Multiple players in the lineup have propelled the Bruins to an 11-game win streak.
With this depth, No. 2 UCLA men’s tennis (22-2, 7-0 Pac-12) stands atop the Pac-12 and among the elite teams in the nation.
“Our strength as a team is that whenever a teammate has a bad day, others can step up and compensate,” said junior Maxime Cressy.
In addition to No. 1 senior Martin Redlicki, who is 10-3 on the season, three other ranked Bruins have contributed in singles.
No. 81 sophomore Evan Zhu, No. 55 freshman Keegan Smith and No. 87 senior Logan Staggs occupy courts two through four. Zhu and Smith won seven and 10 consecutive matches, respectively, all in straight sets. Staggs has compiled a 14-5 record in singles dual matches.
“Everybody has a substantially high win-loss record,” said coach Billy Martin. “(Also), we haven’t had a bunch of (our) guys lose on the same day.”
The team’s depth was evident during UCLA’s recent road matches against Arizona State and Arizona. When Redlicki was unable to notch singles dual match victories, several unranked Bruins stepped up in singles play to clinch road wins.
Against Arizona State, freshman Connor Hance completed a sweep at court six to give UCLA the lead for good. Hance currently holds a 12-4 singles dual match record.
At court five, Cressy has won his past three matches on the road, defeating Arizona State and Arizona in straight sets. Against No. 16 USC, Cressy clinched the 4-3 victory for the Bruins with a three-set victory.
“At any moment against any team, from one to six (singles) we can always win,” Cressy said. “I feel that we’re always in favor of our matchups.”
In doubles, the Bruins have two ranked pairs in No. 59 Redlicki and Zhu, and No. 11 senior Austin Rapp and Smith, at courts one and two respectively. However, at court three, Cressy and freshman Bryce Pereira lead the team with a 14-4 dual match record.
“Our team chemistry is very high, and we’re very supportive of each other,” Pereira said. “When we are firing at all of our (spots) in the lineup, it gives everyone confidence.”
The Bruins finish the regular season at home Friday against No. 35 Utah before competing in the Pac-12 championships.
“We hope the experience and the confidence of doing well in the regular season allows us to continue to (succeed) in the postseason,” Martin said.