January 10, 2013

Tennis Trio Opens UCI Men's Season

UPCOMING MATCHES
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Nevada Wolfpack at UC Irvine Anteaters

Date / Time: Tue. Jan. 15, 2012 / 1:00 PM
Site: Irvine, Calif. / Anteater Tennis Stadium

UC Irvine Anteaters at Hawaii Warriors

Date / Time: Fri. Jan. 18, 2012 / 6:00 PM
Site: Honolulu, Hawaii / UH Tennis Complex

UC Irvine Anteaters vs. Sacramento State Hornets

Date / Time: Sat. Jan. 19, 2012 / 1:00 PM
Site: Honolulu, Hawaii / UH Tennis Complex

DROP SHOTS

UCI's schedule features nine ranked schools including  USC, San Diego, Santa Clara, Middle Tenn. State, Fresno State, SDSU, Princeton, and Big West opponents Cal Poly and UCSB.

Nine of UCI's opponents sport ranked singles players totaling 17 in all.

UCI faces the No. 2 player in the country, Matija Pecotic, on Princeton. He is also apart of the only ranked doubles tandem on the 'Eaters docket.

The Anteaters will play six matches outside the state of California: a pair in Hawaii, a tournament in Nevada, and a road trip to Wisconsin and Illinois.

BREAK POINTS

UCI finished in the top three in the Big West for a sixth straight season under Coach Kronemann. Last season was his first with less than 10 wins, however.

UCI had one win over a ranked foe in 2012 (No. 61 UNLV) while 15 of its 17 losses came against ranked programs.

STRAIGHT SETS

Taking a look at the prospective lineup to start the year for UCI (based on Spring 2012 and Fall 2013 results):

1. Jacob Jung 10-10 overall in 2012
2. Ryan Cheung 3-3 vs. BWC in 2012
3. Shuhei Shibahara 3-2 in fall matches
4. Mika DeCoster 1-1 as No. 4 in 2012
5. Tyler Pham 8-3 in fall matches
6. Jonathan Hammel 4-1 in fall matches

Doubles lineup based on fall results:

1. Cheung / Shibahara 2-1 in fall matches
2. Jung / Pham 1-1 in fall matches
3. Agbayani / Hernandez 3-1 in fall matches

Jacob Jung led the team in wins at No. 3 (5) and No. 4 (4) in 2012.

Ryan Cheung's eight doubles wins in 2012 leads all returners.

Shuhei Shibahara finished 2012 7-3 in doubles play.

CHANGE OVERS

The Anteaters welcome six newcomers to the squad labeled the "So Cal Six" hailing from across the southland such as El Toro, Fullerton, Placentia, Irvine, Yorba Linda, and San Diego.

Prior to their enrollment to UCI, all six were ranked within the top-100 in the state of California including Tyler Pham who was as high as No. 5 in the state and No. 48 nationally.

UCI's fall schedule took place at home in two separate tournaments, the UCI Pre-Regional and the USTA/ITA West Regional Tennis Championships.

Jacob Jung made the most noise by making it to the round of 16. He defeated seventh-seeded Jon Brooklyn of Hawai'I before falling to  No. 13 Thorsten Bertsch. He also scored an opening win over Max de Vroome, a highly-touted USC freshman.

Tyler Pham went on a great run as the consolation runner-up in the West Regionals finishing an impressive 8-3 fall campaign.

Jonathan Hammel fared well with a 4-1 mark including a clean slate in the pre-regional. Justin Agbayani and Caryl Hernandez teamed up for a 3-1 mark in doubles over the fall. The freshmen finished up at 24-15 overall in the fall.

WOLF PACK MENTALITY

Nevada finished 2012 an even 11-11. A 2-3 conference record led to a semifinal exit to No. 33 Fresno State in the WAC Tournament.

The Wolfpack graduated star Wessim Derbel and look to Frenchman Victor Ouvrard and Tunisian Moez Echarqui to pick up the slack. Ouvrard was 13-7 as the No. 2 and won 20 matches overall while Echarqui went 10-7 as the No. 3 in the 2012 season.

WEEKEND WARRIORS

Hawaii jumps into UCI's Big West conference schedule in its first year since leaving the WAC. In 2012, the Warriors finished 7-12 overall and 3-2 in WAC play.

Top singles player Jon Brooklyn returns after a 7-10 season including 6-9 as the No. 1. In the fall, sophomore Jacob Jung defeated Brooklyn in a round of 32 match in the West Regional hosted by UCI.

Alongside Brooklyn is Chas Okamoto who finished 2012 at 11-11 and 9-8 in dual play. Brooklyn teamed up with Dmytro Kovalyov to go 8-4 as the No. 1 duo.

HORNET SERVE

Sacramento State enters 2013 after a two-sided 2012. The Hornets finished the regular season with a record of 9-12, but a stellar 7-1 conference record followed by a pair of sweeps in the Big Sky Tournament vaulted them in the NCAA Tournament. The Hornets would fall to No. 11 Stanford in the opening round to finish out the season. Sacramento State went just 2-12 in non-conference play with both wins coming against Big West opponents UC Davis and UC Riverside.

Belarusian Aliaksandr Malko returns as the team's No. 1 where he went 11-13 in 2012. Sean Kolar and Tom Miller return as the top doubles pair after going 9-6 as the No. 2 duo.

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