Fall season gets underway with Aggie Invitational

Sept. 28, 2017

UC Davis hosts Aggie Invitational 
Sept. 29- Oct. 1, 2017
Marya Welch Tennis Center
Davis, Calif.

Participating Schools: UC Davis, California, Gonzaga, Nevada, Pacific, Portland, Sacramento State, Saint Mary’s, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Stanford
Complete Draws2017 Aggie Invitational

FIRST SERVE: The UC Davis men’s tennis team takes on their home court to start the 2017-2018 fall campaign, hosting 10 other schools for the 2017 Aggie Invitational, beginning with doubles on Friday (Sept. 29) morning at 8:00 a.m., at the Marya Welch Tennis Center on campus. The tournament features three singles brackets and a trio of doubles brackets that will be narrowed down into championship matches by Sunday morning (Oct. 1).

ABOUT THE AGGIE INVITE FIELD: Competing alongside the Aggies this weekend will be student-athletes from California, Gonzaga, Nevada, Pacific, Portland, Sacramento State, Saint Mary’s, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Stanford.

For the Aggies, freshman Ivan Thamma is the No. 8 seed in the Flight “A” singles, while sophomore transfer Jonathan Star and Thamma are No. 4 seeds for the Flight “A” doubles. Senior Tommy Lam and sophomore Mitchell Iwahiro are the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds, respectively, for the Flight “B” singles, while Chethan Swanson and Lam bump up to the No. 3 seed mark for Flight “B” doubles.

Friday, Sept. 29
Flight “A” Singles — Round of 32
David Goulak (UCD) vs. (1) Bjorn Hoffmann (CAL) — 11:00 a.m.
(8) Ivan Thamma (UCD) vs. Kostya Nesterenko (NEV) — 11:00 a.m.
Everett Maltby (UCD) vs. Connor Heap (CAL) — 11:00 a.m.
Jonathan Star (UCD) vs. Samuel Feit (GON) — 12:30 p.m.

Flight “B” Singles — Round of 32
Arjith Jayaraman (UCD) vs. (1) Can Kaya (CAL) — 12:00 p.m.
Dariush Jalali (UCD) vs. Jonathan Aremon (NEV) — 12:00 p.m.
(4) Tommy Lam (UCD) vs. Jeremy Merville (NEV) — 12:00 p.m.
Chethan Swanson (UCD) vs. Gunther Matta (CAL) — 1:30 p.m.
(5) Mitchell Iwahiro (UCD) vs. Brian Lee (SM) — 2:00 p.m.



Flight “A” Doubles — Round of 16
(4) Jonathan Star & (4) Ivan Thamma (UCD) vs. Donald Hall & Dom Miller (SAC) — 8:30 a.m.
David Goulak & Everett Maltby (UCD) vs. Pierre Garcia & Tom Hann (POR) — 8:30 a.m.

Flight “B” Doubles — Round of 16
(3) Tommy Lam & (3) Chethan Swanson vs. Augustin Delahodde & Jeremy Merville (NEV) — 8:30 a.m. 

LOOKING BACK - 2016 AGGIE INVITATIONAL: UC Davis claimed two crowns on the final day. One of the crowns came from recent Aggie graduate Eli Whittle in his victory in the Flight B singles match, and the other crown came from senior Everett Maltby and recent graduate Jesse Ross in the Flight B doubles match after defeating fellow teammates Pham, a current sophomore, and Whittle. Prior to their own defeat, Pham and Whittle defeated Sacramento State’s Donald Hall and Dom Miller in the semifinals. Sophomore David Goulak and Lam won the Flight A doubles semifinals match against Santa Clara’s Connor Garnett and Robert Seby, but were eventually defeated by Pacific’s Jose Chamba Gomesz and Alex Giannini in the finals match.

A QUICK LOOK AT THE AGGIES: Aggies finished its 2016-17 campaign with a 14-8 overall record, including a 4-1 mark in Big West Conference play, reaching double figures in the win column for the fourth time in five seasons under head coach Eric Steidlmayer. The team garnered first ever wins against University of San Diego, Fresno State, and San Diego State University. Six players earned Big West Honors, and Goulak became the first to win the Big West Conference Freshman of the Year award for tennis. As a team, UC Davis finished second in the conference standings during the regular season, were ranked No. 7 in the northwest region, and had a final national ranking of 65, but before their final No. 65 ranking, the Aggies saw a Division I era best No. 64 ranking in the final PRI. 

FILE SCHEDULE: Following the four fall tournaments, UC Davis should be well-prepared for the start of their spring campaign as they head to Los Angeles to join nationally ranked teams such as UCLA, UCP, and Utah State for the 2018 ITA Kickoff Weekend. This will be the second time in three seasons where the men’s tennis team has been invited to compete against some of the nation’s top teams as one of 60 schools selected in total. UC Davis, the No. 4 seed in Los Angeles, will start their tournament by taking on UCLA, the No. 5 ranked team in the nation post 2016-17 season. Aside from UC Davis, Santa Barbara and Cal Poly will be the only schools from the Big West Conference selected to participate. Further down their spring schedule, the Aggies will attend the La Jolla Pacific Coast Doubles Championships, which is the largest Division I doubles tourney in the nation, and their Big West Championships will take place at the Indian Wells Tennis Center in Indian Wells, Calif. 

QUITE THE HAUL: Steidlmayer welcomed in a highly rated crop of freshman for the 2017-18 season, along with a new assistant coach Nathan Robinson, who has prior assistant coach experiences from Western Michigan University and Oklahoma State University. With a decorated class of five seniors graduated, the Aggies return with five veterans and welcome a young team of four incoming freshman and a sophomore transfer to fill the open spots. The senior class this year includes Maltby, who finished last season All-Big West Conference with a 21-13 overall singles record, and Lam, who finished last season with All-Big Conference honors with a 23-10 overall doubles record. The remaining three veterans make up the sophomore class: Pham, who finished last season with a 17-8 overall singles and a 16-8 overall doubles record, Goulak, who finished last season with a 26-10 overall doubles record, and Iwahiro, who will make his Division I debut this season. The national rankings for the incoming freshman, according to TennisRecruiting.net as of Sept. 27 are as follows: Thamma (No. 22), Star (No. 34), Dariush Jalali (No. 82), Swanson (No. 122), and Arjith Jayaraman (No. 148).

RECRUITING SUCCESS: For the fourth time in the last five seasons, Steidlmayer has acquired one of the top recruiting classes in the nation, ranking No. 11 among mid-major schools according to TennisRecruiting.net. This most recent ranking is the second-highest UC Davis has seen for an incoming class, with the first-highest being a No. 5 ranking achieved in 2016. Currently, UC Davis has been listed in the top 25 mid-major classes seven times since the start of their transition into the Division I level, according to TennisRecruiting.net: No. 12 (2006), No. 20 (2007), No. 21 (2009), No. 15 (2013), No. 17 (2014), No. 5 (2016), and No. 11 (2017). 

FROM SERVES TO SMARTS: A trio of Aggies picked up Big West All-Academic Team honors, as well as a spot on the ITA Academic Honor Roll. To meet the criteria for the All-American honor, student-athletes need to be in at least their second year at UC Davis, have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, and have participated in at least 50 percent of their team’s contests. Recent graduate Alec Adamson (economics), Lam (economics), and senior Eli Whittle (managerial economics) were the three honorees as announced in June of 2017. As for the ITA Academic Honor Roll, this marks the third time this award was earned as a team, where the other two instances occurred in 2008 and 2009. As for the individual players, this is Whittle’s third time garnering this award as an Aggie, the second for Lam, and the first for Pham. To be eligible for this award, a student-athlete must be a varsity letter winner, have a grade point average of at least 3.5 for the current academic year, and have been a one-year minimum enrollment at their institution. The UC Davis men’s tennis team also earned their first NCAA Public Recognition Award in May of 2017 for their outstanding academic achievements. The criteria for this honor is to have a multiyear Academic Progress Rate within the top 10 percent of the sport.

COACH STEIDLMAYER: Entering his sixth season at the head coach of the Aggies, Steidlmayer continues to increase the difference in the win-loss ratio over the last five seasons, posting a combined 69-45 (0.652) record and a 14-12 mark in Big West Conference play. Named as the Big West Coach of the Year in 2015, Steidlmayer has steadily improved the Aggies with each season. His debut with an 8-13 mark (an improvement of three wins from that previous season) has been followed up with a 14-win season in 2014 and a record 16-6 mark in 2015, which also included a set program Division I record of 17 wins— the most since the 18-5 overall record from the 1991 tennis squad.

Steidlmayer, who was an assistant coach at UC Davis for two seasons (1997-98) while receiving his master’s degree in economics, rejoined the Aggies in July of 2012 after posting a 182-108 overall record in 14 years as head coach at UC San Diego, his alma mater, coaching five All-American 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.

— #GoAgs —