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Tennis

UC Santa Barbara Men, Hawai'i Women Ready For NCAA Tennis Championships

5/1/2018

#BWCTourney champs Hawai'i and UC Santa Barbara will make trips in California to open the NCAA Championships.

2018 NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament Bracket
  |  2018 NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament Bracket

Big West Tennis Release No. 17

The UC Santa Barbara men and Hawai‘i women – Big West Tournament champions – will play the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I Tennis Championships in the state of California.

UCSB (18-6), the four-time reigning conference tournament king, meets host and No. 10 seed USC in men’s tennis first round action on Saturday, May 12 at 3 p.m. (PT) inside Marks Stadium.

Winning its first Big West Tournament title last weekend in Indian Wells, the Hawai'i women (13-6) will make the trek from the islands to the Bay Area for a first round matchup against Big Ten tourney champion Michigan (17-9).  The Rainbow Wahine and Wolverines will play at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 11 inside Stanford’s Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

UCSB won its ninth Big West tournament title in 12 years under head coach Marty Davis, and tied the conference record for consecutive titles (4) – shared by the UCSB squads from 2006-09.  It was the program’s 12th title overall and 11th under Davis.

The top-seeded Gauchos defeated No. 4 seed UC Irvine and No. 2 seed Cal Poly to capture the championship at Indian Wells Tennis Garden last weekend.  That completed a 7-0 run against Big West opponents this season in which UCSB did not relinquish a point (43-0).

UCSB is seeking its first NCAA Tournament win since defeating Oregon in the first round in 1998.  The Gauchos have faced USC in the NCAA’s three previous times (2009, 2007, 2003), all resulting in 4-0 losses.  The two teams met earlier this season on Jan. 27 during the ITA Kickoff Classic as UCSB fell 6-1.

The other first round matchup at USC pits Oklahoma State (20-8) against Harvard (20-6).  Both winners will square off in a second round contest on Sunday, May 13 at 1 p.m. (PT).

Hawai‘i made good on its third consecutive tournament finals appearance.  After losing to UC Santa Barbara the previous two years, the fourth-seeded Rainbow Wahine dispatched No. 3 seed Cal State Fullerton, 4-2, to claim the program’s first Big West title.

It is UH’s second NCAA Tournament appearance all-time.  The ‘Bows also advanced in 2012 as the Western Athletic Conference champion.

UH has won seven matches in a row, including three straight in the conference tournament.  In addition to defeating CSF, the ‘Bows knocked off fifth-seeded Long Beach State (4-1) and the two-time defending champion Gauchos in a 4-3 battle.

In playing the 23rd-ranked Wolverines, UH will be facing its fourth nationally ranked opponent this season.  UH lost to No. 23 Wichita State, No. 7 Illinois and No. 26 Stanford in earlier matches.

The other first round contest features No. 16 and host 15th-seeded Stanford (18-3) taking on St. John’s (17-5).  The winners will clash in second round action on Saturday, May 12 at 4 p.m. (PT).

BIG WEST AT A GLANCE

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 is 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.

Some other notes on UH’s program:

• UH is riding a season-high seven-match winning streak.  It is the second longest winning streak by a Big West member this season.  Cal State Fullerton had an eight-match streak earlier this season.

• UH’s first round NCAA opponent, No. 17 Michigan, is the fourth ranked opponent the Rainbow Wahine are facing this year.  They lost to No. 23 Wichita State, No. 7 Illinois and No. 26 Stanford.

UC Santa Barbara Takes Another Swing At NCAA Tournament
After tying a Big West record for consecutive conference men’s tournament titles (4), UC Santa Barbara makes its fourth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.  The Gauchos are seeking to end an NCAA drought that goes back to 1998.  UCSB defeated Oregon in the first round that year.   Since then, UCSB has lost 11 straight NCAA matches.

The Gauchos have been sent to Los Angeles on a regular basis, playing at either UCLA or USC nine times in their previous 12 appearances.

Some other notes on UCSB’s program:

• UCSB’s 10-match winning streak entering the NCAA Tournament is the longest in the Big West this season.

• The 18 wins this season represents the second-most in the 19-year head coaching tenure of Marty Davis.  The 2017 club won 19 matches.

Looking Ahead
The Big West will send four individuals to the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships.  UCSB will have Nicolas Moreno de Alboran in the men’s singles championship, and Hawai‘i will be represented by Petra Melounova in the women’s singles event.  In addition, UCSB’s Palina Dubavets and Natalie Da Silveira will compete in the women’s doubles championships.




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