Teams: No. 56 UC Davis vs. No. 42 Long Beach State; vs. Santa Clara
Records: Aggies, 16-4 (6-1); 49ers, 15-5 (5-1); Broncos, 14-4
Where: Marya Welch Tennis Center
When: Saturday at 2:00 p.m.; Sunday at noon
Who to watch: The Aggies will need strong play from everyone this weekend, especially freshman Nicole Koehly.
The Santa Ana, Calif. native won her last three matches in straight sets.
A victory for her in singles competition on Saturday could go a long way towards securing a number one or two seed for UC Davis in the Big West Conference tournament.
Did you know? Long Beach State has won three straight Big West regular season titles.
Preview: A win against Long Beach State could give the UC Davis women’s tennis team a chance to do something that’s never been done before – win the regular season Big West title.
More important than the regular season title, however, is the final seeding for the post-season tournament. By upsetting the 49ers this weekend, the Aggies can earn at least a number two seed, a goal coach Bill Maze set at the beginning of the season.
Saturday’s match will not be an easy one for UC Davis, however. Long Beach State is a perennial powerhouse, and until they lost last year, they had won six-straight conference tournament titles.
“Long Beach State is the team to beat,” Maze said. “I think Long Beach State is definitely the best team in the conference.”
One key to the match will be the doubles competition, an area where the Aggies have not always been the strongest.
“I think we have a shot, but we would have to play incredibly well,” Maze said. “We’re definitely up to the challenge.”
In a collegiate tennis match that is decided by the best of seven points, earning the doubles point provides a large psychological advantage, Maze explained.
“Against a quality team, if you lose the doubles point, it’s going to be tough,” said Maze.
On Sunday the Aggies will be in action again against non-conference opponent and local rival Santa Clara.
– Caelum Shove