Teams: UC Davis at No. 49 UC Irvine; at UC Riverside
Records: Aggies, 4-9; Anteaters, 14-5; Highlanders, 2-17
Where: Tennis Stadium – Irvine, Calif.; Student Recreation Center Tennis Complex – Riverside, Calif.
When: Saturday at 1 p.m.; Sunday at noon
Who to watch: Senior Nic Lopez is one half of a nationally ranked doubles team.
The Orinda, Calif. native, along with sophomore Conner Coates, rank 46th in the nation for all Division I doubles teams. The duo has lost just once in their last seven matches.
Did you know? The UC Davis men’s tennis squad holds a 3-0 record in contests decided by a single match.
“In really close matches we always seem to be able to come through,” said coach Daryl Lee.
Preview: The Aggies will look for their first Big West Conference win this weekend as they face league opponents UC Irvine and UC Riverside.
The Aggies face a tough opponent on Saturday in the No. 49 Anteaters. The Highlanders, on the other hand, are winless in conference play.
As the team travels to Southern California this weekend, Lee hopes his players simply stay relaxed as they look for their first conference win.
“The effort is there and the commitment is there,” Lee said, “I think sometimes we want it too much and try too hard. Hopefully we can trust ourselves more and let things happen.”
UC Davis snapped a two-match losing streak on Saturday, beating Gonzaga 4-3 at home. The Aggies lost the following day against San Francisco despite Kyle Miller winning his singles match and Lopez and Coates defeating San Francisco’s No. 1 doubles team.
The Aggies are only 1-3 in the month of April, but some of their best players are trending upwards. Freshman Kyle Miller has won four of his last five singles matches, while Coates is 4-2 over his past six singles contests.
One area Coach Lee shows no concern is his top doubles team. Lopez and Coates are nationally ranked, putting them on par with some of the NCAA’s best teams.
“Just to be able to say Lopez and Coates in the same breath with top-10 teams like Virginia is really impressive” Lee said.
The Aggies will look to put together two strong performances before they return home to face non-conference opponent Hawaii-Hilo next Tuesday.
– Zachary D’Amato