April 23, 2014
RECENT DUAL MATCH RESULTS…
April 11 at UC Santa Barbara: L, 5-2
April 12 at Cal Poly: L, 4-3
UC Davis (13-10, 2-3) at 2014 Big West Conference Tournament
Thurs., April 24 - Sun., April 27, 2014
Indian Wells Tennis Garden
Indian Wells, Calif.
FIRST SERVE: After ending the regular season on a down note, the UC Davis men's tennis team looks to rebound with a berth in the NCAA Tournament on the line, heading to Southern California for the 2014 Big West Conference Men's Tennis Tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif. The No. 4-seeded Aggies (13-10 overall, 2-3 in the Big West) open play on Thursday (April 24) at 9 a.m. against No. 5 UC Irvine, with a date looming against top-seeded Hawai'i on Friday (April 25) in the semifinals with a win.
TOURNEY TIDBITS: The Indian Wells Tennis Garden, one of the premier facilities in the United States and the home to the BNP Paribas Open, is hosting the Big West championships for the 11th consecutive year after opening in 2000. UC Santa Barbara, the first No. 5 seed to win the tournament title in 2013, returns to defend its crown in 2014. A complete schedule for the 2014 Big West tournament is below. Admission to all matches is free.
Thursday, April 24
No. 5 UC Irvine vs. No. 4 UC Davis, 9 a.m. (Courts 15-20)
No. 6 UC Riverside vs. No. 3 UC Santa Barbara, 9 a.m. (Courts 9-14)
Friday, April 25
No. 1 Hawaii vs. UC Davis/UC Irvine, 3 p.m. (Courts 3-8)
No. 2 Cal Poly vs. UC Santa Barbara/UC Riverside, 3 p.m. (Courts 15-20)
Sunday, April 27
Championship Match, 9 a.m. (Courts 3-8)
BE A FOLLOWER: The UC Davis men's tennis program has established its own Facebook page. Be sure to "like" the Aggies at https://www.facebook.com/pages/UC-Davis-Mens-Tennis/614858408568265.
THE AGGIES IN THE TOURNAMENT: UC Davis enters this year's Big West tournament on a two-match losing streak in the event dating back to a 4-1 win over Pacific in the opening round of the 2012 event and is 1-6 overall. The Aggies and Anteaters have never met in the Big West tournament, as UC Davis is 1-2 against Pacific, 0-2 against UC Santa Barbara, and 0-2, since becoming a full-fledged member of the league in 2008.
2008 - L, 4-0 vs. #4 Cal Poly
2009 - L, 4-0 vs. #4 UC Santa Barbara
2010 - L, 4-0 vs. #4 UC Santa Barbara
2011 - L, 4-0 vs. #3 Pacific
2012 - W, 4-1 vs. #4 Pacific
2012 - L, 4-0 vs. #1 Cal Poly
2013 - L, 4-2 vs. #3 Pacific
PLANTING THE SEEDS OF IMPROVEMENT: This year's No. 4 seed for the Aggies is the highest for the program since joining the Big West in 2008. UC Davis -- which improved from five wins to eight wins in Head Coach Eric Steidlmayer's first year and from eight to 13 victories in, this, his second season -- has been the No. 5 seed in five matches (1-4) during the 2008-10 and 2012 campaigns and the No. 6 seed twice (0-2) in 2011 and 2013.
WINNING WAYS: Oh, what a difference a year makes. The 13 wins for UC Davis this season -- the most by a Big West team and one of only two (UC Irvine) schools in double digits -- clinched the program's first winning campaign at the Division I level and are the most for an Aggies' squad since they finished 13-5 in 2000. The win total is five more than they had during all of last season (8-13) and is only the sixth double-digit win total for the program since 1997 and the first since 2002 when they finished 12-7.
MORE WINNING: The Aggies' 2-3 mark in Big West play mark the most conference wins for the program since 2010 when they finished with the same record.
SCOUTING UC IRVINE: The Anteaters enter the tournament with an 11-17 overall record and finished 1-4 in Big West play… UC Irvine lost its last two matches of the regular season to Hawai'i (4-3) and San Diego State (5-2), but the Anteaters do have a winning streak of seven matches earlier in the season… sophomore Caryl Hernandez leads the team with 19 singles wins overall and is 12-15 in dual match play this season… sophomore Tyler Pham leads the squad with 13 dual match wins (11 of those at the No. 2 position in the lineup) and is one of five Anteaters with double-digit wins in duals this spring… the doubles tandem of Justin Agbayani and Hernandez lead the team with eight doubles wins overall, while the duo of Jonathan Hammel and Pham are 7-6 in dual doubles, including a 4-4 mark at No. 1.
SERIES NOTES: The Aggies handed the Anteaters a 6-1 loss back on March 30, marking UC Davis' first win over UC Irvine since making the jump to Division I in 2007-08. Prior to that, the Aggies had been 0-9 against the Anteaters dating back to the 2005 season, including an 0-6 mark as Division I combatants.
THE WEEK THAT WAS: UC Davis' regular season came to a thrilling end on the Central Coast, falling to UC Santa Barbara, 5-2, before dropping a thriller to Cal Poly, 4-3, coming within a match point of the win several times. The Aggies opened the week in Santa Barbara, but fell behind early as the host and defending conference champion Gauchos swept doubles for the 1-0 lead. Kyle Miller and Bryce McKelvie posted three-set wins in singles for UC Davis, but UCSB took home straight-set wins at the other four positions en route to the win.
The next day in San Luis Obispo, the Mustangs took two of three in doubles to jump out to the early lead before the two squads battled through six marathon singles contests. Wins by Brett Bacharach and James Wade brought the Aggies level, before McKelvie's victory at No. 6 gave UC Davis its first lead of the day. The Aggies, however, were unable to find the clincher as Cal Poly rallied from first set losses at No. 1 and No. 5 to win the match.
HOME, SWEET HOME: The home court advantage at the Marya Welch Tennis Center was truly that for the Aggies in 2014 as UC Davis finished 10-2 on their home courts, and 11-3 overall in home matches after three contests this year were moved to indoor courts in nearby Sacramento. The 10-2 mark at home includes an active string of 10 consecutive wins to close out the year, capped by last week's win over Air Force in dramatic "Senior Day" fashion.
ROAD WARRIORS: If the Aggies are going to succeed at the Big West Tournament this week, they are going to have to do something they struggled to do this season -- win a match away from the friendly confines of home. UC Davis was just 1-7 in true road matches this season, last winning a contest away from the Mayra Welch Tennis Center on March 2 against Villanova on a neutral court in La Jolla, Calif., by a 7-0 score. The Aggies' only road win this season came on Feb. 16 when they rolled over Causeway rival Sacramento State, 6-1.
MC-PERFECT: Freshman Bryce McKelvie completed his first Big West Conference series unbeaten at the No. 6 spot, finishing a perfect 5-0 against league opponents en route to an 18-6 overall record and a 13-2 mark in dual match play. His last three wins over Big West opponents have all come in three sets and four of his five league matches in conference play went the distance with the only "blemish" coming in a 6-3, 6-1, win over UC Irvine's Caryl Hernandez on March 30 at home.
MISSED IT BY THAT MUCH: A couple more points go their way and an already-successful Aggies' season could have really taken off as their 4-3 loss at Cal Poly to close out the regular season marked the team's fifth decided by a single-point this year. UC Davis is 1-4 in those contests, with its only win coming against Air Force on April 5 at home.
JAMES CONTINUES HIS WINNING "WADE"-S: "Just Win, Baby." The mantra of Oakland Raiders fans everywhere seems to have caught on with freshman James Wade, who finished the regular season as the winningest player in the Big West Conference in both overall (27) and dual match wins (18) while competing at four of the six singles spots during the year. He is one of only four, 20-match winners in the league entering the conference tournament, joining teammates Brett Bacharach (2nd, 24) and Alec Adamson (4th, 21) along with UC Santa Barbara's Tobias Galskov (3rd, 22).
TWO'S COMPANY, BUT THREE'S A WIN: Behind the play of sophomore Brett Bacharach and freshman James Wade, a win at the No. 3 spot in the lineup has almost been automatic for the Aggies, as UC Davis is a combined 17-5 at that position in 2014 -- the best winning percentage (.773) at any spot in the singles lineup this season. Bacharach (6-2 at the position), Wade (7-1), and Miller (2-1), combined to win nine straight at that spot in the lineup -- the longest winning streak by the Aggies at any position in the lineup this season -- before having that winning streak snapped in the season finale at Cal Poly.
THREE FOR 20: No, it's not the latest meal deal from your favorite eatery. The Aggies' lineup features a trio of 20-match winners this season in freshman James Wade (27-7), sophomore Brett Bacharach (24-11), and freshman Alec Adamson (21-11), who have also combined to post a 45-19 record in duals this season led by Wade's 18-3 record.
QUICK WORK: The Aggies have made quick work of their opponents this season, posting 65 straight-set victories in singles play during the spring. Of freshman James Wade's 18 dual match wins this season, 16 have come in straight sets, while teammates Alec Adamson and Brett Bacharach are tied for second with 10 such wins in 2014.
Straight-Set Wins (Dual Match Record)
James Wade: 16 (18-3)
Alec Adamson: 10 (13-9)
Brett Bacharach: 10 (14-7)
Bryce McKelvie: 9 (13-2)
Parker Kelley: 8 (11-11)
Kyle Miller: 4 (6-8)
Mitch Thorp: 4 (4-0)
Adam Levie: 4 (6-5)
Adam Luba: 0 (1-3)
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 41-26 (.612) record in three-set matches thus far this season. Sophomore Brett Bacharach has the most experience, going to three sets 13 times while posting a team-high eight victories. Freshmen Alec Adamson is second on the team with six wins in 12 such contests, while Bryce McKelvie has matched him with six, three-set wins on the season.
Three-Set Records (sorted by wins):
Brett Bacharach: 8-5 (.615)
Bryce McKelvie: 6-3 (.667)
Alec Adamson: 6-6 (.500)
Kyle Miller: 5-3 (.625)
James Wade: 5-3 (.625)
Parker Kelley: 4-3 (.571)
Adam Levie: 3-1 (.750)
Adam Luba: 2-1 (.667)
Mitch Thorp: 2-1 (.667)
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.
WADE WINS WEEKLY HONORS: UC Davis freshman James Wade was named the Big West Conference men's tennis athlete of the week on Feb. 19 after helping the Aggies to a perfect 3-0 weekend. It is the first career honor for Wade and the first for a UC Davis men's tennis player since teammate Kyle Miller earned weekly accolades from the league on Feb. 27 of last season after sweeping his singles and doubles matches against Causeway rival Sacramento State.
In three singles matches over the weekend, Wade surrendered just eight games en route to a 3-0 record, earning a trio of straight-set victories over opponents from Holy Names, Saint Mary's, and Sacramento State, to extend his personal winning streak in singles to five straight.
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.