As UC Davis traveled to Indian Wells, Calif.
for last weekend’s Big West Conference Tournament, it faced a tough test as the
tourney’s lowest-seeded team.
The Aggies hoped an underdog mentality would
fuel them to an early upset, but unfortunately their tournament run ended on
the first day.
Pacific swept UC Davis for the second time this
season by a score of 4-0. The Tigers went on to face the Mustangs of Cal Poly
the following day.
The Aggies, who were defeated by the Tigers
last Saturday, looked to put together a stronger performance in the rematch of
the regular season finale.
Coach Daryl Lee stated that his main focus
going into the contest would be improving on the lower half of his team.
“Our main focus will be the second half of the
singles ladder and the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles,” Lee said.
Lee was more confident in his top players, and
prior to the event he was looking for a big win from one of them to help spark
“An early double’s win would be a huge boost,”
Lee said. “It would make it much easier to have that trust in our team and
fight all the way through.”
Unfortunately for UC Davis, the contest was
over before his No. 1 doubles and singles could finish their matches.
Nick Lopez and Connor Coates did not play out
their match after the Aggies’ No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams lost, assured that
Pacific had captured the doubles point.
Additionally, Lopez and Toki Sherbakov,
starting at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively, didn’t have the chance to
finish. The Aggies were defeated in their three other singles matches in
straight sets, as the Tigers clinched the 4-0 win.
UC Davis knew a win would be tough to come by
at the tournament, and coach Lee applauded Pacific for its deserved outcome.
“Pacific is a really good team,” Lee said. “[The
Tigers] were tough and I give them credit for that. I think they have a good
chance to win the tournament.”
The Tigers went on to lose to defending champs
and top-seeded UC Irvine Anteaters in the finals.
The Aggies ended the season with a 5-13 overall
record, finishing last in the Big West at 0-5 in conference play.
While the team enters the off-season on a
disappointing note, they have plenty of reason for optimism heading into the
2011-2012 season. The Aggies are graduating just one senior this year, leaving
the young squad with plenty of time to grow and improve as a team.
ZACHARY D’AMATO can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.