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Ranked Opponents Await Big West Tennis Squads

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This Week In The Big West - January 14-20, 2013

1/16/2013

Tennis Weekly Release No. 2

Big West men's and women's tennis teams play a combined 11 matches against opponents in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings this week.  In addition, an early conference match is on tap as the UC Irvine men travel to Hawai’i for a Thursday showdown.

BIG WEST AT A GLANCE

Women Take On Ranked Foes
Matchups against nationally ranked competition dot the women’s tennis schedule this week.  UC Irvine gets things started with a Tuesday showdown against No. 4 USC.alt 

UC Davis takes a trek to the Grand Canyon state to battle Northern Arizona, No. 29 Arizona and No. 37 Arizona State in succession.  Cal State Fullerton tangles with No. 48 San Diego, while Cal Poly and Hawai’i encounter No. 47 Washington on the islands.  Cal Poly’s trip to Honolulu concludes with a Monday matchup against the Rainbow Wahine, which marks the inaugural Big West match in 2013.  Hawai’i opened the season last week with back-to-back losses against No. 3 Duke in its first competition as a Big West member.

Steidlmayer, Downey Make Head Coaching Debuts For UC Davis, UC Riverside

The Big West men’s tennis schedule features the debut of head coaches Eric Steidlmayer of UC Davis and UC Riverside’s Tim Downey.

Steidlmayer comes to UC Davis from UC San Diego, where he spent the last 14 seasons as the head coach.  He built the Tritons into a national contender at the Division II level, leading the program to 12 straight NCAA postseason appearances from 2000-2011.  Steidlmayer’s 2007 squad advanced all the way to the national semifinals.  In 2011, Steidlmayer, who served as an assistant coach at UC Davis for two seasons (1997-98), guided the Tritons to a 20-0 record in regular season dual matches.

The Aggies get a tough matchup in their season opener as they travel to No. 36 Santa Clara.   

Downey is no stranger to the Big West as he begins his first season in the Inland Empire.  He spent six seasons (2006-2011) as an assistant women’s coach at UC Irvine and helped shape the Anteaters into a Big West power.  UCI won the Big West regular season championship and achieved its highest-ever national ranking of No. 28 in 2006, the year he joined the program, which culminated with its first NCAA Championship appearance.  In 2010, Downey helped the Anteaters to the Big West Tournament championship and a second NCAA bid.

The Highlanders start out with a pair of ranked opponents as they square off against No. 67 San Diego State and No. 50 Fresno State.

A Decade At Indian Wells
Indian Wells Tennis Garden is hosting the Big West Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championship for the 10th consecutive year.  One of the premier facilities in the United States that also hosts the BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells will host all seven men’s and 10 women’s teams from April 25-28.  The Long Beach State women won the tournament championship for the eighth time in the last nine years, while the Cal Poly men captured the title for the first time in program history.