UC Santa Barbara Women Host No. 18 USC
Big West Tennis Release No. 2
Big West squads face off against a variety of ranked opponents to highlight week two of the 2017 tennis season, including defending women's tournament champion UC Santa Barbara in a host role against No. 18 USC.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Big West Takes On Ranked Opponents
The 2017 tennis season eased into action last week with a smattering of teams in competition. Week two features the debuts of more squads.
One of the more intriguing matchups involves the UC Santa Barbara women’s tennis team hosting No. 18 USC on Thursday. The Gauchos are coming off a 2016 campaign in which they experienced a trio of accomplishments for the first time in 20 years – a Big West Tournament title, a trip to the NCAA Tournament and a first round victory. UCSB defeated Hawai‘i in the conference tournament finals to punch its ticket to the NCAA’s, and dispatched Kansas in the first round.
USC presents an intriguing challenge to a Gaucho squad which returns a majority of its talent from that championship squad, including Jaimee Gilbertson, Stefani Stojic, Melissa Baker, Palina Dubavets, Amanda Atanasson and Natalie Da Silveira. In doubles, the duo of Baker and Stephanie Yamada is ranked No. 33 nationally in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll. Dubavets and Stojic, who are currently unranked, were ranked as high as No. 10 in the country last season. The duo advanced to the round of 16 at the 2016 NCAA Doubles Championships.
UC Davis faces a ranked opponent on the road in No. 22 Arizona State.
On the men’s side, UC Riverside and UC Irvine travel to No. 10 USC for a doubleheader on Saturday. Defending men’s regular season and tournament champion UC Santa Barbara is off to a 2-0 start, including dominant victories over San Diego State and Hawai‘i last week. The Gauchos test their mettle at No. 7 UCLA on Saturday.
Also On The Docket...
The UC Irvine women host Grand Canyon and Nevada. UC Riverside’s women travel to San Diego State and also host Grand Canyon. Cal State Fullerton, which won a school record 17 matches in 2016, debuts its 2017 season at home versus Nevada on Saturday. The Titans set program records for Big West victories (6) and conference finish (3rd) last season. UC Davis opens its season against Northern Arizona on Saturday before facing the ranked Sun Devils on Sunday. Long Beach State, the defending women’s regular season champion, hosts the Beach Tennis Winter Invite.
The Cal Poly men encounter two tough road opponents to begin 2017 – Fresno State and Boise State. The Mustangs have two nationally ranked doubles teams in No. 21 Ben Donovan and Corey Pang, along with No. 53 Tim Tan and Garrett Auproux. UC Davis, which set a men’s program record with 17 wins last year, squares off against Fresno State and Sacramento State on Saturday.
Indian Wells Hosts Big West Tournament For 14th Straight Year
Indian Wells Tennis Garden is hosting the Big West Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championship for the 14th 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.