©Colette Lewis 2012--
The top-ranked UCLA Bruins cruised past unseeded Rice 4-0 this morning as the NCAA Division I Sweet 16 got underway at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the University of Georgia campus.
The Bruins took the doubles point and got wins from Carly Seguso at 6, McCall Jones at 2 and Robin Anderson at 1 to complete the win in less than 2 1/2 hours.
This is the first time the Bruins have entered the NCAA tournament as a No. 1 seed, and head coach Stella Sampras Webster admitted the role was a new one for her team.
"We're usually the underdogs coming here, so being number one is a different feeling, but I think the team is doing a good job just playing tennis," said Sampras Webster.
"Our biggest thing is just trying not to get caught up in that or trying to keep that ranking or that seed. We just try to focus on playing our tennis, and taking one match at a time."
The surprising Owls, who were in the 33-48 grouping, but upset both No. 18 Illinois and NO. 16 Ole Miss to advance to Athens for the first time in school history are led by a former UCLA Bruin, Elizabeth Schmidt.
"Once we started, I didn't even think about it, but going up into it and seeing her here was great," said Sampras Webster, who coached Schmidt in the late 1990s. "You can tell she's doing a great job, because her players play for her, they really fight for her. During the match I didn't think about it, but before and after, it was just kind of cool to see her and see how well she's doing as a Bruin. She's doing a great job."
Next up on Saturday for UCLA is Pac-12 rival Cal, who handed the Bruins one of their two defeats last month.
#1 UCLA (24-2) def. #33-48 RICE (18-9), 4-0 - Henry Feild Stadium
Head Coaches: Stella Sampras Webster (UCLA) and Elizabeth Schmidt (RICE)
1. #6 Robin Anderson/Skylar Morton (UCLA) vs. #26 Natalie Beazant/Dominique Harmath (RICE), 8-7, unfinished
2. #9 Courtney Dolehide/Pamela Montez (UCLA) def. Katie Gater/Ana Guzman (RICE), 8-3
3. McCall Jones/Carling Seguso (UCLA) def. Kim Anicete/Stephanie Nguyen (RICE), 8-2
1. #4 Robin Anderson (UCLA) vs. #36 Natalie Beazant (RICE), 6-0, 6-4
2. #98 McCall Jones (UCLA) def. Dominique Harmath (RICE), 6-0, 6-1
3. #73 Pamela Montez (UCLA) vs. Katie Gater (RICE), 7-5, 3-1, unfinished
4. #124 Skylar Morton (UCLA) vs. Ana Guzman (RICE), 6-3, 3-3, unfinished
5. #119 Chanelle Van Nguyen (UCLA) vs. Kim Anicete (RICE), 6-4, 4-2, unfinished
6. Carling Seguso (UCLA) def. Stephanie Nguyen (RICE), 6-3, 6-1
Order of Finish