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Tennis

UC Santa Barbara Men Climb To No. 42 Nationally

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This Week in the Big West - February 15-21, 2016

2/17/2016

Big West Tennis Release No. 6

UC Santa Barbara, up to No. 42 nationally in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, concludes a season-opening nine-match roadtrip against No. 38 San Diego State on Saturday.  The Gauchos have already defeated four ranked opponents in the early going of 2016.

BIG WEST AT A GLANCE


What’s On Tap In Big West Tennis
A busy week in Big West tennis features some ranked matchups and conference contests.

The Long Beach State women, off to a 3-0 start with all three wins by 6-1 scores, faces a stiff test this weekend in the desert with road matches against No. 54 Arizona and No. 27 Arizona State.  The Beach moved up two spots this week to No. 38 in the latest Oracle/ITA national rankings, and a couple of favorable outcomes could potentially vault the program into the Top 30, a goal that the squad set for themselves prior to the season.

Cal State Fullerton, enjoying its best start since 1995 with a 4-1 record, opens Big West play at UC Davis on Saturday.  The Titans also face off against former member Pacific as part of a three-match roadtrip.  The Aggies are playing their third straight Big West opponent in the Titans, after splitting a Central Coast jaunt last week.  UC Davis lost to UC Santa Barbara before toppling Cal Poly.

On the men’s side, four of the eight matches on the slate take place against nationally ranked opponents, including two top-5 powers.  Cal Poly visits No. 3 TCU, while UC Irvine battles No. 4 UCLA.  UC Santa Barbara takes on No. 38 San Diego State in what represents the team’s eighth nationally ranked opponent in nine matches, while Cal Poly ends its trip to the state of Texas with a battle against No. 53 SMU.

Thibodeau Wins 200th Career Match
UCSB women’s head coach Simon Thibodeau, entering his fourth season at the helm of the program, earned his 200th career victory at the Division I level when the Gauchos defeated UC Davis on Sunday.  It was the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for Thibodeau, who spent the first nine years of his head coaching career at Fresno State.  Thibodeau has won 41 matches at UCSB in three-plus seasons, including a 16-9 mark in 2015.  The Gauchos have played a tough early season schedule that includes four losses by 4-3 scores to ranked foes.

Gaucho Men Keep It Going

The UC Santa Barbara men have vaulted up to No. 42 in the most recent Oracle/ITA poll after extending their win streak to four straight matches.  The Gauchos have dispatched four ranked foes within the first month of the spring season, including two Pac-12 squads in No. 63 Washington and No. 69 Arizona.  UCSB also has wins over No. 37 Louisville and No. 43 Pepperdine to its credit.  More impressively, the Gauchos have excelled while playing their first eight contests on the road.  They finish up a season-opening nine-match road swing on Saturday against No. 38 San Diego State.  UCSB eagerly awaits its home opener on Feb. 27 versus Pacific.

UC Davis Winning Streak At Six Going Into Break
The UC Davis men extended its winning streak to six straight following Sunday’s triumph over Causeway rival Sacramento State.  The 58th-ranked Aggies are now off until Mar. 3 when they take on Villanova in a neutral site match in La Jolla, Calif.  The streak equals the program’s Division I highwater mark.