Tennis Tournaments Begin Thursday at Indian Wells Tennis Garden
Links associated with this release:
Men's Tennis Tournament Central
Women's Tennis Tournament Central
Big West Tennis Release No. 16
The UC Santa Barbara men and the Hawai‘i women are the top seeds for the 2017 Big West Tennis Tournament, running April 27-30 at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
UC Santa Barbara Men Unblemished In Conference Again
For the second straight year, UC Santa Barbara secured the men’s tennis regular season title with a perfect 5-0 conference record. The Gauchos completed their unbeaten run to the crown with a 5-2 victory over Central Coast rival and No. 44-ranked Cal Poly on Saturday.
UCSB extended its win streak against Big West opponents to 11 straight in the regular season, going back to Apr. 11, 2015. Counting the past two conference tournaments, the Gauchos own a 16-match win streak against their Big West brethren.
The Gauchos captured their fourth regular season title under head coach Marty Davis – their first two came in 2006 and 2008. Now UCSB turns its attention to Indian Wells Tennis Garden and the Big West Tournament. The team is the No. 1 seed for the second year in a row. The Gauchos have cleaned up at IWTG, winning seven of the last 11 tournaments. UCSB will face the winner of a first round match between No. 4 UC Irvine and No. 5 Hawai‘i in Friday’s semifinals.
Hawai‘i Women Win First Big West Regular Season Title
Hawai‘i completed its run through the Big West, knocking off Cal State Fullerton on Sunday to finish 8-0 in conference play and clinch the outright women’s regular season championship. It was the program’s first Big West title since rejoining the league in 2013 following a stint in the PCAA/Big West from 1985-96.
UH is also the No. 1 seed at the Big West Tournament for the first time. The Rainbow Wahine will kick off their bid for tourney supremacy in Friday’s quarterfinals against the winner of UC Irvine and UC Riverside. UH reached the finals of last year’s tournament before falling to UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos are the No. 2 seed at this year’s event, while Long Beach State, which has captured 11 of the 13 titles at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, is the No. 3 seed.
UC Davis Men Look To Capture First Tourney Title
UC Davis head coach Eric Steidlmayer has led the program to 14 wins or better in each of the last four seasons. In fact, his teams have accumulated 61 victories over that span, including a 13-7 record against Big West opposition. Steidlmayer has guided the program to a Big West regular season title, sharing the honors with UC Irvine in 2015. But he has yet to see his team hoist the tournament championship trophy. Steidlmayer hopes that changes in 2017. As the No. 2 seed, the Aggies will play either Cal Poly or UC Riverside in Friday’s semifinals after receiving a first-round bye.
Loaded Women’s Field Challenges Hawai‘i For Title
UC Santa Barbara, the No. 2 women’s tourney seed, defends its 2016 title and seeks to go back-to-back for the first time since winning six straight from 1991-96. The Gauchos own the longest current win streak at seven straight entering the tourney. Long Beach State is unaccustomed to not being the top seed. In fact, the Beach was the No. 1 seed in nine of the 11 previous years before landing the third seed this year. They are a solid 16-5 overall. Cal State Fullerton has won a program Division I record 18 matches, surpassing last year’s then-record total of 17. The Titans are the No. 4 seed.