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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

UCLA Related News Abundant Today; Steinberg Named Women's Head Coach at Colorado; US Juniors Advance to Main Draw at Women's $25K in Sumter SC

UCLA alum Mackenzie McDonald picked up his first ATP Top 50 win today in s'Hertogenbosch, but he was not the only person with UCLA connections in the news today. The 23-year-old McDonald, who won the 2016 NCAA singles and doubles titles in his junior year and then turned pro, defeated No. 8 seed and ATP No. 49 Andres Seppi of Italy 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of the ATP 250 grass court tournament in the Netherlands.  Currently ranked 110, McDonald, who received a wild card into the tournament, will face qualifier Alex Bolt of Australian in the second round.

For reasons I've never understood, the Pac-12 men do not release their all-conference awards until weeks after the college season is over, but they were announced yesterday, with UCLA taking all of them. The all-conference selections can be found in this release.

Player of the Year: Martin Redlicki, UCLA
Doubles Team of the Year: Redlicki and Evan Zhu, UCLA
Coach of the Year: Billy Martin, UCLA
Freshman of the Year: Keegan Smith, UCLA

For rundown of many other Division I conference award winners, see my post from last month.

Former UCLA associate head coach Grant Chen spoke with Rhiannon Potkey of Tennis Recruiting Network about his new position as head men's coach at SMU for this feature.

And Caroline Dolehide, whose older sister Courtney played on the 2014 UCLA National Championship team, talked with Ashley Marshall of USTA about her climb up the WTA rankings and how close she was to following in her sister's footsteps to UCLA.

In Pac-12 news not involving the Bruins, Danielle Steinberg was named women's head coach at the University of Colorado.  Steinberg, who played at Arizona, was the head coach at Kansas State for four years.  Her alma mater also had a women's head coaching vacancy, but Steinberg is headed to Boulder rather than Tucson.  She replaces Nicole Kenneally, who retired after 19 seasons last month.

Qualifying is complete at the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Sumter South Carolina, with juniors Hailey Baptiste, Abigail Forbes and Nicole Mossmer winning final round matches today. They are joined by three other Americans: University of Florida freshman McCartney Kessler, Gail Brodsky and Rhiannon Newborn (Baylor).

The top seed in the tournament is Taylor Townsend, who will face recent Vanderbilt graduate Astra Sharma of Australia Wednesday. Wild cards were awarded to Alexa Graham(UNC), Elysia Bolton(UCLA recruit), Emma Navarro(Duke recruit) and Ashley Weinhold. NCAA finalist Ashley Lahey of Pepperdine is also in the draw.