Sunday, March 24

Tennis anyone? NCAAs next for Bruin netters


Tennis anyone? NCAAs next for Bruin netters

Slumping w. tennis, now

healthy, takes on Wake

Forest in NCAA opener

By Chris Isidro

The UCLA women’s tennis team began the road to its first NCAA
Championship at the Riviera Country Club for the 1994 All-American
Tournament. Seven months later and 10 miles down the road in
Pepperdine, the journey is almost complete.

The fourth-ranked Bruins (15-8), who enjoy a first-round bye,
take on No. 9 Wake Forest (21-4) in their opening match at the NCAA
tournament today at 3 p.m. Health will be a big issue this weekend,
especially for a UCLA squad that limped through the last three
weeks of the season and dropped six of its last seven matches.

"The team is in the best physical shape it has been in the last
month," UCLA head coach Bill Zaima said at the pre-tournament press
conference. "Tennis is an extremely demanding sport on the body and
certainly not a sport for the timid."

These next five days are not for the meek of heart either.
Should the Bruins get by the Demon Deacons, Stanford (20-2) looms
in the quarterfinals. The Cardinal took two of three meetings
earlier this season and have a seasoned group of players in the
lineup.

"Our team is healthy and the younger players on the roster have
shown tremendous development during the year," Stanford coach Frank
Brennan said.

But Wake Forest will be more than just a patsy in the opening
round. The Demon Deacons won the Atlantic Coast Conference regular
season title and only failed to take the conference tournament when
No. 8 Duke pulled the upset in the finals.

Wake Forest is led by No. 52 Terry Ann Zawacki and a core of
three other players in the Top 100. The Bruins will rely on their
two stalwarts, top-ranked Jane Chi and No. 2 Keri Phebus.

"Phebus will play at one and Chi at two," Zaima said. "The
difference in talent is really minimal as they are both outstanding
players."

Though the Bruins have experienced troubles in the tournament of
late, losing in the second round twice in the last two years, Zaima
hopes that playing on the West Coast will bring back the glory days
when UCLA made two semifinals and two finals in over a four-year
span.

"I am hopeful that playing so close to UCLA will be an advantage
for us," Zaima said. "We are familiar with the courts and the
playing conditions at Pepperdine."

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