Teams: UC Davis at Santa Barbara
Records: Aggies, 2-4 (0-0); Gauchos, 2-6 (0-0)
Where: Rob Gym Courts – Santa Barbara, Calif.
When: Saturday at 10 a.m.
Who to Watch: The doubles team of Herzyl Legaspi and Desiree Stone picked up their first win – an 8-6 defeat of UC San Diego – in four tries after having switched teammates prior to the Stanford matchup on Feb. 2.
Legaspi, who hails from American Canyon, Calif. also defeated Cindy Dao, her Triton counterpart, in singles action by a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (5) tally.
Did you know? Desiree Stone won her first singles match of the year on Sunday against UC San Diego. The North Hollywood, Calif. native will look for her first winning streak of the season after having 25 overall victories last year.
Preview: Every tennis coach knows that being successful in doubles play often translates to a team win.
This is why coach Bill Maze has made it a point of emphasis when the Aggies face a dangerous UC Santa Barbara squad on Saturday.
“We have to win the doubles points,” he said. “I think we need to win that to have a chance.”
Maze has seen the doubles progression in each team over the course of the season. He feels the on-court chemistry between the teams has just begun to reach its potential.
“I think they’re starting to gel,” Maze said. “The doubles are huge part of tennis and [the teams] are looking good.”
Maze, meanwhile, realizes their first Big West Conference matchup will be a daunting task because of the scarcity of team wins over the Gauchos in past seasons.
“I honestly cannot remember the last time we beat them,” Maze said.
That’s probably because it hasn’t happened in more than seven years. The most recent UC Santa Barbara win came last season when the Gauchos dispatched the Aggies 5-2.
The Aggies’ coach undoubtedly characterizes this contest as a critical assessment of his team’s abilities, yet does not seem phased by it.
“It’s definitely going to be a test,” Maze said. “I think we’re right there. We’ve played other teams with a higher level of tennis.” More importantly, the Aggies go into Big West action with the same consistent mentality.
“We are stronger this year,” Maze said. “I think we got a real shot.”
– Marcos Rodriguez