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UC Santa Barbara Men, Hawai'i Women Seek Outright Titles

4/19/2017

Big West Tennis Release No. 15

UC Santa Barbara hosts rival Cal Poly in a showdown for the men's regular season title, while Hawai‘i attempts to go undefeated in women's conference play.

BIG WEST AT A GLANCE

Central Coast Clash To Decide Men’s No. 1 Tourney Seed
It’s already an intense rivalry, but the stakes are even higher for this Saturday’s Central Coast showdown between men’s tennis combatants Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara. 

The winner of that match becomes the No. 1 seed for the Big West Tournament at Indian Wells Tennis next week.  The Gauchos are seeking an unbeaten 5-0 conference record – for the second straight year – and to extend their currrent 10-match regular season win streak against Big West opponents which dates back to Apr. 11, 2015.

The Mustangs are 3-1 in league play, suffering its only setback on Apr. 2 at UC Davis.  However, a win over UCSB would give Cal Poly a share of the regular season championship, and the head-to-head tiebreaker for the No. 1 tournament seed as the victor in the head-to-head match.  Cal Poly last earned a regular season title in 2013, sharing the mantle with UC Irvine.

The possibility also exists for regular season tri-champions, in the event Cal Poly defeats UCSB and UC Davis wins its final two contests against UC Riverside and UC Irvine.  All three schools would own 4-1 Big West records in that scenario.  The determining tiebreaker for No. 1 seed becomes highest national ranking, which identifies Cal Poly currently as the 45th-ranked squad in the country.  UCSB is No. 48.  The Gauchos can finish no worse than the No. 2 seed.  UC Davis can secure the No. 2 seed with a win in one of its final two matches, coupled with a Cal Poly loss to UCSB.

Hawai‘i Women Attempt To Win Outright Title
Hawai‘i has locked down the No. 1 seed for the Big West Women’s Tennis Tournament at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which takes place Apr. 27-30 in Indian Wells, Calif.

However, the Rainbow Wahine are seeking to win the outright regular season title.  UH is bidding to finish conference play unbeaten, entering Sunday’s match at Cal State Fullerton with a 7-0 record.  It’s a significant challenge to beat a Fullerton squad that is 10-1 on its home court this season, and 17-2 overall.  The 17 victories already have tied the Titan single-season Division I record, and while CSF is locked into the No. 4 seed, a win against the top seed would provide incredible momentum going into Indian Wells.

This represents UH’s first Big West title – either shared or outright – since rejoining the league for the 2013 season.  The ‘Bows also competed in the PCAA/Big West from 1985-96 – a period when round robin play did not exist – and had a high finish of fourth place in the Big West Tournament.  A UH loss opens the door to UC Santa Barbara to earn a share of the crown.  The Gauchos enter this week at 6-1 in league play.  They take a six-match winning streak into the regular season finale against rival Cal Poly.  A win would result in UCSB’s first regular season title – shared or otherwise.

Going back to the CSF-UH showdown, the Titans have not lost the doubles point in 18 tries this season.  Titan seniors Camille De Leon and Alexis Valenzuela have won 12 doubles matches in a row at the top of the order.