MORAGA, Calif. -- The Saint Mary's men's tennis team returns to action after a two-week layoff when it heads to Los Angeles this weekend to face No. 3-ranked UCLA.
The Bruins and Gaels take the court Sunday at 11 a.m. in a match scheduled after the two had to rain out UCLA's planned trip to Moraga on Feb. 8. Saint Mary's enters play with an overall record of 5-2 while the Bruins enter Thursday's match against Virginia at 9-1.
Saint Mary's last played on Feb. 22, beating Sacramento State 6-1 to snap a brief two-match losing streak. The Gaels started the season in good form, winning their first four matches in a stretch highlighted by victories over Cal Poly and Fresno State.
No. 1 singles player Joakim Norstrom picked up one of his biggest wins of the season to date in the win over Sacramento State, defeating Marek Marksoo 6-7 (7-9), 6-2, 4-3 (7-3). Marksoo spent part of 2013 in the national rankings.
The Gaels swept the top five singles matches against Sacramento State, with Tuomas Manner, Thomas Alexander Hunt, Nathan Lewis and Wil Martin all claiming victories. Martin's was also of the three-set variety as he beat Oliver Andersen 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 5-4 (7-5).
UCLA enters the week as one of the top teams in the nation, and last time out the Bruins defeated cross-town rival USC 5-2 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
The Bruins boast five ranked singles players, led by the current No. 1 player in the country, Clay Thompson. Marcos Giron is ranked No. 5 and plays No. 1 singles, with Thompson slotting in at No. 2 in the lineup. Mackenzie McDonald (No. 35), Gage Brymer (74) and Karue Sell (98) round out the Bruins' list of ranked players. The team of Giron and McDonald is also ranked No. 25 in the nation.
Sunday's match is Saint Mary's last before jumping into West Coast Conference play. The conference opener takes place March 12 when San Diego visits Moraga for a 3 p.m. match. From there, Saint Mary's travels to Arizona to face Utah State and the host Wildcats.