Teams: UC Davis at Santa Clara, vs. UC Santa Cruz
Records: Aggies, 0-0, Broncos, 0-0, Banana Slugs, 0-0
Where: Degheri Tennis Center – Santa Clara, Calif.
When: Saturday at 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
Who to watch: Freshman Toki Sherbakov, who is coming back from an injury sustained throughout the fall, is expected to have a bright future after winning 44 matches with just five losses during his high school career.
While Sherbakov has not competed much for the Aggies this season, having only played in five matches, he looks to be a force for UC Davis as it enters dual play.
“[Sherbakov] is a tough competitor,” said coach Daryl Lee. “He will be a big contributor to the team.”
Did you know: This weekend’s action will be the first competition for UC Davis after an over two-month break.
Preview: The Aggies last competed at the Gael Classic in Moraga, Calif. on Nov. 8.
On Saturday, the Aggies will be returning to competitive play as they travel to Santa Clara to face off against the Broncos and Banana Slugs.
During that two-month gap without any formidable opponents, the players needed to stay sharp and in shape on their own. All were able to do this while some from Southern California even got to take part in tournaments.
Despite the disruption in the schedule, this season looks promising for the Aggies.
One player that will be a key to the Aggies’ success throughout the remainder of the season is junior Nick Lopez. Lopez was the No. 1 singles player last year and is showing his determination in practice this season.
“Lopez is in an important position in terms of leadership,” Lee said. “He will have some tough matches, but he is eager.”
While Santa Clara has an experienced roster, Lee sees some ways UC Davis can have success this weekend.
“The keys to success for the match are holding a zone, competing well and to not be intimidated,” Lee said.
Santa Cruz also poses a tough challenge for the Aggies.
“In terms of competitiveness, they are the best team in Division III,” Lee said.
Regardless of the quality of the Aggies’ opponents, Lee still believes his team can compete with anyone.
“If you know how to win,” Lee said, “you know how to hang with your opponent.”
– Zander Wold