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Davis

Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Men’s Tennis Preview

Event: Big West Conference Championships

Where: Indian Wells Tennis Garden – Indian Wells, Calif.

When: Friday at 9 a.m.

Who to watch: Sophomore Toki Sherbakov will need to be on top of his game if the Aggies want to go deep in the tournament.

The Mountain View, Calif. native has been strong all year long at No. 2 singles player for UC Davis.

Did you know? In last year’s match-up between UC Davis and Pacific, the Aggies upset then No. 71 Tigers in a 4-3 victory. The Aggies rallied off three come from behind wins to defeat the Tigers.

Preview: UC Davis travels to the Big West Conference Tournament this weekend as they look to bounce back from last Saturday’s loss to Pacific.

The Aggies will play a rematch of last weekend’s season finale as they face the Tigers in their first round match-up at the tournament.

After a midweek win against Hawaii-Hilo, the Aggies had hoped to build momentum against Pacific. The Tigers simply proved too strong an opponent as they swept UC Davis, 7-0.

Having faced their first round opponent once already, the Aggies hope to learn from their mistakes as they look to put together a better performance on Friday.

“We definitely have a frame of reference to draw from,” Coach Daryl Lee said. “What we’ve gained by playing them already this season is experience.”

As UC Davis enters its fourth year in the Big West, Lee explained the factors that go into having success at the tournament.

“The key is that the belief has to be there,” Lee said. “You’ve really got to be there mentally, and when you don’t believe, it’s easier to surrender.”

As far as mental preparation goes, Lee thinks that his team can feed off its role as the underdog to fuel its performance.

“For our team, it can help to be the underdog,” Lee said. “You perceive the match as a chance to prove something. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.”

As the tournament begins this Friday, the Aggies are confident in their chances as they look to start with a strong performance from senior Nick Lopez. Lopez’s play will be key as he has been the team’s leader and most consistent player all year long.

– Zachary D’Amato

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