Fuzzy Forecast In Tennis Races Looks To Clear Up
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MW Tennis Release No. 9
Men's and women's tennis action ratchets up a few notches this week as both sides search for someone to take command in the Big West standings.
Showdown For First Place In Women’s Standings Beckons
The Big West races are starting to heat up as the calendar shifts to April and this week's schedule reveals some key women's contests. Five teams are in firm contention for the women's title. Current Big West co-leaders Cal Poly and UC Davis own identical 12-3 overall and 4-0 conference records. The Mustangs and Aggies are set to duel on Saturday in Davis. Both schools are excelling with young lineups. A revamped Cal Poly lineup includes three freshmen among the starting six. UC Davis starts three freshmen of its own, and the combined singles dual records of Megan Heneghan, Kelli Chui and Nicole Koehly is an impressive 28-13 this season.
The Mustangs take a seven-match win streak into this week's play, which begins on Friday at Pacific. The Aggies have emerged victorious in 11 of their last 12 contests. Their 10-match win streak was snapped last Saturday against No. 46 Sacramento State.
Pacific (6-6, 2-1) is tied with UC Riverside for fewest conference matches played at three. The Tigers play their next four conference tilts at home.
The other two contenders are in action this week, but stray from conference competition. Long Beach State (11-4, 4-1) takes a midwest trip to face a trio of opponents in Illinois-Chicago, No. 19 Notre Dame and DePaul. The Fighting Irish represent the fifth top 40 ranked opponent that the 49ers will have faced in 2011. UC Santa Barbara (10-7, 4-1) has lost four of its previous five matches, but all against formidable competition as No. 66 UT Arlington, No. 11 Northwestern, No. 33 SMU and No. 45 Saint Mary's have dealt the Gauchos defeat. UCSB tries to find the winning mark at home on Thursday against Portland.
Men's Tennis Race Looks To Clear Up
The developing men's tennis race is nothing to scoff at either with a majority of key matches yet to be played. Perhaps some clarity will be revealed following this week's matches. Co-leaders Cal Poly (10-3, 1-0) and UC Irvine (9-5, 1-0) spring into action. The Mustangs head up north to battle Pacific and UC Davis. The Tigers, victimized by rainouts earlier in the campaign, are gearing up for their first league contest and five of their six remaining regular season matchups are against Big West foes. The Anteaters return from a 12-day hiatus in face UC Riverside on the road Friday. UC Santa Barbara (8-9, 2-1) more than likely needs to topple Pacific on the road Saturday to keep its regular season title hopes alive.
Five Women's Teams Ranked In Loaded Big West
A glance at the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings reveals just how competitive the Big West is in 2011. An outstanding five schools are ranked in the ITA top 75, led by No. 42 Cal Poly. Long Beach State follows suit at No. 44. UC Irvine at No. 57, UC Santa Barbara at No. 59 and No 66 UC Davis round out the list of Big West representatives in the women's poll. On the men's side, Cal Poly matches the women's team in ranking at No. 42, while UC Irvine stands at No. 63 this week.