No. 1 Seed UCSB Looks to Defend Big West Conference Crown this Weekend at Indian Wells, Calif.

April 23, 2008

The Schedule
Friday-Sunday, April 25-27, 2008
Big West Tennis Championship at Indian Wells, Calif.

Match No. 1
Saturday, April 26, 2008 at 3:00 p.m.
No. 1 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. No. 4 Cal Poly/No. 5 UC Davis

Where to Start?
With a 4-1 Big West record, the Gauchos have locked up the No. 1 position in the 2008 Big West Tennis Championships. Their top-seed gives them a bye in the first round and a day for them to scout their competition. UCSB will play their first match on Saturday, April 25, at 3:00 p.m. taking on the winner of Friday's Cal Poly-UC Davis match.

High Expectations
UCSB strolls into Indian Wells with a 13-9 overall record (4-1 Big West). The Gauchos also finished the regular season with a 4-1 mark against league opponents, outscoring their conference foes 24-11. In their last four attempts, UCSB remained perfect, bashing the University of Pacific, 6-1, UC Davis, 6-1, UC Riverside, 5-2, and then 53rd-ranked UC Irvine, 5-2. Their only loss of the season in Big West play came as far back as February 2 to Cal Poly, 5-2.

Last Year at this Time
In 2007, the UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team overcame injuries to win the Big West Championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last six years. In route to defending its title last year, UCSB edged UC Irvine 4-3 in the semi-finals and then battled past Central Coast rival Cal Poly 4-2 to win the 2008 Big West Conference title.

It's Tough Being on Top
Sophomore Philip Therp and junior Bijan Hejazi have been carrying the heavy load for the Gauchos this season switching off at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions. Their combined dual records are a mere 18-25 in singles play and have collected only one win in four attempts playing together in doubles. However, the rest of the Gaucho squad has picked up the slack. Senior Jack Hui has torn up the No. 3 position, capturing two five-match winning streaks and ending the season with a 13-8 singles dual match record. Freshman Alexander Konigsfeldt has also been a bright spot in the Gaucho line-up, going 13-9 on the season in singles play, while notching a 12-8 record teaming up with sophomore team captain Josh Finkelstein. Other contributions have come from junior Max Taylor and freshman Taylor Chavez Goggin. Taylor has put up a team best 11-5 singles record playing mostly at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions while Goggin has recently added three wins in the past four attempts. UCSB ended the season with an impressive 71-61 in dual match play while posting a 33-27 record in doubles competition.