Tennis Action Gets Into Full Swing This Week
Tennis Release No. 2
A majority of Big West tennis squads will play their first matches this week.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Tennis Season Gets Into Full Bloom
A handful of Big West tennis teams began their seasons over the last two weeks, but now the full complement of squads lace up their shoes and tighten their rackets for the first time this week.
Defending Big West women’s tournament champion UC Santa Barbara commences its season with back-to-back contests against No. 17 UCLA and USC. The Gauchos reached the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season and finished 17-10 overall in 2017. Heading the returners from that team is first team all-conference singles standout Palina Dubavets and second team all-conference pick Natalie Da Silveira.
Hawai‘i, which won the women’s regular season crown with a perfect 8-0 Big West record, kicked off its season last weekend with a 5-2 home loss to Washington. The Rainbow Wahine host No. 6 Pepperdine on Saturday in another formidable test. All-Big West First Team performers Petra Melounova and Marina Hruba are back to lead UH. Melounova is the reigning Big West Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year.
Cal State Fullerton is coming off a school-record 19-win season in 2017, which included another school record 11-match winning streak that led to a program-best .826 winning percentage (19-4). The Titans lost some key players from that squad, but brought in the ninth-best incoming recruiting class among mid-majors according to TennisRecruiting.net. The Titans open at home on Thursday against UC San Diego.
The men’s tennis schedule features one match against a ranked opponent as UC Davis travels to No. 5 USC. The Aggies became the first Big West team to start 2018 play, going 1-1 against Pacific and Fresno State. Cal Poly visits Pacific and Sacramento State, while UC Riverside hosts three matches. UC Irvine is also busy with three contests.
Big West Represented In National Rankings
The Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association has Big West singles and doubles teams included in its preseason rankings.
UC Santa Barbara junior Nicolas Moreno de Alboran is ranked No. 42 nationally in singles. A 2017 All-Big West first team selection in singles and doubles, de Alboran posted a 14-10 dual match record in singles. He is also ranked No. 44 in the country with doubles partner Anders Holm. The duo of de Alboran and Holm registered a 15-6 record from the No. 2 position last year. On the women’s side, Cal State Fullerton freshman Genevieve Zeidan is tied for No. 103 in the Oracle/ITA singles rankings. A native of Taipei, Taiwan, Zeidan compiled a dominant 11-1 record in singles during the fall season. The CSUN tandem of Alicia Dinkelmeyer and Elisa Elhadj gathered a No. 59 ranking in doubles.
Indian Wells Hosts Big West Tournament For 15th Straight Year
Indian Wells Tennis Garden is hosting the Big West Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championship for the 15th consecutive year. One of the premier facilities in the United States, also a host of the BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells will host all six men’s and nine women’s teams from April 26-29.