Men's Tennis Madness with Four-Match Week

Jonathan Hammel and Tyler Pham brace for a rush of teams this week at Anteater Tennis Stadium.

UPCOMING MATCHES
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Utah Utes at UC Irvine Anteaters

Date / Time: Wed. Mar. 13, 2013 / 10:00 AM
Site: Irvine, Calif. / Anteater Tennis Stadium

Gonzaga Bulldogs at UC Irvine Anteaters

Date / Time: Thurs. Mar. 14, 2013 / 1:00 PM
Site: Irvine, Calif. / Anteater Tennis Stadium

#35 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders at UC Irvine Anteaters

Date / Time: Sat. Mar. 16, 2013 / 9:30 AM
Site: Irvine, Calif. / Anteater Tennis Stadium

#45 George Washington Colonials at UC Irvine Anteaters

Date / Time: Sat. Mar. 16, 2013 / 1:00 PM
Site: Irvine, Calif. / Anteater Tennis Stadium

DROP SHOTS

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

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.

BREAK POINTS

UCI's schedule features ten ranked schools including  USC, San Diego, Santa Clara, Middle Tenn. State, Fresno State, UNLV, SDSU, Princeton, and Big West opponents Cal Poly and UCSB. The Anteaters are currently 2-3 against them.

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

UCI singles players are currently winless in seven matches against ranked singles.

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 went 0-5 outside of California.

STRAIGHT SETS

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.

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.

HERE'S LOOKING AT U: The Utah Utes enter the week at 7-3 and 0-2 on the road. The Utes' first stop is at SDSU and UCSB before landing at UCI on Wednesday.

Utah is in flux at No. 1 with a 5-5 overall record between Slim Hamza and Dmytro Mamedov. Alejandro Medinilla and Ben Tasevac have combined to go 16-3 at positions three through six to pace the Utes. Doubles overall are currently 14-14.

BOLD BULLDOGS: Gonzaga comes into the match with a 6-4 record having never really won or lost many in a row including a 2-2 record away from home.

Alvaro Nazal is 5-4 as the team's No. 1 thus far. Vicente Varas has climbed through the ranks from No. 6 to No. 3 recording a 7-2 record. Doubles remains even at 15-14.

RAIDER NATION: MTSU ends a California trip at UCI after visiting Cal Poly and USD. The Blue Raiders are 10-5 and ranked 35th after knocking off ranked squad such as Yale, NC State, and Virginia Tech.

Ben Davis is 8-4 as the No. 1 and ranked 92nd. He is complimented by David Fox and Ettore Zito who each have 10+ singles wins. Doubles has struggled at No. 1 at 3-8, but is 17-6 at Nos. 2 and 3.

PATRIOT GAMES: George Washington visits UCI as the 45th-ranked team in the nation with a 7-4 record. The Colonials have had a schedule chocked full of ranked opponents going 4-3 against them. In addition, the Colonials sport a 6-3 record away from home.

Francisco Dias is just 4-7 this season, but ranked 114th in the nation. His teammates have picked him up including Nikita Fomin at 7-4 between No. 1 and 2. Doubles pairs are sporting a 15-9 record.

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