Cal Poly Men, Long Beach State Women Headed To NCAA Tennis Championships
The Cal Poly men and Long Beach State women learned their postseason destinations Tuesday when the 64-team NCAA Tennis Championship brackets were revealed.
2014 NCAA Men's Tennis Championship Bracket | 2014 NCAA Women's Tennis Championship Bracket
Weekly Tennis Release No. 16 | Cal Poly-UCLA Live Stats | Long Beach State-Tulsa Live Stats
Cal Poly (11-12), making its third NCAA Tournament appearance and second under head coach Nick Carless, will face No. 6 overall seed UCLA on Saturday, May 10 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Mustangs captured the Big West’s automatic bid to the NCAA’s after winning last week’s conference tournament in Indian Wells for the second time in the last three years. As the No. 2 seed, Cal Poly defeated No. 3 UC Santa Barbara and No. 1 Hawai‘i to claim the championship trophy.
The Bruins (22-3) are one of 16 programs around the country hosting four teams each for the first two rounds of the tournament. The other first-round match pairs No. 25 Boise State (28-4) and No. 44 San Diego (17-7), which will begin play at 9 a.m. The Mustangs and Bruins square off at noon.
The two winners will meet in a second-round match on Sunday, May 11 at noon.
Named the Big West Coach of the Year on Tuesday, Carless led the Mustangs to 11 wins in their final 16 matches after an 0-7 start.
Long Beach State (20-2) won its fourth consecutive Big West Tournament title, 10th in the last 11 years, and 11th overall last week at Indian Wells. The top-seeded 49ers blew past No. 8 Cal State Fullerton and No. 5 UC Santa Barbara before holding off No. 2 seed UC Irvine, 4-2, in the tournament final. The 49ers are making their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance.
The 49ers meet Tulsa (17-5) in a first-round match on Friday, May 9 at Stanford’s Taube Family Tennis Stadium. The host Cardinal (14-5) and Quinnipiac (13-10) compete in the other first-round contest. First serve between the 49ers and Golden Hurricane is slated for 11 a.m.
LBSU takes an 11-match winning streak into the NCAA’s. Head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello, who was named Big West Coach of the Year for the eighth time, guided the 49ers to their sixth 20-win season during her tenure. In the April 22 Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, Long Beach State is ranked No. 55, Tulsa No. 21 and Stanford No. 9.
Teams advancing from first- and second-round competition will move on to the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia, May 15-20, where squads will compete for the national championship.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Big West Tournament In Review
Long Beach State continued its domination at the women’s tennis tournament, while the Cal Poly men captured their second tournament title in three years to wrap up year No. 11 at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
The 49ers won for an astounding 10th time in 11 years in Indian Wells, toppling No. 8 Cal State Fullerton, No. 5 UC Santa Barbara and No. 2 UC Irvine to earn the Big West’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 49ers won their 11th tournament title overall and improved to 11-3 all-time in the tournament finals. LBSU, which met UCI in the finals for the seventh straight year, is now 9-1 all-time against its rival in championship matches. The 49ers also moved to 32-1 all-time at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
LBSU faced a serious challenge from the Anteaters, winners of 14 of their last 16 matches to close out the season. UCI’s only two setbacks came against the 49ers in that span. In the 4-2 final, UCI won the doubles point but lost the first three singles matches to finish to go down 3-1 in the match. However, Brooke Schweyer kept the Anteaters alive with her win at No. 6 singles. With two matches remaining at No. 1 and No. 3, Big West Player and Freshman of the Year Maeva Razakasoa outlasted UCI’s Sarah Gong, 7-6 (3), 6-4, to win at the top spot and clinch the match for the 49ers. UCI’s Franziska Goettsching was up, 5-2, in the third set against LBSU’s Julie Gerard on court No. 3 when the match ended.
Cal Poly won its second title in the brief three-year tenure of head coach Nick Carless to walk away as champion as the No. 2 seed. The Mustangs won a tightly contested doubles point, and fought for three singles wins to finalize a 4-1 victory over top-seeded Hawai‘i. Cal Poly made its fourth finals appearance, while the Rainbow Warriors, in their second season of Big West membership, played in their first. Junior Naveen Beasley, who won the clinching match in Cal Poly’s 4-0 triumph against UC Santa Barbara in the semifinals, provided the deciding point against UH as well. His 7-5, 6-3 victory against Pavel Liska touched off a wild celebration on the No. 6 court.
Nguyen Tabbed For NCAA Singles Championship
Hawai‘i freshman Cindy Nguyen is one of 64 players who have been selected to participate in the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championship at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia. The tournament runs May 21-26 following the completion of the team championship.
Nguyen becomes the first Rainbow Wahine to be chosen for the national singles tournament. A first-team All-Big West selection, Nguyen earned automatic qualification by virtue of being the highest-ranked conference player in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association top-125 rankings. Nguyen is rated No. 123. She is one of 15 automatic qualifiers that will compete with 49 at-large selections.
The Long Beach, Calif. native finished 17-3 overall in dual matches during the spring season, playing all but one match at No. 1 singles. She has won 11 straight matches heading into the NCAA Singles Championship. Nguyen is 8-1 overall against Big West opponents, including a 2-0 mark at the Big West Tournament.