THIS WEEK’S MATCHES
San Jose State Spartans (9-13) at UC Davis Aggies (12-8)
Senior Day – Saturday, April 19 –12 p.m. PT
Marya Welch Tennis Center – Davis, Calif.
DAVIS, Calif. – In its final match before the start of the start of next week’s conference tournament, UC Davis will host the San Jose State Spartans at the Marya Welch Tennis Center Saturday afternoon. Scheduled to start at 12 p.m., this event will also serve as the final home appearance for three seniors: Megan Heneghan, Melissa Kobayakawa and Nicole Koehly.
MOTHER NATURE WINS THIS MATCH
After conferring with conference officials, UC Davis head coach Bill Maze and his counterpart from Hawai'i received word that their Big West match is canceled. With only a couple of dates available between each team's regular season finale, and the start of the Big West Women's Tennis Tournament, neither team could find a date that was suitable for everyone's respective schedule.
Scheduling a makeup match would have also forced student-athletes from both teams to miss a significant amount of class; conference winning percentage will now determine seeding for next week's conference playoffs.
After five hours of rain delays last Saturday, singles matches were underway before another wave of rain hit the island and halted the match. The two teams tried to resume play late Saturday night, but consistent showers prevented them from restarting. At that time, both coaches agreed to continue the match early Sunday morning.
Additional rainstorms, combined with UC Davis’ travel plans, forced a suspension of this matchup until the league and head coaches from both teams agreed to cancel this contest.
SCOUTING SAN JOSE STATE
San Jose State will compete its inaugural Mountain West slate of matches on Friday, April 18, before ending its season the following day at UC Davis. Entering this week’s matches, the Spartans sport a 9-13 overall record and have dropped all three matches played against league competition.
Last year, the Aggies were the only team to defeat SJSU on their home court thanks to its 4-3 victory over the then-No. 63 Spartans; this season, UC Davis hopes to end its year in a similar manner.
Junior Julianna Bacelar and freshman Gaelle Ray lead their team with matching 10-8 singles records; the former earned all but one of her wins at No. 4 with the latter capturing five wins each at No. 2 and No. 3.
Of the 10 doubles combinations used this spring, Bacelar and teammate Jessica Willett lead SJSU with a 9-4 record at No. 2.
TALK ABOUT A STRONG START
For 13 consecutive matches starting with the Aggies’ Feb. 17th matchup at UC Riverside, UC Davis started its match in a similar manner by capturing the doubles point. In 10 of these 13 matches, the Aggies recorded a victory, including three 4-3 wins. This streak ended when UC Davis faced Hawai’i-Pacific in what was eventually the only match played on the islands.
UC Davis’ dual at Hawai’i was canceled due to rainstorms that passed through Honolulu during the team’s final two days in Oahu.
IT’S SO HARD TO SAY GOODBYE
For Nicole Koehly, Melissa Kobayakawa and Megan Heneghan, Saturday’s dual also doubles as their final appearance at the Marya Welch Tennis Center. In addition to serving as the Aggies’ primary No. 3, No. 4 and No. 1 singles players respectively this season, Koehly has teamed up with Layla Sanders as her team’s top doubles pairing with Kobayakawa and Heneghan competing as UC Davis’ No. 2.
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.
This year’s event will open on Thursday, April 24, with a match featuring the No. 8- vs. No. 9-seeded team (seedings based on regular season finish). The winner of this opening round contest will face the No. 1 seed the following day.
Other matches taking place on Friday, April 25 include matchups between the league’s No. 2 and No. 7, No. 3 and No. 6 and No. 4 and No. 5 teams. Winners of these matches will advance to the semifinals on Saturday, April 26; the highest remaining seeded team will draw the lowest-seeded squad, the two remaining teams will battle one another.
Winners of those two matches will fight for the Big West Championship on Sunday, April 27.
Seeds will be determined once all regular season Big West duals have been played; this will take place once the Hawai’i at Cal State Northridge contest ends on Sunday.
Admission is free for this year’s playoff event, for additional information regarding the Big West Women’s Tennis Championships, visit http://www.bigwest.org/sports/wtennis/info/champs/
YOU CAN’T STOP THEM
Winners of their last 14 straight matches, seniors Megan Heneghan and Melissa Kobayakawa are the Big West’s hottest doubles team. Entering this week’s match against San Jose State, the Aggies’ tandem holds the longest doubles win streak of the year among all conference pairings. The two trail CSUN’s Mickey Hsu and Kristen Poei as the conference’s top team by one doubles victory; CSUN’s top pair sport 17 wins this season, Heneghan and Kobayakawa have collected 16 this season.
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 16-3 this season.
Kobayakawa’s 16 doubles win earned in dual competition in 2014 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 this week against the Spartans, Heneghan’s 2014 total will exceed the number of doubles 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 (16), 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 14 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
* - Big West Conference team