January 24, 2013

Three Ranked Squads on Horizon for Men's Tennis

UPCOMING MATCHES
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UC Irvine Anteaters at #2 USC Trojans

Date / Time: Tue. Jan. 29, 2012 / 4:30 PM
Site: Los Angeles, Calif. / Marks Stadium

UC Irvine Anteaters at #27 San Diego Toreros

Date / Time: Sat. Feb. 2, 2013 / 12:00 PM
Site: San Diego, Calif. / Hogan Tennis Center

#69 Fresno State Bulldogs at UC Irvine Anteaters

Date / Time: Sun. Feb. 3, 2013 / 1:00 PM
Site: Irvine, Calif. / Anteater Tennis Stadium

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.

UC Irvine 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. UCI is currently 0-2 outside of California.

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

After three matches, the positions are starting to fall into place. Here is a look at the possible placement in upcoming matches.

Singles:

1. Tyler Pham 8-3 in fall matches
2. Reo Asami 2-2 in fall matches
3. Ryan Cheung 3-3 vs. BWC in 2012
4. Jonathan Poon 3-2 in fall matches
5. Shuhei Shibahara 3-2 in fall matches
6. Caryl Hernandez 3-4 in fall matches

Doubles:

1. Cheung / Poon comb. 4-3 in fall
2. Hammel / Shibahara comb. 5-3 in fall
3. Hernandez / Pham comb. 6-2 in fall

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.

TROJAN LOVE: USC is the defending NCAA Champion after defeating Virginia in 2012 and an overall record of 29-1.

USC claims the No. 2 overall spot so far in 2013 along with seven ranked players. Ray Sarmiento leads the way at No. 7 followed by No. 24 Roberto Quiroz and No. 27 Emilio Gomez. The Trojans also sport Nos. 61, 78, 84, and 121.

TAMING THE TOREROS: San Diego comes into the season ranked 27th after an 18-10 record in 2012 where they fell in the second round of the NCAAs to UCLA. The Toreros have yet to play a match, but by the time they meet up with UCI, they will have played two ranked squads including No. 29 Texas Tech and either No. 10 Stanford or No. 25 Texas A&M as part of the ITA Kickoff Classic.

USD graduated Nikola Bubnic and Patrick Pohlmann, its top two players, leaving Clarke Spinosa as its top returner who went 18-7 in dual matches in 2012.

FRESNO FAULT: Fresno State is coming off a 20-5 season and were ranked as high as 33rd. The Bulldogs were actually bounced by USD in the first round of the NCAAs in 2012. They have dropped from 50th to 69th in the rankings early on in 2013.

They have already played three matches, falling to Saint Mary's in the opener, and splitting a Big West doubleheader with a loss to Cal Poly and win over UC Riverside.

UCI and FSU met in 2012 in the ITA Kickoff Classic with the Bulldogs completing the sweep. The Bulldogs return very little experience headlined by junior Jeremy Quiroz and sophomore Reid deLaubenfels.

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