April 26, 2006
Friday-Sunday, April 28-30, 2006
Big West Tennis Championship at Indian Wells, Calif.
Match No. 1
Saturday, April 29, 2006 at 3:00 p.m.
No. 1 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. No. 4 UC Riverside/No. 5 Cal Poly
First On The Docket
By virtue of earning the top-seed in the 2006 Big West Tennis Championship, UC Santa Barbara will have a bye in the first round. The Gauchos will play their first match on Saturday, April 29, at 3:00 p.m. They will take on the winner of Friday's UC Riverside-Cal Poly match. No. 2 seeded Pacific and No. 3 seeded UC Irvine will play each other on Saturday as well.
The Gaucho Record
UCSB will enter the Big West Tournament with an overall record of 13-10. The Gauchos also finished the regular season with a perfect 3-0 mark against current league opponents and a perfect 4-0 record if you include future Big West member UC Davis. Santa Barbara was also on the verge of a win over UC Riverside on Mar. 17 before the match was cancelled because of rain.
UCSB Looks For First Crown Since 2003
The Gauchos will be seeking their first Big West title and NCAA Tournament bid since 2003. UCSB woon consecutive league championships in 2002 and 2003, head coach Marty Davis' third and fourth seasons on the job. UCSB's current No. 1 player, Nick Brotman, is the only player remaining from the 2003 team. In all, the Gauchos have won three Big West titles. In addition to the 2002 and 2003 championships, they also won in 1998.
The Gauchos Against The Field
UCSB went 3-0 in matches against Big West opponents this season, 4-0 if yo include a win over future Big West opponent UC Davis. In addition, the Gauchos were leading UC Riverside in a league match when rains hit and wiped it out. Santa Barbara defeated Cal Poly 7-0, Pacific 7-0 and UC Irvine 4-3. The win over the Anteaters came on the road and it took a come-from-behind effort by Bijan Hejazi to get the job done.
A Look Back At 2005 Big West Championship
UC Irvine, the No. 3 seed at this year's Big West Tournament, won the 2005 event with a victory over Pacific. UCSB, which won the 2005 regular season title, defeated Utah State in the first round before losing to Pacific in the second round. The Gauchos did post a 4-1 win over Cal Poly in the third-place match.
Despite a loss in his final regular season singles match, senior Nick Brotman has had an outstanding final campaign. A two-time All-Big West selection and a rock-solid candidate to make it a three-peat, Brotman has gone 19-11 overall and 13-8 in dual matches. Included among his 13 singles victories is a win over the 37th-ranked player in the nation. Brotman, who has won eight of his last 10 singles matches, has also posted a 12-9 record at No. 1 doubles. The native of Toronto has posted a career record of 42-35 in dual match singles and an overall record of 54-51. He was 14-7 in dual match singles in 2003, the last time the Gauchos won the Big West Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
The Rest Of The Story
Nick Brotman is not the only weapon in the Gaucho arsenal. Freshman Bijan Hejazi has had an outstanding first season for UCSB. Playing primarily at No.2, he completed the regular season with a singles record of 18-6, winning his final four and six of his last seven. Sophomore Anders Dalskov, playing mostly at No. 3, has gone 16-6 in 2006. In fact, Brotman, Hejazi and Dalskov have combined for a 47-20 record.