Top-Seeded 'Eaters Await Semifinal Opponent

Junior Ryan Cheung leads the Anteater charge for a Big West Tournament title.

UPCOMING MATCHES
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Big West Tournament

Date / Time: Fri. April 26 - 3:00 PM (Semifinals)
Sun. April 28 - 9:00 AM (Championship)

Site: Indian Wells Tennis Garden / Indian Wells, Calif.

 

DROP SHOTS

The Anteaters have three wins against ranked teams this season: No. 70 Fresno State, No. 71 Pacific, and No. 73 Cal Poly.

UC Irvine is currently on a four-match win streak and are 6-1 since the start of April.

The 'Eaters are most successful when their Nos. 4 and 6 singles win (8-2).

UCI has never won when No. 4 loses (0-14) and never lost when No. 1 win (6-0)

UCI singles have won nine matches when down a set.

BREAK POINTS

Seven of Tyler Pham's last nine results have been wins.

Shuhei Shibahara has a six-match winning streak, all in straight sets.

Reo Asami is 3-1 when going to a third set.

All-freshman doubles pairs are 13-11.

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.

TOURNEY TRACKING: UCI earned the luxury of getting the first day of the tournament off by scoring the No. 1 seed leaving the other six schools to battle it out in the Indian Wells sun.

UC Riverside and Cal Poly will square off. UCR finished 0-6 in the conference and 3-20 overall. The Mustangs finished at 13-8 and co-champs of the Big West. They thwarted teams UCI was unable to such as Saint Mary's and San Diego State, but produced losses to MTSU, Princeton, and UNLV.

Another intriguing matchup will be Pacific and UC Davis. Both schools put up a fight against UCI in losses. Pacific is currently ranked 71st in the nation with a 14-8 record. UC Davis was 8-12 with its only conference win coming against UCR.

UCI's opponent will be determined from the Hawai'i-UCSB matchup. UH was the only Big West school to trip up UCI, but those two played in the second match of the year over three months ago. UCSB fell to 2-4 in conference this year. This will be the second straight match between the two as Hawai'I defeated UCSB 4-3 to close out the regular season.

This will be the 20th Big West Men's Tennis Tournament. UCI has won it three times; 2005, 2010, and 2011. Cal Poly is the reigning champ, while UCSB has won the most with seven.

In the history of the tourney, No. 1 seeds have won it nine times including the last two. This is also the first time the seven-team format will be used.

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