Causeway Cup Contest Caps Aggies' Homestand

Samantha Martino is one of four players who will experience their first Causeway Cup dual in Sunday's 11 a.m. home match versus Sacramento State.
 
Samantha Martino is one of four players who will experience their first Causeway Cup dual in Sunday's 11 a.m. home match versus Sacramento State.
 

Feb. 20, 2014

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

Feb. 12 vs. Nevada: L, 5-2
Feb. 15 at No. 46 Long Beach State: L, 5-2
Feb. 16 at UC Riverside: W, 7-0

THIS WEEK'S MATCHES

San Francisco Dons (6-2) at UC Davis Aggies (3-4)
Saturday, Feb. 22 - 12 p.m.

Marya Welch Tennis Center - Davis, Calif.

Sacramento State Hornets (1-4) at UC Davis Aggies
Sunday, Feb. 23 - 11 a.m.

Marya Welch Tennis Center - Davis, Calif.

DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis will host three of its next four dual matches, starting with this weekend's back-to-back events against San Francisco and Sacramento State. Originally scheduled for Feb. 8, the Aggies' matchup against the Dons was rescheduled for this weekend due to inclement weather that passed through Davis earlier this month. Responsible for a 4-3 upset of then-No. 63 Sacramento State in last season's Causeway Cup meeting, UC Davis will look to earn its second straight victory over the Hornets when the cross-Causeway rivals square off Sunday morning at the Marya Welch Tennis Center.

SCOUTING SAN FRANCISCO
The 2014 season has been a rollercoaster ride for the Dons; after winning its first four duals, San Francisco dropped back-to-back matches before winning its last two contests. UC Davis is the third Big West Conference team to square off against USF, Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara lost their respective matches by 5-2 and 7-0 scores.

Even though San Francisco boasts zero national marks, Thyra Taune sports a No. 16 singles ranking within the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's Northwest region list, joining teammate Andrea Ka who is tied for No. 20.

SCOUTING SACRAMENTO STATE
Sacramento State will end its two-week hiatus when the Hornets visit the Marya Welch Tennis Center Sunday morning. In its last match, Sacramento State earned its first victory of the season by defeating UTEP 5-2, in a neutral-site contest from Tucson, Ariz. That afternoon, the Hornets' Daimante Bulatovaite and Daria Savchenko won both matches played against the Miners.


 

 

Also victorious that day versus UTEP was Olivia Boija; the only Hornet to hold an undefeated singles dual record, Boija posted her first win as a No. 5 to go along with three previously posted wins as her team's No. 6.

The pairing of Katharina Knoebl and Alina Soltanici helped Sacramento State earn the doubles point by against UTEP with their win, also pushing their record as the Hornets' No. 3 tandem to a perfect 3-0.

START OF A NEW TREND?
By defeating Sacramento State on its own courts last season, UC Davis earned its first victory over the Hornets since March 31, 2000, a match that the Aggies took by a 7-2 score. UC Davis will have an opportunity to add to its Causeway Cup total for the second straight season when Sacramento State visits the Marya Welch Tennis Center Sunday morning.

BIG WEST CONFERENCE HONORS HENEGHAN
UC Davis senior Megan Heneghan secured Big West Women's Tennis Athlete of the Week honors after knocking off a pair of conference foes in singles and helping her team to a split in league competition.

The Tustin, Calif. native is the first Aggie to capture Player of the Week accolades since Layla Sanders was recognized by the conference on March 6, 2013. Wednesday's announcement is the third occasion that Heneghan captured the league's weekly award. She was first named Player of the Week, on Feb. 23, 2011, during her freshman season at UC Davis; she was also selected during her sophomore campaign on Feb. 8, 2012.

Heneghan picked up one of two team points earned by the Aggies in a 5-2 loss to No. 46 Long Beach State last Saturday. She recorded a 6-2, 6-4 win against 49er No. 1 counterpart Ebba Unden. Heneghan returned a day later to topple UC Riverside's Jasmine Almaguer, 6-3, 6-2, in a match that the Aggies won, 7-0.

She also figured in two doubles points for UC Davis. Against Nevada in a 5-2 loss, Heneghan partnered with Melissa Kobayakawa at No. 1 doubles, storming to an 8-0 win over Caroline Konigsfeldt and Beatriz Planas. The duo also knocked off Highlander tandem Tiffany Jue and Sophie El-Kara, 8-1. Heneghan recorded a team-high four match victories last week.

BREAK OUT THE BROOMS
By capturing all seven team points at UC Riverside (2/16), UC Davis earned its first regular season clean sheet since the 2012 season. This year's accomplishment fell nine days shy of the two-year anniversary of the Aggies' last shutout, once that took place against Weber State on Feb. 25, 2012.

This year's matchup against the Highlanders marks the second straight shutout posted by UC Davis; at last year's Big West Women's Tennis Championship, the Aggies scored the first four team points to eliminate UCR. By conference rules, once a team records four team points in its postseason tournament, other matches in action end immediately.



HOME SWEET HOME

Until suffering a 4-3 loss against Santa Clara in 2013 dual, UC Davis won all eight home openers since becoming a Division I program in 2003-04. Included below is a breakdown of the Aggies' 8-1 record in its inaugural, Div. I home duals: 

2012-13 season vs. Santa Clara: L, 4-3

2011-12 vs. San Francisco: W, 6-1

2010-11 vs., Sonoma State: W, 7-0

2009-10 vs. San Francisco: W, 6-1

2008-09 vs. Santa Clara: W, 5-2

2007-08 vs. San Francisco: W, 4-3

2006-07 vs. UC Santa Cruz: W, 7-0

2005-06 vs. Sonoma State: W, 7-0

2004-05 vs. Montana State: W, 4-3

KECKI KILLS IT IN SAN DIEGO

Freshman Kamila Kecki ended her second week as a member of UC Davis women's tennis with a perfect 3-0 record after capturing her first singles and doubles victories during the team's swing through San Diego. Against No. 48 San Diego State, Kecki earned one of the Aggies' two team points with her three-set victory over Olivia Larsson, then earned her second-straight singles triumph less than 24 hours later with a straight-set victory over UC San Diego's Shannon Theisen.

Alongside Megan Heneghan, Kecki collected her first doubles win, in her inaugural appearance in the Aggies' doubles lineup, against UCSD by downing Tara Vanooteghem and Laura Wilke, 8-2.

SLEIFFER ENJOYS SINGLES SUCCESS
Freshman Frederique Sleiffer also captured her inaugural victory as an Aggie when UC Davis visited La Jolla, Calif., to face host UC San Diego. That day, Sleiffer's gutsy performance helped her capture the first set, via tiebreaker, before blanking the Tritons' Kellie Taylor in the second set to earn a two-set sweep. 

CH-CH-CH CHANGES

For the first two months of the 2014 season, dual matches will be played under a new NCAA-developed rules format in an effort to decrease the duration of a duals contest. For women's matches, changes include:

- A dual match will consist of three doubles matches played first (worth a total of one point), followed by six singles matches with each individual worth one point. Four points are required to win the team match.

- The three doubles matches will each consist of one set, with regular scoring and a tie-breaker at 6-all. Once a team has won two doubles matches, the remaining doubles match shall not be completed.


- Six singles matches will immediately follow doubles action. Each singles match is two out of three sets, with each set using regular scoring, and a match tiebreaker in lieu of the third set. 


- All singles matches will be played to completion unless both coaches agree to do otherwise. 


- There will be no warm-up against opponents before the first point is played in doubles and singles. Players will be expected to warm-up with their own team prior to the scheduled match time, no warm-up will take place against opponents before the first point is played in doubles and singles. Players will be expected to warm-up with their own team prior to the scheduled match time.

These new rules will only take place in conference duals if agreed upon by both coaches beforehand.

PHAM HELPS AGGIES TAME TIGERS

One of three Aggies to collect a sweep of their matches played at Pacific, Tiffany Pham helped UC Davis earn its first win of the season thanks to her third-set, tiebreaking triumph over the Tigers' Francis Dean. Pham began her day by helping UC Davis capture the doubles point alongside teammate Samantha Martino; after defeating Cristiana Ferrari/Cristina Saenz 6-4, in doubles action, she collected the decisive team point, in the day's final match, by a 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (9) result.

Megan Heneghan and Melissa Kobayakawa were the other two Aggies to boast a perfect 2-0 effort at Pacific. 

THE FIRST OF MANY
Competing alongside Tiffany Pham, freshman Samantha Martino collected the first doubles victory of her collegiate career at Pacific (1/25). Less than 24 hours after taking the court in her inaugural match as a member of UC Davis women's tennis, the native of Katy, Texas, left the Hal Nelson Tennis Courts with a 6-4 doubles win.

TACKLING THE NATION'S TOP TEAMS
Including its match at UC San Diego, a squad ranked No. 17 among all Division II teams in the nation, UC Davis will face three nationally ranked teams in its first four dual matches. 

No. 1 Stanford and No. 48 San Diego State (ranking at the time of the match) are the two Division I foes the Aggies faced throughout their first two weeks of the 2014 season. 

IRON SHARPENS IRON

UC Davis wasted no time in facing top-tiered competition when the Aggies battled Stanford, the No. 1 team in the nation, in its inaugural match of the season. On Jan. 24, UC Davis head coach Bill Maze and his squad tested their mettle against a team that boasted five ranked singles players and two doubles teams.

THIS FACILITY FEELS FAMILIAR

By opening its season at Stanford and Pacific, UC Davis started its season at two locales that were 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' schedule also included a contest against the Pacific Tigers. Unlike past seasons, this annual matchup was the first non-conference affair between the two since the 2013-14 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 also doubled as a homecoming as the former Cardinal returned to his alma mater, albeit in a different role.

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.

ONE-SIDED AFFAIR

Since its transition to Division I competition during the 2007-08 season, UC Davis defeated Pacific in five of the six head-to-head matchups, including the last four straight. In Stockton, the Aggies have enjoyed a similar level of success by taking three of four 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.

SMART SCHEDULE

UC Davis will face its longest road swing of the year by competing in four consecutive matches away from the Marya Welch Tennis Center, starting with its season opener at Stanford on Jan. 24. 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' schedule features back-to-back road matches on three separate 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 (3/26) and Portland (3/30). 

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.

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 preseason rankings:



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.