'Eaters Tangle at Saint Mary's, No. 43 Santa Clara

Shuhei Shibahara and the 'Eaters look to add to their win last week.
Shuhei Shibahara and the 'Eaters look to add to their win last week.

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UC Irvine Anteaters at Saint Mary's Gaels

Date / Time: Sat. Mar. 2, 2013 / 12:00 PM
Site: Moraga, Calif.

UC Irvine Anteaters at #43 Santa Clara Broncos

Date / Time: Sun. Mar. 3, 2013 / 11:00 AM
Site: Santa Clara, Calif.


The 'Eaters are now 2-1 at home on the year. Over the course of March, UCI will play 10 matches with six coming at home.

No. 2 singles are 5-4 as a group on the season.

Freshman Tyler Pham has seven total wins, five doubles and two singles, to lead the Anteaters. Freshman Jonathan Hammel is close behind with six.

UCI has won its opening match against a ranked opponent each of the last two seasons. UCI defeated No. 61 UNLV at home to open the 2012 season. In 2013, it was another home match, this time against No. 70 Fresno State.


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. The Anteaters are currently 1-2 against them.

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.

UCI singles players are currently winless in six matches against ranked opponents.

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 0-4 outside of California.


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.

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.


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.

MARCHING ON TO SAINT MARY'S: The unranked Gaels enter the weekend with a 4-5 record. The Gaels have already knocked off two Big West schools in UC Davis and UC Riverside, and, like the 'Eaters, upset the Bulldogs of Fresno State. SMC will take on UCI's Sunday opponent, Santa Clara, prior to its matchup.

Jesse Kiuru heads the charge with a 5-3 record as the No. 1 including a win over 58th-ranked UCLA No. 1 Dennis Novikov. The rest of the singles position combine at a 19-24 mark.

Doubles is 14-12 overall with Kiuru joined by Joakim Norstrom at 4-4 as the No. 1 duo.

BRONCO BUSTING: Santa Clara comes into the weekend with an 8-3 mark and is ranked 43rd in the nation. The Broncos have faced off with a pair of Big West schools opening the year with a win over UC Davis and most recently upending UCSB.

SCU has losses to No. 19 Washington, No. 23 Michigan, and No. 45 BYU while taking down No. 39 Boise State twice.

John Lamble is the team's ace ranked 65th. His dual record comes in at 5-4 with all four losses to ranked opponents.

The Broncos also have senior Tom Pham on the roster, the brother of 'Eater freshman Tyler Pham.


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