Women's Tennis Rivals Battle For First Place
2015 Tennis Release No. 8
Long Beach State takes a 16-match regular season winning streak against Big West opponents into a Friday showdown at UC Irvine, the last school to hand the 49ers a defeat in conference play just over two years ago. LBSU head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello goes for a milestone 300th career victory.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Rivals Long Beach State, UC Irvine Battle For First Place
Two long-time Big West rivals square off on Friday as UC Irvine hosts Long Beach State in a first place showdown at Anteater Tennis Stadium. The 49ers have won 16 straight regular season matches against Big West opponents. Their last conference loss came nearly two years to the day, to none other than the Anteaters. UCI posted a 4-3 victory over LBSU on March 2, 2013. UCI later went on to win the regular season crown with a 9-0 record, while LBSU returned the favor in 2014, going 8-0 during the league slate.
Both teams have had solid starts to the 2015 season. LBSU is 7-1 overall (4-0 in the Big West) and carries a No. 35 national ranking into the match. UCI owns a 9-3 mark (3-0 Big West) and is ranked No. 41 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
The meeting carries extra significance as an LBSU triumph would give 17th-year head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello her milestone 300th career victory. The successful 49er mentor, who has guided the program to 10 Big West Tournament titles in the last 11 years, is 299-131 (.695) overall. Hilt-Costello’s teams have posted a gaudy 72-3 (.960) record in Big West regular season matches since 2006. Her counterpart from UCI, Mike Edles, recently reached a milestone of his own as he collected career win No. 250. UCI is in the midst of playing eight straight contests at home.
Teams Hold Steady In Rankings
In addition to LBSU and UCI staying strong in the rankings, Hawai‘i is No. 60 and UC Santa Barbara No. 73 to represent the Big West women in this week’s ITA poll. Led by No. 61 Cal Poly, which achieved its highest ranking this week since March 17, 2013 when the program was ranked No. 45, the Big West has three men’s teams rated among the nation’s best. UC Davis is No. 70 and UC Irvine No. 72 to round out the men’s representation.
UC Irvine Men In Midst Of Long Homestand
UC Irvine started off a marathon 13-match homestand on Sunday with a doubleheader sweep of Northern Arizona and Boston College. The Anteaters host Florida Gulf Coast on Friday, play a Sunday doubleheader against Grand Canyon and UC San Diego on Sunday, and do not play a road match until April 1 versus UC Riverside. No fooling. UCI is one of three Big West squads who will take on Florida Gulf Coast. FGCU lost at Cal Poly, 4-3, on Tuesday. The Eagles also visit UC Santa Barbara on Thursday.
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.