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Tennis

Top-Seeded Long Beach State Women, UC Irvine Men Seek Tennis Titles

Files associated with this release:
11_Tennis Championships Bracket
MW Tennis Release No. 13

Links associated with this release:
Tennis Championships Page

4/26/2011

Indian Wells Tennis Garden hosts the Big West Men's and Women's Tennis Championships April 28-May 1 with a combined seven nationally ranked squads comprising the two fields.  The UC Irvine men and Long Beach State women own the top seeds.  Both tournament champions receive the Big West's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships in May.

NOTEWORTHY

Women's Preview - Long Beach State Looks To Start New Streak
For the fourth straight year, Long Beach State is the top seed in the Big West Women’s Tennis Championship.  The 49ers shared the regular season title with Cal Poly as the two schools posted identical 7-1 league records.  LBSU won the seeding tiebreaker based on a 6-1 head-to-head victory against the Mustangs on April 9.

The 49ers seek to reclaim the tournament championship after seeing their run of six straight titles ended last year by UC Irvine.  Since the tournament moved to Indian Wells in 2004, Long Beach State had enjoyed a streak of 20 consecutive victories until UCI notched a 4-1 victory in the 2010 championship match.

Long Beach State continued a tradition of dominance by hoisting the regular season crown for the fourth straight season and fifth time in the last six years under the guidance of head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello.  It is the first co-championship for LBSU during that reign.  Dating back to 2006 when the Big West began a round-robin scheduling format, the 49ers have posted a gaudy 44-2 record against conference opponents.  The only two setbacks occurred on March 1, 2007 against UC Irvine, and earlier this season in a 5-2 loss to UC Santa Barbara on March 5.  That marked the first time in four years that the 49ers had sustained a regular season defeat to a conference opponent.

Cal Poly attempts to win its second tournament title, and first since 2003.  The Mustangs are hoping to send 11th year head coach Hugh Bream out in style as he is retiring at season’s end.  Bream’s Mustangs are ranked No. 36 in the latest Campbell’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, three spots ahead of Long Beach State.

It is perhaps the deepest tournament field in the eighth year at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which will host the event at least through 2013.  No. 3 seed UC Davis is ranked No. 56 nationally and No. 4 seed UC Santa Barbara is No. 67.  The defending tournament champion Anteaters, the No. 6 seed, are ranked No. 59 in the nation.

Men's Preview - Conference Unbeaten UC Irvine Begins Quest To Repeat As Tourney Champs
The UC Irvine men’s tennis team cemented its grip on the tournament No. 1 seed and regular season crown with an impressive 5-2 win at fellow conference contender Cal Poly last Saturday.  It was a matchup between two nationally ranked squads playing equally explosive tennis.  The Anteaters emerged victorious and captured their third regular season title in the last four seasons, becoming the first program to finish league play 5-0.

Attention now turns to the conference tournament in Indian Wells.  Last year, UC Santa Barbara’s four-year championship run ended and UC Irvine grabbed the reins, taking the title for the first time since 2005.  The Anteaters were 4-0 victors against Cal Poly in the 2010 championship match.

Cal Poly and UC Irvine are accustomed to winning regular season championships.  The two programs have combined to win outright or earn a share of the title each year since 2007.  However, tournament glory as eluded the Mustangs.  They are seeking their first tournament title since becoming Big West members in 1997.  Top seed UCI is ranked 40th nationally, while the second-seeded Mustangs are No. 45.  Not to be overlooked are No. 3 seed Pacific and No. 4 UC Santa Barbara.  Both teams lost narrow 4-3 decisions to Cal Poly during the regular season.  UCSB also lost a 4-3 nailbiter to UCI in early March.