Event: Big West Conference Tournament
Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Santa Barbara; TBA
Records: Aggies, 8-12, (2-3); Gauchos, 13-10, (3-2)
Where: Indian Wells Tennis Garden – Indian Wells, Calif.
When: Friday at 3 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday TBA
Who to watch: Freshman Toki Sherbakov is coming to the end of a year in which he has had success at the top of the ladder.
The Mountain View, Calif. native leads with 12 dual singles victories, all coming at No. 1, 2 or 3.
Did you know? The Aggies have failed to get a single point in each of the last two Big West Conference Tournaments, losing both 4-0 in the first round.
Preview: This weekend marks the end of a long season for the Aggies as they have been competing against other schools since shortly after the school year started.
It all comes down to a single contest that happens to be against UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos have proven to be a tough opponent for the Aggies.
UC Davis has lost to UC Santa Barbara all six times the teams have faced each other in the last four-plus seasons.
Included in the six losses is a 6-1 defeat on March 1 and a 4-0 loss in the first round of the tournament a year ago. With these results, the odds are not great for the Aggies.
The upside is that when the odds are against a team, they have nothing to lose.
Throughout the season, each Aggie has come out and shown their potential at one point or another. On Friday, it could be any one of the Aggies who comes out and competes at an optimal level.
Two very likely candidates are the Aggies’ top freshmen, Sherbakov and Connor Coates.
Other Aggies who could come out with a big match are seniors Hunter Lee, Nic Amaroli and Tyler Lee. This will be their last weekend of collegiate tennis and there’s no better way to finish than on top.
If UC Davis is able to defeat UC Santa Barbara on Friday, they would play Pacific on Saturday in the semifinals.
Earlier this season, the Aggies defeated the Tigers 4-3. Since UC Davis has already beaten Pacific this season, their toughest round could be the first.
– Zander Wold