Jan. 20, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis men's tennis team begins its spring schedule this weekend when the Aggies travel to play No. 50 Santa Clara at on Saturday at 4 p.m. and No. 14 California on Sunday at 10 a.m.
UC Davis will look to improve on a 5-13 record from a year ago, returning eight players from last season and adding a pair of newcomers.
Toki Sherbakov will likely assume the role as the No. 1 singles player after battling through injuries in the 2010-11 season. The Aggies also return a trio of seniors in Josh Albert, Chris Aria and Nick Hallchurch. Other letterwiners include George Horowitz, Connor Coates, Kyle Miller and Alec Haley.
A junior transfer from Fresno State, Hugo Verdi-Fortin could make an immediate impact this season. UC Davis also picked up a transfer from UC Santa Barbara in sophomore Adam Luba, who will sit out this season due to conference rules.
"We're hoping to have continued improvement from our returners and impact from our newcomers," said head coach Daryl Lee. "We have some players and some pairings in doubles that are capable of surprising some teams this season."
The Aggies dive into an extremely competitive schedule beginning with two matches this weekend, including eight opponents that are in the top 75 in the preseason ITA rankings.
"This is one of the most challenging weekends right at the start of the season," said coach Lee. "Additionally, we play some of the top teams in the nation during our nonconference schedule."
After the opening weekend, UC Davis faces No. 62 Saint Mary's, No. 67 San Francisco and No. 35 Fresno State in the nonconference schedule. An always-competitive Big West slate has three ranked opponents, including No. 75 Pacific, No. 42 UC Irvine No. 47 and Cal Poly.
The Aggies start conference play next weekend at Pacific on Saturday, Jan. 28 before opening the home slate against Sonoma State on Sunday, Jan. 29.
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