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Hard Charging UC Santa Barbara Winning Streak Now At Six

4/1/2015

2015 Tennis Release No. 12

Achieving its highest national ranking (No. 50) under third-year head coach Simon Thibodeau, the UC Santa Barbara women look to improve upon their 3-0 start in Big West play with important matches against Cal State Fullerton and No. 74 UC Irvine this week.

BIG WEST AT A GLANCE

Slew Of Men’s Conference Matches On Tap

Accompanying the start of April is an onslaught of important Big West men’s tennis conference matches as schools jockey for tournament seeding position at Indian Wells Tennis Garden later in the month.  With only a handful of meetings already contested, this a key week as teams attempt to create some separation in the standings.  Cal Poly, UC Davis and UC Irvine are 1-0 in league play, while UC Santa Barbara is 0-1 and defending regular season champion Hawai‘i is 0-2.  UC Riverside has yet to play a league match.

The highlighted match appears to Friday’s showdown as UC Irvine travels to Cal Poly.  The Mustangs recently toppled No. 71 Utah State and No. 72 UNLV in non-conference play, and have won nine of their last 13 contests.  The Anteaters begin the week with a rare home-away doubleheader on the same day, hosting Fresno State in the morning and traveling to UC Riverside for a conference match on Wednesday.  UCI enters the week on a 10-match winning streak, and potentially could extend that mark to a dozen straight heading into the Cal Poly matchup.

UCSB seeks to stay in the race with a pair of home matches against Hawai‘i and UC Riverside.  The Highlanders are the busiest of the bunch with three league contests this week.

Long Beach State Nears League Perfection...Again
Long Beach State is close to finishing regular season play undefeated for the seventh time in 10 years.  The 49ers improved to 6-0 in the Big West with a sweep of CSUN last week.  The win extended LBSU’s unbeaten streak against Big West opponents to 18 straight in regular season matchups, dating back to Mar. 2, 2013.  LBSU’s next obstacle is a home showdown next Friday against UC Santa Barbara, which is also undefeated in league play (3-0) but has contested three fewer matches than the 49ers.

Gauchos Making Strides
Third-year head coach Simon Thibodeau has his UC Santa Barbara women’s squad in the hunt for its first Big West regular season championship, a distinction that he accomplished regularly during his nine seasons as the mentor at Fresno State.  He led the Bulldogs to first-place finishes and NCAA Tournament appearances seven times during his stint there.  Now, he seeks to make similar inroads with the Gauchos, which enter this week 11-6 overall and 3-0 in the Big West.  UCSB, which vaulted 18 spots to No. 50 in this week’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, rides a six-match winning streak into home meetings with Cal State Fullerton and No. 74 UC Irvine this week.  Two successful outings would set up a showdown with first-place LBSU next week.

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.