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Tennis Championships Turn 10 In Indian Wells This Week

Links associated with this release:
Big West Men's Tennis Championship Central
Big West Women's Tennis Championship Central

4/24/2013

Tennis Weekly Release No. 16

The Big West Men's and Women's Tennis Championship begins its 10th tour in Indian Wells Thursday with UC Irvine tabbed the No. 1 seed in both draws.  No school has won both the men's and women's titles in the same year as a top seed since 1997.

BIG WEST AT A GLANCE

altUC Irvine Women Finish Undefeated In Conference
UC Irvine is the No. 1 seed for the Big West Women’s Tennis Championship after finishing the conference schedule undefeated at 9-0.  The Anteaters enter the tournament riding an 18-match winning streak and a national ranking of No. 31 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll.  UCI, which posted a 14-0 mark at home this season, is 20-3 overall for the second-most wins in the 17-year tenure of head coach Mike Edles.  The Anteaters are one win away from matching their season-high during the Edles era – 21 – set in 2007.  That year also marked the last time UCI won the Big West regular season championship, which also resulted in an unblemished slate (7-0).

Since the Big West instituted round robin play in 2006, either UCI or Long Beach State has finished undefeated in league in every season other than 2011.
 
While UCI is the No. 1 seed, Long Beach State is a two-time defending tournament champion and has won eight of the last nine tournament titles.  The 49ers are seeking their 10th Big West Tournament title and the nation’s No. 45-ranked club begin their quest on a substantial winning streak of their own – 10 straight.

Tournament action begins on Thursday with first round matchups pitting No. 7 UC Davis against No. 10 UC Riverside and No. 8 Pacific versus No. 9 Cal Poly.

Men’s Tournament Up For Grabs
The men’s draw appears like it is going to be a dogfight this year.  Regular season co-champions UC Irvine and Cal Poly finished 5-1, with the Anteaters notching the tournament No. 1 seed on the basis of their 4-3 head-to-head win against the Mustangs on Apr. 5.  UCI’s one conference loss came to No. 4 seed Hawai’i in the second match of the season back on Jan. 18.  The Anteaters and Mustangs have combined to win each of the last four regular season crowns, while UCI (2010, 2011) and CP (2012) have captured three straight tournament titles.

However, Pacific (14-8, 4-2) is a threat to win as the No. 3 seed.  The Tigers, ranked No. 71 by the ITA, lost closely contested matches to UCI and CP but have played extremely well in spurts this season.  In addition to UH’s win over UCI, the Rainbow Warriors nearly upset then-No. 65 Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo on Apr. 16, losing 4-3.  And then there’s fifth-seeded UC Santa Barbara, which lost to all four higher seeded teams in the draw, but took points off of all of them in the regular season matchup.

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.