Swanson, Houbova Lead Squads to Big Victories
Chethan Swanson of UC Davis and Alzbeta Houbova of Hawai‘i helped their respective tennis teams to solid starts as the first recipients of 2019 weekly honors.
Swanson Makes Big Contributions In 2-0 Aggie Start
UC Davis sophomore Chethan Swanson (Folsom, Calif./Folsom HS) notched Big West Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week honors for his clutch play in home wins over Pacific and Fresno State.
Swanson won both of his singles matches when the stakes were highest on a weekend where weather and wet courts caused delays and competition relocations.
In a 4-2 win against Pacific, Swanson gave his team a 3-2 lead with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 triumph at No. 5 singles against Akron El Sally. Swanson overcame the early first set deficit to easily take the next two versus a foe who had played as high as No. 1 in the singles lineup last year for the Tigers.
Swanson was instrumental in a 4-3 victory over Fresno State, marking just the second time in program history that the Aggies beat the Bulldogs. UC Davis trailed 3-2 in the match, with Swanson looking to even things up at No. 4 singles against Cagatay Soke.
Swanson led 5-4 in the third set when the match was postponed due to darkness. The schools relocated to a nearby country club to play under lights, and Swanson persevered through a third set tiebreaker to win 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4) against Soke, who was 15-6 in dual matches last year.
The Aggies eventually went on to win the doubles point for the 4-3 team triumph.
Despite starting the Saturday doubleheader nearly four hours late due to inclement weather, UC Davis has its best start to a season since 2008 (3-0) thanks to Swanson’s singles play.
Others nominated: Andre Ilagan (Hawai‘i)
Houbova Helps Hawai‘i to 2-0 Start
Hawai‘i junior Alzbeta Houbova (Zilina, Slovakia/Sukromne Gymnasium Zilina) captured Big West Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week honors as the only ‘Bow to win all four of her singles and doubles matches in a pair of wins.
Houbova was crucial to UH’s success in back-to-back 4-3 team victories over Baylor and CSUN. Baylor is ranked just outside the top 25 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll.
Playing at No. 6 in the singles lineup against the Bears, Houbova rolled to a 6-4, 6-2 win over Stephanie Adames. She also partnered with Michelle Pits at No. 3 doubles, needing a win over Kris Sorokolet and Katelyn Parker to secure the doubles point for UH. The ‘Bow duo did just that with a 7-6 (4) win in the tiebreaker.
Hawai‘i won its Big West opener against CSUN with Houbova again playing a vital role. She moved up to No. 5 singles and scraped out a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Emma Roenholt. In doubles, Houbova and Pits found themselves once again in the deciding role as the matches were tied 1-1. However, Houbova and Pits doubled up Roenholt and Sibel Demirbaga, 6-3, paving the way for the narrow win over the Matadors.
Others nominated: Ana Fraile Toboso (CSUN)