday before downing the No. 13 Golden Bears, 6-1 the following day. UCLA began the week with a 5-2 win over No. 26 San Diego on Tuesday. The three wins pushed UCLA's record to 7-0 on the season.
Novikov is the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week, the Conference announced on Tuesday. The Bruin sophomore from San Jose, Calif. picked up three singles wins in the team's three victories last week.