The Aggies have endured all sorts of tough weather this past week, from rain to shine to torrential winds, and will welcome the warm sun that is forecasted this week.
The UC Davis tennis teams will continue their luxurious streak of home matches this week, both hosting several matches at the Marya Welch Tennis Center.
On Friday, the women’s tennis team will continue its six-match home stand with its fourth straight home match. UC Davis will host Pacific at 1:30 p.m. at the same time as the men start their match against Cal Poly.
On the women’s side of this doubleheader, the Aggies will have quite a matchup against the Tigers, who dominated UC Davis in the past until the past couple years. UC Davis, in 2011, beat Pacific for only the second time in head coach Bill Maze’s career at the helm of the Aggies’ program (16 years at the time).
Another win last year added to this total, and the Aggies certainly don’t show any signs that these two years were anything other than an indication of the rise of UC Davis tennis.
The Tigers are 8-11 and 3-4 in conference, but are always a tough team to beat. UC Davis stands right ahead of Pacific, in seventh after their tightly contested 4-3 loss to Hawai’i.
The UC Davis women’s tennis team will then play host to UC Santa Barbara on Saturday at noon. The Gauchos are currently 13-6 and 4-2 in the Big West Conference, which puts them in third place.
The Aggies are coming off a very demanding weekend, having played three matches in four days. UC Davis fell to Long Beach State on Friday by a score of 6-1. The 43rd-ranked 49ers are now 7-1 in the Big West after sweeping the doubles point and grabbing five of six singles matches. The Aggies’ lone win came from senior Ellie Edles, who ground out a 6-4, 6-2 win in the fifth-singles slot.
Still, UC Davis bounced back from the loss with a dominating victory over UC Riverside the very next day. The Aggies swept all three matches to take the doubles point, and never slowed in singles competition.
Junior Megan Heneghan sat out for the singles competition, moving everyone up one slot, but the Aggies adjusted just fine. Freshman Tiffany Pham was the first off the court with a 6-1, 6-0 beating of her Highlander opponent, and sophomore Layla Sanders followed soon after with a 6-1, 6-1 victory at the top slot. The only UC Davis loss came from senior Lauren Curry, who went to a third-set tiebreaker but fell 10-5.
On Monday, the Aggies fell in a heartbreaking loss to Hawai’i. The match was rescheduled from April 4, when it rained, but many of the players would rather have played in the wet conditions compared to the windy gusts that flew around the courts.
After dropping the doubles point, the Aggies stormed back to take three of the first four singles matches to finish at five, four and six, respectively. Yet, it was not to be, as the Rainbow Warriors took the final two matches, including the 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 battle in which junior Melissa Kobayakawa fell in the deciding match.
A couple of wins over some tough, but beatable, opponents this weekend could go a long way for the Aggies who are still battling for placement in the Big West Conference Standings.
After the six-match homestand, UC Davis will move on to compete at the Big West Conference Championship tournament in Indian Wells, Calif.
On the men’s side, UC Davis has had its fair share of struggles, having lost three straight 5-2 matches. The Aggies have enjoyed considerable success from newcomer Brett Bacharach in the recent past.
The freshman from Sacramento, Calif., over this span of three losses, has had three doubles wins and two singles wins. Bacharach’s victories over his respective opponents from UT Arlington and Hawai’i were one of only two singles wins that UC Davis was able to manage.
Senior Toki Sherbakov, who has always been reliable for the Aggies, took down the top player from the Rainbow Warriors in a tightly contested 7-5, 7-5 match. He will have quite a task ahead of him when UC Davis faces Cal Poly, the 73rd-ranked team in the country. The Mustangs boast the 22nd-ranked player in the nation in senior Andre Dome.
Cal Poly is currently in fourth place in the conference at 9-8 and 1-1 in league competition.
UC Davis squares off against Cal Poly on Friday at 1:30 p.m., then hosts a tough UC Santa Barbara team Saturday at noon.
The Saturday matchup will show the Gauchos, who are currently 8-9 overall and 1-1 in the Big West, facing off with UC Davis, which stands at 6-9 and 0-2 in conference.
The Aggies will attempt to get themselves a win in the Big West competition, never an easy task with tough teams like these.
MATTHEW YUEN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.