January 30, 2007

No. 70 Gauchos Travel to No. 57 Arizona State in Second Attempt to Open 2007 Campaign

Jan. 30, 2007

This Week
Friday, February 2, 2007 at 1:00 p.m.
No. 70 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at No. 57 Arizona State Sun Devils
At ASU's Whiteman Tennis Center

Sunday, February 4, 2007 at 12:00 p.m.
No. 70 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at South Florida Bulls
At ASU's Whiteman Tennis Center

UCSB Opens 2007 Season Ranked 70th
UC Santa Barbara enters the 2007 ranked 70th in the first team poll of the season. The Gauchos, the defending Big West Conference Champion and an NCAA Tournament qualifier, finished the 2006 season ranked 72nd nationally.

Season Opener: Take 2
The Gauchos thought they were opening the 2007 season last weekend and with the dry weather that the Santa Barbara area has experienced this winter, it looked like a pretty good bet that the matches against BYU and Pepperdine would be played. No dice. Saturday's scheduled season-opener against BYU was cancelled because of the rain and Sunday's contest at defending NCAA Champion Pepperdine was postponed until March 8 at 1:00 p.m. in Malibu. UCSB will try to open the season for the second time this weekend when it travels to Arizona State for a pair of matches. The odds of rain in Tempe? Not good, but don't count on anything. The Gauchos will play the host Sun Devils on Friday and then South Florida on Sunday.

BYU Out, Iowa In The rained-out match against BYU will not be rescheduled. UCSB has, however, added a March 14 home match against the University of Iowa. The contest will start at 1:30 p.m. at the Recreation Center Courts.

Didn't I Already Read This
Yes. Everything you read from this point on was in last week's update. Since the two matches were rained out, nothing has really changed.

Davis Enters Eighth Season
Head coach Marty Davis is entering his eight season at UCSB. He opens the year with a lifetime record of 83-81 overall, but since posting a 14-30 record in his first two seasons, the Gauchos have gone 69-51 under Davis. In 2006, Davis guided Santa Barbara to its third Big West title in the last five years and its fourth overall. He also led his team into the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last five seasons and the sixth time overall. An accomplished tennis professional, Davis came to UCSB following a stint as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Cal. An All-American at Cal, he was inducted into the school's Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame last year.

Hejazi, Dalskov Lead Returnees
Sophomore Bijan Hejazi and junior Anders Dalskov lead a talented group of returnees for UCSB. Hejazi, who will likely start the season at No. 1 and enters the year ranked 25th in the West Region, was chosen Big West Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Big West as a singles player in 2006. Playing primarily at No. 2, the Santa Clara, Calif., native recorded a 20-6 singles record. He was 4-6 in doubles, playing with four different partners. Dalskov was Second Team All-Big West in singles and First Team All-Big West in doubles. He was 16-8 overall in singles, including 8-6 at No. 3 and 4-1 at No. 4, and he was 13-12 in doubles, all at No. 1. In addition to Hejazi and Dalskov, the Gauchos return senior Elad Stern and sophomore Max Taylor. Stern was 9-12 in 2006, including 5-3 at No. 4 and 4-5 at No. 2. His win against Pacific at the Big West Tournament, while battling cramps and the desert heat, clinched the league crown for UCSB. Taylor was 16-18 overall and 12-14 in dual matches. He played most of his matches at No. 6 and was the Gaucho other than Hejazi to play in every dual match.

Newcomers Make Gauchos Potent
Santa Barbara adds a quartet of newcomers to its lineup and all four could contribute. The top newcomer is junior Jack Hui (Hong Kong, China/College of the Desert), a transfer from the College of the Desert. Hui, who begins the 2007 campaign ranked 23rd in the West Region, will probably play No. 2 early on for the Gauchos. He won the California Community College singles title and placed second in doubles in 2006. Hui helped COD win the state team title and twice he earned Community College All-American status in both singles and doubles. Another newcomer of note for UCSB is freshman Philip Therp (Birkeroed, Denmark). Therp was a seven-time Danish National Championship finalist in singles and a seven-time doubles champion. He was ranked No. 32 in Europe U-16's after playing in four European Tennis Association tournaments. Therp, who also earned a No. 1 ranking in Denmark, is tentatively set to start the season at No. 3. Sophomore Nigel Barton (San Jose, Costa Rica/Tulane University) will add depth for UCSB. He played some at No. 3 singles and doubles at Tulane before transferring. Freshman Josh Finkelstein (Hong Kong, China/Hong Kong International and Nordhoff HS) redshirted the 2006 season and will battle for playing time at No. 6 and in doubles in 2007.