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Men's Tennis Rivals Lock Horns In Big West Opener

2/5/2015

2015 Tennis Release No. 4

Combining for 10 of the last 13 Big West Tournament titles, heated men's tennis rivals UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara open up conference play Sunday with an important encounter at Anteater Tennis Stadium.

BIG WEST AT A GLANCE

UC Davis Men Join National Rankings
Coming off a 4-3 victory at No. 52-ranked Santa Clara on Jan. 31, UC Davis returns to action this week in a home doubleheader freshly minted with a national ranking.  The Aggies entered the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national rankings at No. 72, the program’s highest ever ranking and the first national rank since Jan. 29, 2008, when UC Davis spent a week tied with four other schools (Brown, College of Charleston, Harvard, and San Diego) at No. 75.  Sophomore Jesse Ross, a transfer from Santa Clara, had the clinching victory against his former school when he defeated Sebastien Mathieu by the score of 6-3, 7-5.  Thanks to rain in the northern California area, this Sunday’s doubleheader against No. 70 Nevada and Sonoma State was postponed until Feb. 22.  The Aggies return to action on Valentine’s Day against Causeway Cup rival Sacramento State.

Hilt-Costello Inches Closer To Career Milestone
The Long Beach State women’s program, led by 17th-year head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello, enjoyed another strong start to the season with victories last week against Cal State Fullerton and San Diego State on the road.  The wins upped Hilt-Costello’s career record to 294-130 (.693) and placed her just six shy of landmark No. 300.  The earliest Hilt-Costello could seal the milestone would be Feb. 28 at UC Davis, requiring the 49ers to remain undefeated through their first eight matches.  In Big West regular season matches, the 49ers are an astounding 69-3 (.958) since the conference instituted round-robin play in 2006.  They have won 13 straight league matches heading into their next matchup with Hawai‘i on Feb. 14.

Edles Three Wins Short Of 250

UC Irvine’s 4-3 victory over Loyola Marymount on Tuesday positioned head coach Mike Edles one step nearer to a career milestone.  In his 19th season, Edles moved to 247-169 (.594) overall.  The Anteaters play their next three matches at home – this Saturday against San Diego State, Feb. 14 versus San Francisco and Feb. 16 against UC Davis.  Edles potentially could reach career win No. 250 against the Aggies.

Rivalry Opener
The Big West opener for two longtime men’s tennis rivals takes place on Sunday when UC Santa Barbara travels to UC Irvine.  The two clubs have combined for 10 of the last 13 conference tournament championships.  Both teams face tough non-conference matchups the day prior to their showdown, as the Gauchos travel to No. 35 San Diego and the Anteaters encounter No. 1 USC. 

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.