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A Look Back At The 2018 Tennis Season

7/10/2018

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2018 Tennis Final Release


The 2018 Big West tennis season featured a continuation of dominance on the men's side and a first time champion on the women's.

BIG WEST YEAR IN REVIEW

Hawai‘i Makes First Appearance In NCAA Tournament As Big West Member

Hawai‘i became the second-lowest seed in Big West Tournament history to win the women’s championship and advanced to the program’s second NCAA Tournament all-time.

Pacific, the No. 7 seed in 2000, was the lowest seed in tournament history to hoist the crown.  The Rainbow Wahine entered this year’s event at Indian Wells Tennis Garden as the No. 4 seed.

It was UH’s first trip to the NCAA’s as a Big West member.  The program made its first appearance in 2012 as a member of the Western Athletic Conference.

The ‘Bows knocked off No. 5 seed Long Beach State (4-1), No. 1 seed UC Santa Barbara (4-3) and No. 3 seed Cal State Fullerton (4-2) to capture the Big West Tournament title.

Hawai‘i battled No. 17-ranked Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and came away with a 4-0 loss.  It was the fourth ranked opponent the Rainbow Wahine had faced in 2018, following defeats to No. 23 Wichita State, No. 7 Illinois and No. 26 Stanford.

Rainbow Wahine Make Third Time A Charm
In its third consecutive finals appearance at the Big West Women’s Tennis Tournament, Hawai‘i did not want to experience the same outcome in the previous two tries – a loss to UC Santa Barbara. 

The Gauchos defeated UH in the 2016 and 2017 championship matches – both times as the No. 2 seed.  UH was a No. 4 seed in 2016 and the top seed in 2017.

UH avenged those two defeats, and encountered the Gauchos once again, but this time in the semifinals.  In a slugfest that lasted in the vicinity of four hours, the Rainbow Wahine edged UCSB, 4-3 – and sent the top-seeded Gauchos home.

That put UH in the finals against a first-time championship match participant – third-seeded Cal State Fullerton.

The Rainbow Wahine notched a 4-2 victory over the Titans that was extra sweet for junior Roxanne Resma.  As a freshman in 2016, Resma lost the clinching match at No. 4 singles when UCSB won its first title in 20 years.  Last year, the ‘Bows saw their title hopes slip away on the No. 6 court in another setback to UCSB.

This time around – Resma, now a junior, and the No. 6 player in the singles lineup, turned the fortunes of her squad in the clinching match.  Facing Jadie Acidera, Resma defeated the Titan by scores of 7-6 (5), 6-2 to finish off the UH triumph to put the trophy firmly in the hands of her teammates.

UC Santa Barbara Women Claim First Regular Season Crown
UC Santa Barbara captured its first women’s tennis regular season title with a 7-1 mark this season.  Since the Big West instituted round-robin play beginning in 2006, Long Beach State had claimed at least a share of nine of the first 11 regular season crowns.  However, the last two seasons have unearthed a pair of first-time champions in Hawai‘i (2017) and UCSB.

The Gauchos endured only one loss during Big West play, coming at home to eventual conference tournament champion Hawai‘i.  They also played a tough non-conference schedule that included the likes of top-35 opponents UCLA, Miami (FL), Pepperdine, California, Arizona State, Illinois and Stanford.

UCSB has finished 7-1 in conference play three straight seasons.  The Gauchos came in second the previous two years to unbeaten Long Beach State (2016) and Hawai‘i (2017).  Over the last four years, UCSB is an impressive 27-5 (.844) against Big West opponents.

WOMEN’S REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONS ALL-TIME


School Year Record
UC Santa Barbara 2018 7-1
Hawai‘i 2017 8-0
Long Beach State 2016 8-0
Long Beach State 2015 8-0
Long Beach State 2014 8-0
UC Irvine 2013 9-0
Long Beach State 2012 8-0
Long Beach State 2011 7-1
Cal Poly 2011 7-1
Long Beach State 2010 8-0
Long Beach State 2009 8-0
Long Beach State 2008 8-0
UC Irvine 2007 7-0
Long Beach State 2006 7-0

Gaucho Men Notch Third Straight Regular Season Crown
UC Santa Barbara became the first Big West men’s tennis program to win three regular season championships in a row.

The Gauchos posted an unblemished 5-0 record for the third straight year.  UCSB’s domination was such that the team won all five conference matches by a combined score of 35-0.  Counting two tournament wins in Indian Wells, the Gauchos outscored opponents 43-0.

MEN’S UNDEFEATED REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONS
School Year Record
UC Santa Barbara 2018 5-0
UC Santa Barbara 2017 5-0
UC Santa Barbara 2016 5-0
Hawai‘i 2014 4-0
Cal Poly 2012 5-0
UC Irvine 2011 5-0
Cal Poly 2007 4-0
UC Santa Barbara 2006 3-0

Unbeaten String Stretches Back To 2015
UC Santa Barbara has won 16 straight regular season contests against Big West foes dating back to 2015.  The last Gaucho loss to a Big West opponent came on April 11, 2015, a 4-3 setback at UC Davis.

After toppling UC Irvine and Cal Poly in Indian Wells at the Big West Tournament, the Gauchos extended their number of consecutive wins over league opponents to 25 straight.

UCSB Posts Fourth Straight Tourney Title
UC Santa Barbara continued its Big West Tournament domination, winning its fourth straight men’s tennis championship at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.  The Gauchos toppled fourth-seeded UC Irvine and No. 2 seed Cal Poly to hoist the crown.  The four consecutive tournament titles ties a Big West record initially set by the 2006-09 UCSB squads.

The Gauchos have won nine of the last 13 tournament titles at Indian Wells.  It was the 11th championship overall in 18 seasons with head coach Marty Davis at the helm.

UCSB Seeks Elusive NCAA Tournament Victory
UCSB made its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002, securing the Big West’s automatic bid to the postseason by virtue of being the conference tournament champion.  Unfortunately, the Gauchos came up short in their latest quest to earn a victory.  They played No. 10-ranked USC tough in the first round, but fell 4-1 to the Trojans to end the season 18-7 overall.  UCSB is 54-20 over the last three seasons.

Dual Titles For UCSB
UCSB became the first school since UC Irvine in 2013 to win both the regular season men’s and women’s tennis championships.  Both Gaucho squads won their titles in outright fashion.  The 2013 UCI men’s squad shared the regular season crown with Cal Poly.

Moreno de Alboran Posts Victory At Singles Championship
The 2018 Big West Men’s Tennis Player of the Year made an impact at the NCAA Singles Championship as Nicolas Moreno de Alboran picked up a first round victory and nearly upset the nation’s top player in the second round.

The UCSB junior, named the Southwest’s Region “Player To Watch” by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), upended No. 43 North Carolina State’s Alexis Galarneau, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, becoming the first Gaucho athlete to win an NCAA singles match since Alex Decret in 1995.  He was the first Big West men’s player to win in the national singles tourney since Andre Dome of Cal Poly in 2013.

Moreno de Alboran came tantalizingly close to advancing to the round of 16, putting a scare into No. 1 seeded and ranked Martin Redlicki of UCLA.  After winning the first set, Moreno de Alboran lost the last two to sustain a heartbreaking 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 loss to the eventual national semifinalist.

Cal State Fullerton Continues Program Surge
Cal State Fullerton set a school record in 2017 with 19 victories, finishing 19-4 overall and reaching the semifinals of the Big West women’s tennis tournament for the first time.

The 2018 season proved to be even better.  The Titans improved their school record victory total to 20, and advanced to the tournament championship for the first time in school history.  CSF became the seventh team since 2006 to tally 20 wins in a season.

Melounova Participates In Singles Tourney For Second Time

Hawai‘i sophomore Petra Melounova repeated as Big West Player of the Year – the first women’s tennis athlete to do so since Pacific’s Jenifer Widjaja in 2010-11.  Melounova earned an invite to the NCAA Women’s Singles Championship for the second year in a row thanks to being ranked in the ITA top 125.  Melounova lost a tough three-set battle in the first round to No. 21 Gabriela Talaba of Texas Tech.  She finished with a No. 75 singles ranking in the final ITA poll.

Gaucho Tandem Competes In Doubles Championships
UCSB sent a team to the NCAA Women’s Doubles Championships for the third straight year.  Palina Dubavets was a part of all three.  Dubavets teamed with Stefani Stojic in 2016 and Melissa Baker in 2017.  In this year’s tourney, Dubavets and Natalie Da Silveira lost to the Clemson duo of Marie Leduc and Fernanda Navarro in the first round by a 6-3, 6-1 score.