UCSB Hosts UC Irvine, UC Riverside in Big West Showdown

Feb. 26, 2009

The Schedule
Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:30 p.m.
No. 61 UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Irvine
at the UCSB Rec. Center Courts

Sunday, March 1, 2009 at noon
No. 61 UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Riverside
at the UCSB Rec. Center Courts

Small Steps
The UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team has been making progress without their star ace Philip Therp, who has been suffering from a hip injury for the past two weeks. Taking his place at the No. 1 singles slot is Alex Konigsfeldt. The sophomore star has lighted up the competition in the last two matches, downing Utah's Phillip Eilers and UC Davis' Michael Reiser. The younger Gauchos have also filled in the gap in Therp's absence, including freshman Devin Nerenberg. The native of Montara, Calif., come away with his last two victories at the bottom of the lineup to help the Gauchos improve to 3-4 on the season. Now, UCSB must continue its push for the Big West crown as the men of yellow and blue clash with two conference opponents this weekend.

First in Line
UC Irvine, who has been picked by many to put an end to UCSB's three year lock atop the Big West conference, is lead by senior Arizon State transfer Wesley Miller. However, its 1-6 overall record does little to help its cause in becoming a top team in the Big West. The Anteaters opened the season on a five-match losing streak, all to ranked teams. This past week, UC Irvine finally posted their first win of the season over No. 68 ranked, 6-1. Yet, the Anteaters were quickly driven back into the loser column registering a 5-2 loss to No. 53 San Diego three days later. The match Friday will be UC Irvine's first Big West showdown as they look to spoil UCSB's two match winning streak.

"This figures to be a tight, emotional match in which nerves, fight and a VOCAL HOME CROWD, could be the difference," head coach Marty Davis explained. "I think that the winning team will put itself in the 'drivers seat' for the No. 1 seed at the Big West Conference tournament in April."

On Deck
The Gauchos will play a much improved UC Riverside on Sunday. The Gauchos hold a perfect 11-0 overall record vs. the Highlanders. The match will take place at the UCSB Recreation Center courts.

To further encourage your attendance, free Hamburger Habit coupons will be given to our fans wearing their yellow Gaucho T's and, as always, we'll have plenty of free pizza on hand.