Six Big West Squads Compete In Loaded ITA Kickoff Weekend
Big West Tennis Release No. 2
Big West tennis squads take on several national top-10 opponents this weekend as part of the ITA Kickoff Weekend, which pairs top teams at various sites around the country.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Kickoff Weekend Galore
A slew of Big West schools are participating in various regional ITA Kickoff Classics this weekend – a total of four men’s squads and two women’s. The teams travel both near and far, including as close as Los Angeles and across the country in places like Athens, Ga. and Winston-Salem, N.C.
Each participant plays in two matches at the regional, an opening opponent and then a consolation of championship match. Each regional winner advances to the ITA Division I National Team Indoor Championships.
On the men’s side, Cal Poly opens up with No. 43 Tennessee in Winston-Salem and UC Santa Barbara plays host No. 6 Georgia in Athens, while UC Irvine travels to No. 4 Baylor in Waco, Texas. UC Davis also tangles with a top-10 opponent as the Aggies face No. 8 USC in Los Angeles. The two women’s squads involved in the Kickoff Classic are CSUN and UC Irvine. Both teams were not provided any favors in their opening round draws. The Matadors meet No. 6 Cal in Berkeley, while the Anteaters were paired with No. 9 UCLA in Los Angeles.
The Fun Doesn’t End There
Beyond the tournaments, several other Big West schools are going to test their mettle against top competition. The UC Santa Barbara women open their season with three ranked opponents in a five-day stretch – No. 2 USC, No. 50 Utah and No. 38 Oklahoma. The latter two matches with the Utes and Sooners are taking place in Santa Barbara. Playing four ranked opponents among its first five matches, the Hawai‘i women host No. 72 San Jose State and No. 63 Arizona. On the men’s side, UC Davis opens its season at No. 18 Stanford while UC Riverside gets a tough test at No. 73 Arizona.
Ranked Big West Squads Populate ITA Rankings
Both Big West men’s and women’s squads received national recognition from the pollsters when the Jan. 20 Oracle/ITA Division 1 rankings were released. Three women’s teams landed in the top-75, led by eight-time Big West regular season champion Long Beach State, which checked in at No. 39. No. 59 UC Santa Barbara and No. 70 UC Irvine also earned a rankings distinction.
The men remained steady with four nationally ranked squads for the second straight week. UC Santa Barbara, on the strength of its win over nationally ranked Washington, rose to No. 48. No. 54 Cal Poly, No. 57 UC Davis and No. 70 UC Irvine also are perched among the nation’s best.
Lucky No. 13 At Indian Wells
Indian Wells Tennis Garden is hosting the Big West Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championship for the 13th consecutive year. One of the premier facilities in the United States, also a host of the BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells will host all six men’s and nine women’s teams from April 27-30.