Tennis Squads Continue Non-Conference Play
Big West Tennis Release No. 6
A host of tennis teams are off to impressive starts on both the men's and women's side as non-conference matches dot the schedule this week.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Long Beach State, Hawai‘i Tied Atop Women’s Standings
Long Beach State and Hawai‘i – two of the favorites to compete for the women’s tennis regular season crown in a very deep pool of teams this season – are off to solid starts in conference play. Both squads are 2-0. The Beach knocked off UC Riverside and CSUN at home, while the Rainbow Wahine defeated the Matadors and UC Davis in Honolulu.
LBSU continued an impressive program streak with Saturday’s triumph over CSUN. It represented the 30th straight regular season win over a Big West opponent, a streak that dates all the way back to Mar. 30, 2013. In addition, LBSU extended its home court win streak to 10 straight after toppling San Francisco in a non-conference battle on Sunday. The Beach has not dropped a Big West home match since Mar. 5, 2011.
Coming off a trip to the Big West Tournament championship match last year, Hawai‘i has won three straight and is 4-2 overall. The ‘Bows have No. 96-ranked Cindy Nguyen playing well. Nguyen won the clinching match in last year’s tournament semifinal matchup against LBSU, which kept the Beach from the tournament final for the first time since 2000. LBSU turns its attention to non-conference play with a match at San Diego State. UH is idle this week, but awaits a visit from LBSU in a showdown for first place on Feb. 25.
Cal State Fullerton Opens League Play With Program-Best Start
Cal State Fullerton is 7-0, off to the program start in school history, and continues a three-match homestand on Sunday against Loyola Marymount. The Titans are enjoying a stretch where they play eight of their next nine contests at home.
Central Coast Men’s Squads, UC Davis Playing Solid Tennis
The UC Santa Barbara men, playing a challenging schedule that features seven straight road matches to open the season, is 4-1 so far on the roadtrip. The Gauchos bounced Pacific and Fresno State last week. Idle for a 13-day stretch, UCSB finishes off the trip next week in the Bay Area against San Francisco and California. Cal Poly is also playing well with victories over Boise State, Pepperdine, New Mexico and Loyola Marymount. The 4-2 Mustangs host Pacific this week. UC Davis, also no stranger to the road, finishes up a seven-match roadtrip at Saint Mary’s Saturday, before its home opener Sunday against Nevada. The Aggies have played five of their six matches so far to 4-3 decisions.
Plethora Of Big West Players Ranked By ITA
The most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings of Feb. 15 features strong Big West representation in singles and doubles. Three women’s players are ranked in singles – No. 80 Palina Dubavets of UC Santa Barbara, No. 96 Cindy Nguyen of Hawai‘i and No. 124 Maeva Razakasoa of Long Beach State. Two men’s individuals own national rankings in singles, as Cal Poly’s Ben Donovan is No. 72 and UC Irvine’s Sebastian Heim is No. 95. Some top notch doubles teams also inhabit the Big West. Two Gaucho women’s tandems are recognized nationally – Melissa Baker and Stephanie Yamada are No. 41, and Palina Dubavets and Stefani Stojic make their national debut at No. 52. Another Gaucho duo, the men’s partnership of Simon Freund and Morgan Mays, rose all the way up to No. 12 in the country, while Cal Poly’s Corey Pang and Donovan are slotted in at No. 28.