Six-Match Homestand Opens With Dons, Lions

Head Coach Eric Steidlmayer and the Aggies open the home portion of their schedule this weekend against San Francisco and Loyola Marymount.
Head Coach Eric Steidlmayer and the Aggies open the home portion of their schedule this weekend against San Francisco and Loyola Marymount.

Jan. 31, 2014

Jan. 25 at Pacific: L, 6-1

San Francisco (0-1) at UC Davis (0-2)
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014
1 p.m.
Davis, Calif. | Marya Welch Tennis Center

Loyola Marymount (0-0) at UC Davis (0-2)
Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014
11 a.m.
Davis, Calif. | Marya Welch Tennis Center

FIRST SERVE: The UC Davis men's tennis team (0-2 overall in 2014) opens its longest homestand of the season this weekend, kicking off a stretch of six matches at home against Bay Area rival San Francisco and Loyola Marymount. The Aggies battle the Dons on Saturday (Feb. 1) at 1 p.m., before trying to silence the Lions' roar on Sunday (Feb. 2) at 11 a.m.

SPRING BACK: Aggie fans who plan on attending Sunday's match against Loyola Marymount, take note of the earlier start time of 11 a.m. from the previously posted start of 1 p.m.

IN THE RANKINGS: Neither San Francisco, Loyola Marymount, nor UC Davis, are listed among the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's rankings as of Jan. 29.

SCOUTING SAN FRANCISCO: Picked to finish in a tie for fourth with Santa Clara in the preseason West Coast Conference coaches poll, the Dons return six players who saw action off of last season's squad that finished 14-8 overall and 4-4 in WCC play, advancing to the semifinals of the conference tournament… San Francisco is 0-1 to start the year after opening its season with a 4-0 loss to No. 16 California on Jan. 22… junior Bernardo Saraiva was a second-team All-WCC honoree in singles last season and was joined by sophomore teammate Nils Skajaa as a first-team all-conference doubles tandem.

SCOUTING LOYOLA MARYMOUNT: The Lions open their season on Saturday at nearby Sacramento State before heading west to take on UC Davis… LMU is picked to finish eighth in the West Coast Conference this season according to a vote of the league's coaches, returning six players off of last year's squad that finished 4-20 overall and 2-7 in conference play… juniors Felix Van Kann and Othar Kordsachia were named to the All-WCC Second Team in doubles in 2012-13 after finishing 7-2 together… senior Sebastian Bustamante led all Lions with 15 singles wins overall last year -- one of five LMU players with double-digit wins.



SERIES NOTES: Since making the leap to Division I in 2007-08, UC Davis has yet to defeat San Francisco, posting an 0-6 mark over that stretch, including an 0-3 record at home… the Dons defeated the Aggies, 4-3, in their last trip to Davis in 2012… UC Davis is 1-2 against Loyola Marymount in that same span, posting a 4-3 win over the Lions last season in Los Angeles… the Lions defeated the Aggies, 6-1, in the last meeting in Davis in 2012.

WHAT CONFERENCE ARE WE IN AGAIN?: The Big West Conference Aggies may want to apply for affiliate membership in the West Coast Conference the way their early-season schedule has shaped up. This weekend's matches against the Dons and Lions will mark four-consecutive meetings with WCC opponents after opening the year against nationally ranked Santa Clara and Pacific, with a fifth WCC school in Saint Mary's, on the docket on Feb. 15 in Davis.

WADE-ING INTO THE WINNING END: Freshman James Wade posted his third-consecutive singles victory to account for the Aggies' lone point against Pacific on Jan. 25, moving up one spot in the lineup to defeat Ben Mirkin in straight-sets. Wade improved to 2-0 in dual matches this season with the victory and moved to 11-4 overall on the year, matching sophomore teammate Brett Bacharach for the team lead in singles wins.

FALL GUYS: The three teams competing this weekend should be very familiar to one another but, if the fall season is any indication, the Aggies should be in pretty good shape against the Dons and Lions. Six UC Davis players posted a combined 7-1 record in singles play against their counterparts from San Francisco and Loyola Marymount and finished 2-1 in doubles play, meeting sporadically during a four-tournament fall slate. 

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'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."