May 4, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The 64-team NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championship field was announced Wednesday, pairing UC Santa Barbara against California in first-round action on Saturday, May 13.
The Gaucho-Golden Bear showdown will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Taube Tennis Center on the campus of Stanford University. Host Stanford will face Quinnipiac in Saturday's other first-round matchup, with the two winners squaring off the following day at 11:00 a.m. The four teams will by vying for a spot in the NCAA Sweet 16, slated for the following weekend and also held in Stanford, Calif.
UCSB is making its sixth appearance in the NCAA tourney and first since 2003, entering the Big Dance with a 14-10 dual match record and No. 71 national ranking. Santa Barbara - which earned an automatic berth in the field of 64 by capturing the Big West Conference championship last weekend - is led by league Player of the Year Nick Brotman and Freshman of the Year Bijan Hejazi. The Gauchos are in their seventh season under Marty Davis, the 2006 Big West Coach of the Year.
Coincidentally, Davis is a 1980 alumnus of Cal, where he was a three-time All-American for the Golden Bears and was recently inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame. In 2006, Berkeley boasts a 15-6 overall record and national ranking of No. 20. The Bears' top singles player, senior Connor Niland, is currently ranked sixth in the country.
Tickets for the first and second round matches at the Taube Tennis Center are available by calling 1-800-782-6367.