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Hawai'i Hosts Long Beach State In Battle Of Top Women's Squads

2/22/2017

Big West Tennis Release No. 7

Long Beach State travels to Hawai‘i in a battle for first place in the women's standings, while the Cal Poly men achieved their highest ever national ranking.

BIG WEST AT A GLANCE

Long Beach State, Hawai‘i To Tangle On The Islands
One of the more intriguing matchups of the 2017 season takes place in Honolulu this week as Long Beach State and Hawai‘i engage in a battle of teams with 2-0 Big West records.

LBSU is the prominent Big West power – winner of three straight regular season championships and nine of the 11 (outright or shared) – since the conference instituted round robin play in 2006.  The Beach has reeled off 30 consecutive regular season wins over Big West opponents, a streak that dates all the way back to Mar. 30, 2013.  LBSU has home wins over UC Riverside and CSUN to get to 2-0 in conference.

Meanwhile, Hawai‘i has knocked off CSUN and UC Davis at home to also reach 2-0 in the Big West.  The Rainbow Wahine finish off a season-opening eight-match homestand with clashes against BYU and then LBSU.  UH has won three straight and is off to a 4-2 start.  This is a rematch of the 2016 Big West Tournament semifinals in which UH stopped LBSU from reaching the finals for the first time since the 2000 season.  The anticipation is high for a matchup at No. 1 singles between the last two Big West Players of the Year – senior Maeva Razakasoa of Long Beach State and Cindy Nguyen of Hawai‘i.

Streaks A Plenty
Entering this week, a handful of Big West women’s teams are riding winning streaks.  Cal State Fullerton is off to the best start in school history at 7-0.  The Titans have a chance to tie the school record for most consecutive wins when they host Loyola Marymount on Wednesday.  They can establish a new record on Friday against Eastern Michigan.  LBSU has won four in a row.  So has UC Santa Barbara, which has recovered nicely from an 0-4 start – albeit all against top-20 programs.  UH has won three straight.

Cal Poly Men Achieve School Record ITA Ranking
A 5-2 start has helped the Cal Poly men achieve its highest ever national ranking of No. 33 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Feb. 21 poll.  It is only the second time in Division I program history that the Mustangs have been ranked in the top 50, previously reaching as high as No. 44.  The Mustangs have solid wins over Boise State, Pepperdine, New Mexico, Loyola Marymount and Pacific.  The road gets tougher this week with Cal Poly playing two of the nation’s best squads, traveling to No. 12 USC on Thursday and hosting No. 9 Michigan on Sunday.  In terms of other higher profile matchups this week, UC Santa Barbara, off to an impressive 4-1 start, joins UC Davis on a road trip to No. 6 California.  The Aggie men have captured three straight matches.

ITA Rankings Recognize Big West Players

The most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings of Feb. 21 features the UC Santa Barbara tandem of Simon Freund and Morgan Mays rising all the way No. 8 nationally in doubles.  The Cal Poly duo of Ben Donovan and Corey Pang is ranked No. 35 in doubles.  Donovan is also No. 57 singles, while UC Irvine senior Sebastian Heim is No. 99.  Two Gaucho women’s doubles teams are ranked – No. 41 Melissa Baker and Stephanie Yamada, along with No. 52 Palina Dubavets and Stefani Stojic.  Dubavets also owns a national singles ranking of No. 113.