Tennis Championships Begin At Indian Wells
Big West Tennis Release No. 15
The UC Santa Barbara men and Long Beach State women are the No. 1 seeds at the 13th edition of the Big West Tennis Championships at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Both squads seek to defend their 2015 titles.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
UC Santa Barbara Earns No. 1 Men’s Tennis Seed
Thanks to a big 5-2 road win over Central coast rival Cal Poly in the regular season finale, UC Santa Barbara earned the No. 1 seed in the Big West Men’s Tennis Championship for the first time since 2008.
The Gauchos finished the league slate a perfect 5-0, becoming the first Big West squad since Cal Poly in 2012 to finish a full conference slate unblemished. The 5-0 mark also represented UCSB’s first regular season title since 2008. Hawai‘i was an undefeated 4-0 in 2014 to take the regular season crown, but played an abbreviated league schedule due to a rainout against UCSB.
Cal Poly settled for the No. 2 seed, a spot that should not deter the squad once the tournament begins on Wednesday at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The Mustangs were the No. 2 seed when they last hoisted the tournament trophy in 2014.
UC Davis, which has tied the school’s Division I record for wins (16) initially set last year, is the No. 3 seed. After finishing the home ledger 10-0 and extending its home court winning streak to 19 streak, the Aggies must find their comfort level at Indian Wells. UC Davis has never advanced any further than the semifinals. The Aggies begin their quest for a title against No. 6 seed Hawai‘i at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday. The other first round matchup pits No. 4 seed UC Irvine and No. 5 seed UC Riverside. The Highlanders have set a school Division I record for victories with 16.
Long Beach State Begins Quest For Another Tourney Title
Long Beach State, the regular season champion for the ninth time in the last 11 seasons, seeks another Big West Tournament title on the women’s side. The No. 1 seeded Beach has won the conference tournament in 11 of the 12 years that Indian Wells Tennis Garden has hosted the championship. Overall, the LBSU program has won the title in 12 of the previous 14 seasons. At IWTG, LBSU is an astounding 35-1 all-time.
The two biggest threats to unseating the Beach from the top perch appear to be No. 2 seed UC Santa Barbara and No. 3 seed Cal State Fullerton. The Gauchos nearly pulled off the upset of LBSU, falling 4-3 in Santa Barbara on April 2. It was the only loss for the Gauchos in their last 10 matches. UCSB boasts a win over then-No. 24 Fresno State this season. That is the highest ranked opponent any Big West team has defeated this year. The Gauchos take on No. 7 seed UC Davis at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday.
Cal State Fullerton is having a banner year with school records of 17 victories overall and six conference wins. The only two setbacks in league play came against LBSU and UCSB. The No. 3 seed is the highest in school history for the Titans. They battle No. 6 seed CSUN in Thursday’s quarterfinals. The other quarterfinal contest on Thursday features No. 4 Hawai‘i against No. 5 UC Irvine.