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Cal Poly, UC Irvine Square Off For Men's Tennis Title

Files associated with this release:
MW Tennis Release No. 12


Nationally ranked teams Cal Poly and UC Irvine – undefeated at 4-0 in conference play – meet in San Luis Obispo on Saturday to decide the men's tennis regular season championship and No. 1 seed in next week's Big West Tournament.


Cal Poly, UC Irvine Battle For Men’s Tennis Crown
UC Irvine visits Cal Poly in a battle of 4-0 conference squads with the winner earning the Big West regular season championship and No. 1 seed at next week’s conference tournament.  First serve takes place at noon on Saturday at Mustang Courts.

Both squads come in playing excellent tennis.  Cal Poly has won nine of its last 11 matches and is ranked No. 41 in the nation according to the latest Campbell’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.  The Mustangs, which lost to No. 9 UCLA on Wednesday, have not dropped back-to-back matches all season.  After a 1-4 start to the season, UC Irvine has reeled off 15 victories in its next 18 contests.  The Anteaters are coming off a 7-0 loss to No. 3 USC on Tuesday.  UCI has lost consecutive matches just once previously - against No. 4 Ohio State and No. 6 UCLA in the fourth and fifth contests of the season.  UCI is ranked No. 49 in the Campbell’s ITA poll. 

Cal Poly and UC Irvine are accustomed to winning regular season championships.  Since the Big West went to a round-robin scheduling format in 2006, Cal Poly or UC Irvine has either won outright or shared the conference title in each of the last four seasons.  The Mustangs won outright titles in 2007 (4-0) and 2010 (4-1), while the Anteaters shared the crown in 2009 (4-1 with Pacific) and 2008 (4-1 with UC Santa Barbara).

Long Beach State, Cal Poly Share Women’s Tennis Title
Long Beach State and Cal Poly finished 7-1 in conference play to earn a share of the Big West Women’s Tennis regular season championship.  By virtue of a 6-1 win against Cal Poly on April 9, the 49ers claimed the tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed at next week’s Big West Tournament.

The 49ers have captured the Big West regular season title in four straight and five of the last six seasons under head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello.  They finished with an unblemished 8-0 record in 2008, 2009 and 2010.  This is the first conference title for the Mustangs and head coach Hugh Bream, who will be retiring at season’s end.

Both clubs enter the Big West Tournament ranked among the nation’s best.  Long Beach State is No. 40 in the Campbell’s ITA poll while Cal Poly is right behind at No. 42.  The 49ers enter the tournament winners of five straight and nine of their last 11 matches.  The Mustangs have been victorious in 11 of their last 13 outings.

Rankings Recognition
The Big West continues to earn plenty of recognition in the national rankings.  Five women’s squads, led by No. 40 Long Beach State, populate the ITA team rankings.  Cal Poly at No. 42, UC Davis at No. 58, No. 60 UC Irvine and No. 64 UC Santa Barbara also represent the women.  On the men’s side, Cal Poly is ranked No. 41 nationally followed closely by No. 49 UC Irvine.  Individually, UC Irvine’s Chris Kearney is ranked No. 41 in singles while Cal Poly’s Andre Dome is No. 104.  In doubles, UCI’s Kearney and Stephen Stege hold the No. 40 national ranking, while the Mustang duo of Dome and Alex Sonesson is No. 49.  The UC Davis tandem of Connor Coates and Nick Lopez are rated No. 66 in the poll.