Big West Tennis Season Comes Into Focus
2015 Tennis Release No. 1
The 2015 Big West tennis season is here, and both men’s and women’s squads face some nationally ranked competition to test their meddle.
Here are this week’s matchups on tap against teams ranked in the initial 2015 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings:
|UC Davis at No. 30 Stanford
||No. 29 Kentucky at Hawai‘i
|UC Irvine vs. No. 41 Texas Tech (2)
||No. 25 Ole Miss at Hawai‘i
|UC Irvine vs. No. 61 New Mexico (2)
||UC Davis at No. 32 Arizona State
|UC Santa Barbara at No. 37 TCU
||No. 43 Washington at Hawai‘i
|No. 33 Boise State at Hawai‘i
|UC Davis at No. 15 California
|UC Riverside at No. 1 USC
Long Beach State, UC Irvine Women Tabbed In ITA Rankings
Long Beach State, the 2014 Big West regular season and tournament champion, joined UC Irvine among the teams listed in the initial ITA Women’s Top 75. The 49ers were tabbed No. 41 and the Anteaters No. 72. Last year, the 49ers won the Big West Tournament for the 10th time in 11 years and finished regular season Big West play undefeated (8-0). Leading the charge for LBSU is 2014 Big West Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year Maeva Razakasoa, and fellow first team all-conference standout Ebba Unden. Entering her 18th year as LBSU head coach, Jenny Hilt-Costello is just eight victories shy of 300 for her career. At UCI, head coach Mike Edles wrapped up his 18th season just six wins shy of 250. He led the Anteaters to runner-up finishes in Big West regular season and tournament play. UCI fields a young squad with five freshmen, but also returns junior Sarah Gong, who earned All-Big West First Team accolades last season.
Men’s Title Up For Grabs
A wide open race could be expected on the men’s side. Hawai‘i was last year’s regular season champion, while Cal Poly walked away with the tournament crown. Meanwhile, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine have been no strangers to championships, and UC Davis, which enjoyed a +6 improvement in the win column to finish 14-11 in 2014, also could be a factor in this year’s race. Three freshmen – Cal Poly’s Ben Donovan, and the UC Davis duo of Alec Adamson and James Wade – made the all-conference first team in 2014 with Donovan being named the Freshman of the Year.
A Dozen Years At Indian Wells
Indian Wells Tennis Garden is hosting the Big West Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championship for the 12th consecutive year. One of the premier facilities in the United States, also a host of the BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells will host all six men’s and nine women’s teams from April 23-26.