Aggies Start Spring Season at No. 1 Stanford

Nicole Koehly is one of three players who begin their final season as an Aggie against No. 1 Stanford Friday afternoon.
 
Nicole Koehly is one of three players who begin their final season as an Aggie against No. 1 Stanford Friday afternoon.
 

Jan. 22, 2014

THIS WEEK’S MATCHES
UC Davis Aggies (0-0) at No. 1 Stanford Cardinal (0-0)
Friday, Jan. 24 – 3 p.m.
Taube Family Tennis Center – Stanford, Calif.
Live Stats/Video

UC Davis Aggies at Pacific Tigers (0-0)
Saturday, Jan. 25 – 10:30 a.m.
Hal Nelson Tennis Courts – Stockton, Calif.

                        

DAVIS, Calif. – The road to a Big West championship officially begins this weekend when the Aggies compete in their inaugural dual matches of 2014. UC Davis will travel to top-ranked Stanford for its season opener Friday afternoon before facing former Big West rival Pacific in its inaugural match of the season the following day. 

IRON SHARPENS IRON
UC Davis will waste no time in facing top-tier competition as the Aggies will face Stanford, the No. 1 team in the nation, in its inaugural match of the season. Head coach Bill Maze and his squad will test their mettle against a team that boasts five ranked singles players and two doubles teams. 

THIS FACILITY FEELS FAMILIAR
By opening its season at Stanford and Pacific, UC Davis will start its season at two locales that are very familiar to the program. The Taube Family Tennis Center, home to Cardinal tennis, was the site of last October’s USTA/ITA Northwest Regional, an event that featured all 10 players on the Aggies’ roster.

As has been the case since the 2008 season, UC Davis will square-off against the Pacific Tigers; unlike past seasons, this annual matchup is the first non-conference affair between the two as the 2013-14 athletic season is Pacific’s first as a member of the West Coast Conference. 

FORMER CARDINAL RETURNS TO CAMPUS
For UC Davis head coach Bill Maze, this year’s season opener will also double as a homecoming of sorts as the former Cardinal will return to his alma mater once again.

Before earning a B.S. in economics in 1978, Maze was a co-captain of Stanford’s men’s tennis teams for his final two seasons on campus. Awarded the Rafael Osuna Award for sportsmanship, competitiveness and contributions to the game as a junior, Maze was a three-time All-American at Stanford and played No. 1 doubles with John McEnroe as a senior.

A CLOSER LOOK AT STANFORD
Ranked No. 1 in the nation in the ITA’s latest poll, the defending NCAA champion Stanford Cardinal will face the UC Davis Aggies. Kristie Ahn, the Cardinal’s top senior, enters her first dual with an 11-1 record during fall competition and singles titles earned at the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championships and NCTC Classic. Freshman Caroline Doyle has made an immediate impact for Stanford as her eight fall wins are at team high. As was the case with Ahn, Doyle took full advantage of her surroundings at the USTA/ITA Regionals–the event was held at Stanford–and advanced to the singles semifinals. 

A CLOSER LOOK AT PACIFIC
Junior Hana Ritterova leads a Tigers squad that will start its dual schedule at home against the UC Davis Aggies. During the fall season, Ritterova advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Saint Mary’s Invitational by defeating Stanford’s Lindsey Kostas before falling to Washington’s Julija Lukac in her following match. At the USTA/ITA Regionals, Ritterova and junior Iveta Masarova each advanced to the Round of 16 before falling in straight sets.

Last season in singles play, Ritterova ended the 2013 season with a 12-9 record while her teammate, Masarova, won eight of 19 singles matches.

ONE-SIDED AFFAIR
Since its transition to Division I competition during the 2007-08 season, UC Davis has defeated Pacific on four of the six head-to-head occasions, including the last three straight by identical 5-2 scores. In Stockton, the Aggies have enjoyed a similar level of success by taking two of three duals held on the Tigers’ courts. Of the three matches that previously took place in Stockton, the Aggies captured a 4-3 win in 2008 and 5-2 victory in 2012. Pacific’s lone home victory over UC Davis took place in 2010, a match that ended in the Tigers’ favor by a 6-1 score. 

THROUGHOUT THEIR BRIEF TENURE AS BIG WEST RIVALS
Both UC Davis and Pacific ended the 2013 season with 23 league dual victories since joining the Big West Conference. However, it took Pacific eight years to reach the same win total that took UC Davis only six seasons to reach. When looking at the overall records of both teams, Pacific was a combined 63-108 (.368) throughout its eight years as a Big West member school, the Aggies ended their sixth season in the conference with a 71-67 (.515) cumulative record. 

SMART SCHEDULING
UC Davis will face its longest road trip of the year at the start of spring competition by competing in four straight road games beginning with Friday’s season opener at Stanford. The Aggies will travel to Pacific (1/25) San Diego State (2/1) and UC San Diego (2/2) before hosting Nevada (2/7) in their first match at the Marya Welch Tennis Center. 

Outside of their inaugural matches, UC Davis will only play consecutive matches on the road on three occasions.

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Everyone involved with UC Davis women’s tennis will echo this sentiment once the Aggies open a six-game homestand, the longest of the year starting with a non-conference contest against Youngstown State (3/12). Additional non-conference action taking place in Davis during that portion of the schedule include duals against Eastern Washington and Portland.

UC Davis will close its block of home matches with three straight against league opponents; visiting the Marya Welch Tennis Center are Cal State Fullerton (4/4), UC Irvine (4/6) and Cal State Northridge (4/8).

HENEGHAN EARNS AGGIES’ INAUGURAL ITA RANKING
When UC Davis started its fall season, the Aggies’ roster contained its first-ever player in the Division I era to receive a national ranking from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association as the governing body of collegiate tennis listed senior Megan Heneghan No. 90 among all singles players in the country.

“No one deserves a national ranking more than Megan Heneghan," said UC Davis head coach Bill Maze shortly after the ITA released its preseason rankings. "She gives me everything she has on tennis courts, in the classroom, on the track and in the weight room to help our program reach its potential."

ANYONE, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE
Throughout the upcoming months, UC Davis will battle six teams that start its spring season with a national ranking. Those opponents include, with respective rankings prior to its inaugural dual match:


No. 1 Stanford (Defending NCAA Champion)
No. 38 UC Irvine*
No. 45 Long Beach State*
No. 46 San Diego State
No. 66 Santa Clara
No. 68 San Jose State

* - Big West Conference Team

A DECADE AND MORE AT INDIAN WELLS
Indian Wells Tennis Garden is hosting the Big West Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championship for the 11th consecutive year. One of the premier facilities in the United States that also hosts the BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells will host all six men’s and nine women’s teams from April 24-27.