The UC Davis tennis teams had a very eventful couple of days this weekend on the courts. The women had two dual matches, one at home and the other in San Jose, while the men competed at the Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championship down in San Diego before a dual match with Villanova.
At the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, the Aggies brought a full roster down to compete in the 124th installment of the doubles competition.
Coaches Eric Steidlemeyer and Michael Meyer, who are in their first years coaching UC Davis, returned to UC San Diego, where Meyer graduated in 2003 and Steidlemeyer coached for 14 years.
The duo of coaches won two rounds to reach the round of 32 before falling 6-2, 6-1 to the UCLA team of Clay Thompson and Alex Brigham. Also falling in the round of 32 was freshman Brett Bacharach and senior George Horowitz to a team from the University of San Diego.
Highlighting the Aggies’ performances at the tournament was the tandem of senior Toki Sherbakov and freshman Adam Levie, who reached the round of 16 at the prestigious tournament.
UC Davis’ top doubles team took down a team that was competing without any collegiate affiliation, then downed a pair from Boston College in the round of 64. The Aggies’ best win was over the team of Michael Grant and Johnny Wang, two players from second-ranked USC.
When the Aggies wrapped up competition at the Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles tournament, they went on to play Villanova on Sunday. UC Davis walked away with a 7-0 win to keep the Wildcats from winning their second straight match. Villanova had played a match and earned their first victory the day before. After the loss to UC Davis, the Wildcats stood at 1-4.
As for the women’s teams, two close matches resulted in two close victories over the weekend. UC Davis played in its first Big West match of the season at home against Cal Poly and got four singles wins for the 5-2 victory after winning the doubles point.
UC Davis grabbed the doubles point for just the second time in 11 matches, giving them enough momentum to bring four singles wins to the table over the Mustangs. UC Davis got wins from junior Megan Heneghan at the top spot, sophomore Layla Sanders playing two, then juniors Melissa Kobayakawa and Nicole Koehly at five and six, respectively.
Heneghan was the first off the court with a convincing 6-1, 6-1 beating over the top Mustang, followed by Koehly’s straight set win. The rest of the matches were much closer, all going into a third set. Senior Lauren Curry was ousted 7-5 in the third set before Sanders and Kobayakawa finished off their opponents.
Junior Ellie Edles was caught in a tight battle in the fourth slot, but fell 7-5 in the third. Still, the rest of the team’s singles wins was enough to lift the Aggies over their rival Mustangs.
The very next day, UC Davis traveled to San Jose State to face off with the 64th-ranked Spartans.
The Aggies were wiped clean in doubles, losing all three before going into singles. UC Davis came back to make the singles play much more competitive.
The same exact players that grabbed wins against Cal Poly were victorious in San Jose. Heneghan’s opponent retired from an injury after Heneghan took the first set 7-5. Then Edles and Curry both lost to put the Aggies behind 3-1. UC Davis chipped away at the lead, determined not to add another loss to their 4-7 record.
Kobayakawa took down the SJSU player at the fifth singles slot while Koehly came back from a first set 6-1 loss and won the next two by identical 6-2 scores.
Sanders was the last on court, locked in a tight battle. She had won the first set 6-1 before dropping the second set 5-7. The El Cerrito, Calif. native stormed back to take the third set 6-4 en route to lifting UC Davis to a 4-3 victory.
— Matthew Yuen