March 11, 2014
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
March 8 at UC Santa Barbara: L, 6-1
March 9 at Cal Poly: W, 4-2
THIS WEEK'S MATCHES
Youngstown State Penguins (5-7) at UC Davis Aggies (6-6)
Wednesday, March 12 - 1 p.m.
Marya Welch Tennis Center - Davis, Calif.
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis' first of six straight home matches is the team's last before finals week-a dual that will take place at the Marya Welch Tennis Center Wednesday afternoon, against Youngstown State, starting at 1 p.m.
SCOUTING YOUNGSTOWN STATE
Hailing from Youngstown, Ohio, Youngstown State will cap its four-match road trip through Northern California at UC Davis Wednesday afternoon. Starting with its 5-2 loss at Pacific last Sunday, the Penguins were swept at San Francisco yesterday before facing the San Jose State Spartans in a 3 p.m. matchup on March 11.
Starting with back-to-back losses in its first two spring duals, the Penguins won five of six matches throughout the month of February, including four straight at one point of their schedule. Since hosting its home opener on March 1 against IPFW, Youngstown State has lost all four of its duals played.
Junior Marta Burak and freshman Dominike Lackova each lead the Penguins with seven singles victories, earned as their team's No. 2 and No. 3 player. The pair are two of four players who sport a .500 or higher singles record.
The team's doubles results are drastically difference in comparison with each tandem entering Tuesday's match, at SJSU, with a losing record. Burak and partner Margarita Sadovnikova have won five of 11 doubles matches played and are the closest to .500 of the eight parings head coach Mickael Sopel has used this season.
THE TRUE DEFINITION OF A STUDENT-ATHLETE
UC Davis women's tennis standout Megan Heneghan is one of two UC Davis student-athletes that the Big West Conference will recognize as its Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Both Heneghan and men's soccer player Brian Ford will be honored at a banquet this week in conjunction with the conference's annual basketball tournament.
Heneghan and Ford are among 18 outstanding student-athletes from the nine Big West institutions to receive the distinguished honor. The Big West will host a breakfast in their honor at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Anaheim, on Mar. 13, at 9 a.m.
Heneghan is a senior from Tustin who leads the Aggies in both singles and doubles wins this season. She ranked 90th in singles in NCAA Div. I by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in 2013, and in doing so, became the first Aggie to attain a national ranking in the D-I era.
While helping her team advance past the Big West Tournament quarterfinals for the first time in program history in 2012, the communication major was named to the All-Big West Singles first team for the second consecutive year and was named to the second team in 2013. As the Big West Conference Women's Tennis Freshman of the Year in 2011, Heneghan wrote her name in the UC Davis record book as the first in school history to receive the honor.
With a 3.54 GPA, the senior has made the Dean's List four times and ranks in the top 16 percent of her class in the College of Letters and Science. She also spends her summers volunteering at summer tennis camps.
YOU LOOK FAMILIAR
UC Davis' 4-2 victory at Cal Poly was garnered in front of a face familiar to Aggie women's tennis fans in Ellie Edles, albeit in a unique situation. The four-year Aggie letterwinner faced her former teammates for the first time since Cal Poly hired her as its assistant coach last summer when UC Davis visited Mustang Tennis Courts on March 9.
UC Davis won the doubles point and three of four singles matches when Sonoma State visited the Marya Welch Tennis Center on March 2. Unlike past seasons where upperclassmen led the way for the Aggies, it was the freshmen that recorded all but one of the team's points in a 4-2 victory over Sonoma State.
Competing at doubles No. 2, Megan Heneghan and Melissa Kobayakawa were the first team to finish by cruising past Leire Martinez/Lauren Ha by an 8-3 margin. Shortly after the Aggies captured that match, the team officially earned its first point when freshmen Samantha Martino and Kamila Kecki breezed past Sheena Johnson/Karlee Budge in their 8-2 triumph.
When action resumed in the singles round, it was freshman Frederique Sleiffer who doubled her team's lead with a straight-set shutout over Budge. When Kecki walked off the court after defeating Lauren Ha 6-0, 6-2, the Aggies officially recorded another victory.
COMING UP CLUTCH ON ANOTHER COURT
Tennis fans in attendance on the March 1 men's basketball game against UC Santa Barbara, broadcasted by ESPN2, saw a familiar face step up and deliver another clutch performance. Singing the national anthem as a men's hoops game for the second straight season, Heneghan received a rousing ovation after her successful rendition.
Last year, Heneghan also sang the anthem before the Aggies made their debut appearance on one of ESPN's family of networks, from The Pavilion, against Long Beach State.
START OF A NEW TREND?
Last season, UC Davis snapped its 12-year slide against Sacramento State by defeating the Hornets on its own court, 4-3. This year, it was the Aggies who left the courts with another cross-Causeway victory over their rivals, also by a 4-3 score, to start a winning streak of its own against the Hornets (2/23).
WOMEN'S TENNIS HELPS UC DAVIS CLINCH CUP
With its victory over the Hornets in 2013, UC Davis captured five points which were enough to push the Aggies over the 50-point threshold needed to wrangle the Causeway Cup title from Sacramento State's clutches to return it to its proper home.
By defeating the Hornets in this year's rivalry dual, women's tennis, once again, posted another five points in the Aggies' Causeway Cup column, bumped UC Davis' total to 51.25 points (as of Feb. 25) to earn another Causeway championship and bragging rights for another year.
IN CASE YOU ARE KEEPING COUNT
Competing in front of a passionate, yet classy Aggie fan base and a loud, and not as classy Sacramento State crowd at the Marya Welch Tennis Courts on Feb. 23, UC Davis captured its sixth Causeway Cup in its 10-year history.
HENEGHAN RECEIVES PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
UC Davis senior Megan Heneghan secured Big West Women's Tennis Athlete of the Week honors as announced on Feb. 19 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.