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Tennis Races Tighten As Stretch Run Begins


Tennis Weekly Release No. 12

UC Santa Barbara seeks to join Hawai‘i atop the Big West men's tennis standings, needing a win at UC Riverside this Sunday to do so.


Road Successes Could Set Up Showdown For Title
Undefeated in Big West play, women’s tennis powerhouses UC Irvine and Long Beach State appear headed for another showdown for the conference’s regular season title.

Since the Big West instituted a round-robin schedule in 2006, the 49ers and Anteaters have combined for all eight regular season titles.  UCI clinched the championship in 2007 and 2013, while LBSU won its first title in 2006 and reeled off five straight from 2008-12, with the 2011 crown a shared one with Cal Poly.

The two teams are evenly ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll – LBSU checking in at No. 60 and UCI No. 63 this week.  Both teams are red hot – the Anteaters have won nine straight contests after a 3-5 start, while the 49ers have captured wins in 13 of their last 14 outings following a season-opening setback to No. 45 Washington.

To make the Saturday, April 12 match at LBSU’s Rhodes Tennis Center all the more meaningful, both squads will need to take care of business on the road this week.  The 49ers travel up the Central Coast to face UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly, while the Anteaters descend upon UC Davis.

UC Santa Barbara Men Look To Tie Hawai‘i For First
The men’s tennis race continues to develop.  Hawai‘i made its move last week with an important road win against UC Davis.  Affected by rainy weather, the Rainbow Warriors and Aggies were forced to move their match indoors and did not start play until 9:45 pm.  Three power outages delayed competition even further, and when the match finally finished after 2 am, UH had outlasted the Davis, 4-3.  UH improved to 2-0 in Big West play.  UC Santa Barbara seeks to join UH atop the Big West perch, needing a win on Sunday at UC Riverside to do so.

Fantastic Frosh Lead Aggie Men
The UC Davis men’s tennis team is 12-8 overall and on pace for the program’s first winning season since joining the Big West in 2008.  Freshmen James Wade and Bryce McKelvie are big reasons for the success.  Wade has won 10 straight dual singles matches, while McKelvie is 11-1 in duals during the spring season.

A Decade And More At Indian Wells
Indian Wells Tennis Garden is hosting the Big West Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championship for the 11th consecutive year.  One of the premier facilities in the United States that also hosts the BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells will host all six men’s and nine women’s teams from April 24-27.  The Long Beach State women won the tournament championship for the nine time in the last 10 years, while the UC Santa Barbara men became the first No. 5 seed to earn the title.