Former Big West Conference Rivals Tussle in Stockton

Freshman James Wade became the season Aggie to reach double-digit singles wins this season, improving to 10-4 last weekend at Santa Clara.
 
Freshman James Wade became the season Aggie to reach double-digit singles wins this season, improving to 10-4 last weekend at Santa Clara.
 

Jan. 21, 2014

THIS WEEK
UC Davis (0-1) at Pacific (0-1)
Saturday, Jan. 25, 2013
2 p.m.
Stockton, Calif. | Hal Nelson Tennis Courts

FIRST SERVE: Coming off a tough season opening defeat at nationally ranked Santa Clara to open 2014, the UC Davis men's tennis team (0-1 overall) looks to rebound and get into the win column this weekend, making the short jaunt south to Stockton, Calif., to take on former Big West Conference rival Pacific on Saturday (Jan. 25) at 2 p.m.

IN THE RANKINGS: Neither Pacific nor UC Davis are ranked among the ITA's top 75 teams as of Jan. 21... the Tigers' sophomore Sem Verbeek is ranked No. 105 in singles to kick off the spring.

SCOUTING PACIFIC: The Tigers enter the weekend with an 0-1 record after falling to No. 41 Stanford, 6-1, in their spring opener on Jan. 14... the Aggies' former Big West Conference rival is coming off a 2012-13 season in which they finished 16-9 overall and 4-2 against conference foes, reaching the championship match of the league tournament before falling to UC Santa Barbara, 4-2.

SERIES NOTES: Since joining Division I, the Aggies are just 2-7 against the Tigers dating back to the 2007-08 season, having lost the last two dating back to a 4-1 win in the first round of the 2012 Big West Conference Tournament... UC Davis' only win during the regular season against its neighbors from Stockton came in 2009-10, posting a 4-3 victory on Pacific's home courts.

SO, WE MEET AGAIN: Although a match in the Big West standings won't be at stake this weekend, UC Davis will be looking for a modicum of revenge when it takes the court in Stockton. The Aggies were eliminated from last year's Big West Conference Tournament in the first round by Pacific -- the last in a run of three-straight first-round meetings between the Northern California rivals, including UC Davis' win in 2012.

THAT'S HOW YOU DEBUT: In their first dual matches as Aggies, freshmen Alec Adamson and James Wade each won their debuts last weekend against nationally ranked Santa Clara, battling through to clinch a pair of victories at the No. 3 and No. 5 spots in the UC Davis lineup. Adamson rallied to win a three-set battle over Ashot Khacharyan, 1-6, 6-5, 10-6, while Wade cruised to a 6-1, 6-2, win over Jesse Ross.


 

 

AND A "SOPH" SHALL LEAD THEM: Picking right up where he left off following an 11-win freshman campaign, sophomore Brett Bacharach equalled his win total from all of 2012-13 last weekend against Santa Clara, clinching his 11th singles win of the season with a three-set, 6-5, 5-6, 10-8, marathon victory over Mikheil Khmiadashvilli. Bacharach, who has not lost back-to-back matches this season, leads the Aggies with his 11 wins -- a run that included five-straight victories during the fall.

WADE WINNING: Speaking of double-digit wins, freshman James Wade joined Bacharach in the club with his 10th of the season last weekend at Santa Clara, improving to 10-4 overall in singles play in 2013-14. Two more Aggies, sophomore Adam Levie and freshman Alec Adamson, are also on the verge of double-digit wins at 9-4 and 9-2, respectively.

HE... COULD... GO... ALL... THE... WAY...: When it comes to marathons in singles play, the Aggies have performed well in 2013-14, posting a combined 22-11 in three-set matches thus far this season. Sophomore Brett Bacharach and James Wade have had their endurance tested a team-high six times this season, posting records of 5-1 and 3-3 in three-set contests, respectively, while freshman Alec Adamson is a solid 4-1 in such matches.

DOUBLES TROUBLE: The duo of freshman Alec Adamson and sophomore Adam Levie emerged as the Aggies' top doubles tandem during the fall, finishing with wins in 11 of their 12 matches, including seven-straight at one point, and the last four to finish out the fall. Adamson and Levie were at their best on a big stage near the end of October, a run that culminated in a semifinal berth at the USTA/ITA Regionals. The pair upset three-consecutive seeded teams following its opening-round win, including the tournament's No. 3, No. 9, and No. 6 seeds, before falling to the eighth-seeded duo from Washington. The duo also claimed the main draw doubles title at the Pacific Tiger Invitational with an unbeaten 4-0 run through the bracket to close out the fall.

AGGIES AT-A-GLANCE: UC Davis returns six letter winners off of last season's squad that finished 8-13 overall and 1-5 in Big West Conference play. Three of the top-six players in the Aggies' lineup from 2013 return, led by senior Kyle Miller, who leads all returners with 14 singles victories at the No. 2 spot in the lineup a season ago en route to All-Big West Second Team honors in singles and second-team honors in doubles with partner Adam Luba. Senior Parker Kelley, an All-Big West Honorable Mention singles selection who was 12-8 in singles playing at mostly the No. 3 spot, and sophomore Brett Bacharach, who was 11-10 mainly at the No. 4 position, also finished with double digits in victories.

HEAD COACH Eric Steidlmayer: Entering his second season at the helm of the Aggies, Eric Steidlmayer sparked a three-match improvement in the win column for the Aggies in 2013, moving up from a 5-15 record in 2011-12 to last year's 8-13 mark. Steidlmayer, who was an assistant coach at UC Davis for two seasons from 1997-98 while receiving his master's degree in economics, joined the Aggies after posting a 182-108 overall record in 14 years as a head coach at UC San Diego, coaching five All-America selections and leading the Tritons to 12 consecutive NCAA Division II postseason appearances, including a national semifinal appearance in 2007 and a 20-0 record during the 2011 regular season.

HIGH-CLASS UNDERCLASS: UC Davis will head into battle with a youthful lineup that features six underclassmen on its nine-man roster, including a trio of freshmen. Rookies Alec Adamson and James Wade were among the top 50 players in the nation, ranked No. 34 and No. 45, respectively -- including standing among the top 15 players in California at No. 12 and No. 14, respectively. The Aggies' class, which also included four-star recruit Bryce McKelvie, received a vote among TennisRecruiting.net's top-25 men's recruiting classes for 2013 and No. 15 among the website's mid-major classes.

MEN'S TENNIS SIGNS TWO TO LETTERS OF INTENT: UC Davis head men's tennis coach Eric Steidlmayer announced that Tommy Lam and Everett Maltby have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers with the Aggies beginning in the 2014-15 season.

Lam joins UC Davis from Hong Kong, where he was ranked as high as No. 17 in the country in 2012 and was a member of the Hong Kong Boys 16-and-under team that placed ninth at the Junior Davis Cup that year. He twice captured the Hong Kong National Junior Tennis Championships in singles in 2008 and 2010 and helped the Diocesan Boys' School team to a pair of Inter-School Tennis Competition Division I championships.

His brother, Kelvin, is currently a sophomore on the men's tennis team at Harvard.

"Tommy has extensive international experience, solid strokes, and is a good doubles player with quick, soft hands," Steidlmayer said. "We think Tommy has good ability now, has high upside potential, and we are expecting him to continue to work on and improve his game over the next 10 months."

Maltby is a four-star recruit from Sunnyvale, Calif., and is entering his senior season at Archbishop Mitty HS. He won his second-consecutive West Catholic Athletic League doubles title and earned All-WCAL First-Team honors in 2013. This past fall, he placed third in both the the Boys' 18 singles and doubles competitions at the USTA National Regional Championship in Palo Alto, Calif., and earned the tournament's Sportsmanship Award as well.

"Everett is a good all-court player, who has consistently improved his level over the past few years," Steidlmayer said. "He has the potential to play an aggressive game, set up by a solid serve and aggressive forehand. We really like him as a person and a player and we think he is a great fit for us at UC Davis."