THIS WEEK'S MATCHES
UC Davis Aggies (12-7) at Hawai'i-Pacific Sea Warriors (13-5)
Friday, April 11 - 9 a.m. HT/12 p.m. PT
Central Oahu Regional Park Tennis Complex - Waipahu, Hawai'i
UC Davis Aggies (12-7, 4-3 BWC) at Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine (9-8, 4-2 BWC)
Saturday, April 12 - 11 a.m. HT/2 p.m. PT
UH Tennis Complex - Honolulu
DAVIS, Calif. - The final Big West match of the regular season is on this week's women's tennis docket as the Aggies will head to the islands to face the Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine Saturday in their final league contest of 2014. Prior to that matchup, UC Davis will face Hawai'i-Pacific in Friday's non-conference tilt.
SCOUTING HAWAI'I PACIFIC
Ranked No. 4 nationally among all Division II programs, Hawai'i-Pacific will provide UC Davis a stern test before the Aggies face the Rainbow Wahine the following day. Coming off its 7-2 loss to BYU-Hawai'i, the Sea Warriors will host the Aggies before ending their season in Surprise, Ariz., site of this year's PacWest Championships, against Point Loma Nazarene University on the 15th.
Out of its first 13 matches played, a loss to Idaho was the only blemish on Hawai'i-Pacific's schedule as the Sea Warriors sported six-match win streaks on both sides of that loss against the Vandals.
However, the Sea Warriors' recent fortunes have not been as positive as the women's tennis team has lost four of its last five played--all against ranked competition. After suffering losses at the hands of No. 1 Armstrong, No. 3 Barry and No. 6 Lynn University, the Sea Warriors defeated No. 9 Rolling before falling to No. 3 BYU-Hawai'i last Tuesday.
Sophomore Lorena Gheorghe leads the Sea Warriors' lineup with matching 14-2 singles and doubles records. Half of Gheorghe's doubles wins were picked up at No. 2 alongside senior Magdalena Smejova; eight singles wins were earned at the No. 4 position.
Also falling victim recently to UC Irvine, Hawai'i will end its two-week hiatus by hosting UC Davis-its final home contest of the year. Currently 9-8 overall and 4-2 against league opponents, Hawai'i sits a half-game ahead of the Aggies in the league standings even though each team sports four conference victories. This contest is the last conference matchup for UC Davis, Hawai'i will end its season on the 20th at Cal State Northridge.
As was the case with UC Davis, the Anteaters also snapped the Rainbow Wahine's win streak, one that grew to a season-high seven. Included in that streak are four consecutive victories earned at the UH Tennis Complex.
The Rainbow Wahine's recent success makes up for their rough start to as UH started the season by dropping four of its first five home events. In all, Hawai'i has split its 10 home matches this season.
UH head coach Jun Hernandez has utilized nine different doubles combinations throughout the spring season; of those pairings, only two sport winning records. At No. 2, junior Rebecca Faltusz and freshman Cindy Nguyen are 6-5, junior Martina Kostalova and sophomore Sarah Gealer are 5-3 at No. 3.
Conversely, the Rainbow Wahine's singles lineup sports three players who have dominated their position since the start of the 2014 season. As the team's No. 1 player, Nguyen is 14-2; Kostalova is 9-2 and has earned every victory at No. 3; Rebecca Faltusz is 9-4 competing at No. 6.
Both Kostalova and Nguyen have won their last eight straight singles matches.
NINE TEAMS, ONE CHAMPION
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.
YOU CAN'T STOP THEM
Winners of their last 13 straight matches, seniors Megan Heneghan and Melissa Kobayakawa are the Big West's hottest doubles team. Entering this week's matches at Hawai'i-Pacific and Hawai'i, the Aggies' tandem sit alongside CSUN's Mickey Hsu and Kristen Poei as the conference's top team with 15 victories each; taking into consideration Heneghan's doubles triumph with Kamila Kecki earlier this season at UCSD, the Tustin native leads all league players with 16 doubles victories.
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?
The 2014 season is just the second one where seniors Megan Heneghan and Melissa Kobayakawa competed as doubles partners. Last year, the two posted a 6-5 mark, the two are 15-3 this season.
Prior to this season, Kobayakawa's 2014 total of 15 earned in dual competition easily surpasses her collective total of victories recorded since joining UC Davis women's tennis in 2010. In her first three seasons, the Cupertino native earned 10 doubles wins combined.
If victorious in both doubles matches this week, Heneghan's 2014 total will exceed the number of victories earned as a sophomore (10) and junior (6) combined.
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING
Melissa Kobayakawa and Megan Heneghan's total of doubles victories, entering this week's play (15), is the highest earned by any Aggie tandem since Heneghan teamed up with Kelly Chui during her freshman season. That year, Heneghan and Chui won 13 of 21 doubles matches in dual competition.
Of the five matches decided by a solitary team point, UC Davis has emerged victorious on four occasions. Dual victories earned by a 4-3 margin were earned at Pacific (1/25) and at home against Sacramento State (2/23) and Youngstown State (3/12) and Cal State Fullerton (4/5).
YOU WILL GET (NEXT TO) NOTHING AND LIKE IT
Included in UC Davis' recent six-match win streak are back-to-back shutouts earned against Cal State Stanislaus and Eastern Washington-duals that saw UC Davis win a combined 15 straight matches. Against EWU, the Aggies only dropped 17 games combined throughout six singles and one doubles match; at CSUS, UC Davis allowed the Warriors to win only 14 games in nine total (six singles, three doubles) matches.
BREAK OUT THE BROOMS
Shutout sweeps earned against Cal State Stanislaus and Eastern Washington increased UC Davis' number of clean sheet-victories earned this season to three. The Aggies picked up their first league road win in a similar manner by winning every doubles set, and all six singles matchups in straight-set fashion at UC Riverside.
ON A ROLL
The Aggies' six-match win streak was the largest built by the team since the final weeks of the 2012 season. That year, UC Davis ended its regular season by defeating UC Irvine, San Jose State, Pacific and Cal State Fullerton before knocking Pacific out of the Big West Championships with a 4-0, opening-round victory.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS ONE TEAM AT A TIME
Even though No. 63 UC Irvine snapped the Aggies' recent win streak, UC Davis enters this week's schedule of duals with victories in 10 of its last 11 matches.
IT BOILS DOWN TO ONE SINGLES MATCH
Freshman Frederique Sleiffer collected her sixth consecutive singles victory of the spring season, in as many dual appearances, by defeating Portland's Emily Gould in straight sets. Coincidentally, UC Davis recorded a team victory in all six of her appearances.
HENEGHAN NAMED BIG WEST SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
UC Davis women's tennis standout Megan Heneghan is one of two UC Davis student-athletes that the Big West Conference recognized as its Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Both Heneghan and men's soccer player Brian Ford were honored at a banquet held before the start of 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.
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 earned 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.
BIG WEST CONFERENCE HONORS HENEGHAN
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 have echoed this sentiment since the Aggies opened their six-game homestand, the longest of the year, starting with a 4-3 win against Youngstown State (3/12). Additional non-conference action taking place in Davis during that portion of the schedule include consecutive wins against Eastern Washington (a designated home match that took place on a neutral court in Stockton) and Portland.
UC Davis ended its block of home matches with three straight against league opponents when Cal State Fullerton (4/4), UC Irvine (4/6) and Cal State Northridge (4/8) visited the Marya Welch Tennis Center. The Aggies will compete in its final home dual of the season on April 19 against San Jose State - its final tune-up before heading to Indian Wells Tennis Garden for the league's postseason tournament.
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, Div. I home duals entering this season:
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.
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.
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 initial batch of 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