Defending Women's Tennis Champs Begin Season
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This Week in the Big West - January 25-31, 2016
Big West Tennis Release No. 3
No. 39 Long Beach State begins its 19th season under the guidance of head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello, having won eight Big West regular season titles in the 10 years the conference has had a round-robin schedule.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Defending Champs Ready To Go
Long Beach State is one of two schools – Cal Poly women the other – that have yet to play a dual match this season, but that changes this Saturday. The Beach host San Francisco, while the Mustangs welcome visiting Westmont.
In 18 seasons under head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello, Long Beach State’s program has displayed a tradition of dominance. Since the Big West went to a round-robin scheduling format in 2006, she has guided the Beach to eight regular season titles (seven outright, one shared). LBSU’s 8-0 conference record marked the seventh time in 10 years that the program finished league play with an unblemished record. To illustrate LBSU’s dominance even further, the program has posted an incredible 76-3 (.962) record in regular season Big West matches since 2006.
LBSU enters the 2016 season with a 20-match conference win streak dating back to Mar. 2, 2013. Hilt-Costello, who recorded her 300th career win last season, also has guided LBSU to 11 Big West Tournament titles in the 12 years the event has been housed at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Good Start To 2016 Season
A number of quality wins have accompanied the schedule in the early going of the 2016 season. On the men’s side, UC Davis toppled No. 33 Pepperdine, UC Santa Barbara outlasted No. 37 Louisville and UC Irvine blanked No. 56 Old Dominion at respective ITA Kickoff Weekend regional sites last week. The Hawai‘i women pulled off an upset of No. 63 Arizona, while UC Santa Barbara lost three straight 4-3 matches in disappointing fashion to No. 2 USC, No. 50 Utah and No. 38 Oklahoma.
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. 27 Oracle/ITA Division 1 rankings were released. Four women’s teams sit inside the top-75, led by Long Beach State at No. 39, and followed by No. 59 UC Santa Barbara, No. 67 Hawai‘i and No. 74 UC Irvine.
The men remained steady with four nationally ranked squads for the third straight week. UC Santa Barbara, with two ranked wins on its résumé, is the leading Big West representative at No. 47. UC Davis is No. 53, Cal Poly No. 57 and UC Irvine No. 67 in the rankings. The Mustangs nearly knocked off No. 43 Tennessee and No. 59 Auburn at the ITA Kickoff Weekend.
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.