Gauchos Open Dual Match Season Friday in Hawai'i vs. No. 16 Mississippi State

Gauchos Open Dual Match Season Friday in Hawai'i vs. No. 16 Mississippi State

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team opens its 2012 dual season on Friday, Jan. 13 when it plays 16th-ranked Mississippi State at the University of Hawai'i in Honolulu.

The Gauchos  will play three matches in three days to open the campaign.  Following the contest against the Bulldogs, UCSB will take-on Gonzaga Saturday and the host Rainbow Warriors on Sunday.

"Mississippi State is a tough, challenging and exciting opportunity to start the season," said head coach Marty Davis of the match-up with the No. 16 Bulldogs.  "Playing three matches in three days will also be a test of our mental and physical stamina."

MSU, which holds its highest national ranking ever, has four of the top-90 players in the nation.  That match will be just one of the many highlights of the trip to Hawai'i.  In their third match, the Gauchos will play Hawai'i, a future Big West opponent and a team that they narrowly defeated 4-3 in 2011.  The Rainbow Warriors join the league next year.

UCSB is led by senior Mathieu Forget and junior Benjamin Recknagel, both all-conference returnees.  There are also a host of newcomers who figure to contribute right away, including freshman Greg Scott, who as a high school senior at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach was the top ranked prep player in Southern California.

After their trip to the Islands, the Gauchos will return to Santa Barbara for their home opener against BYU at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19.  The match against the Cougars will be at the Recreation Center Courts on the UCSB campus.