Pacific Tennis: 2010 Big West Tennis Championships This Weekend
It is that time of the year when 18 teams take to the desert in an effort to crown the newest Big West Conference Tennis Champions. Both of Pacifics programs are looking to capitalize on a year of hard work to earn their way to the title in Indian Springs, Calif. this weekend. The mens 3-2 regular season conference record earned them a No. 2 seed and a first round bye. The women (3-5, Big West) are seeded sixth.
In his second year at the helm, mens head coach Matt Lucas and the Tigers faced a tough regular season schedule, seeing several ranked teams. Pacific is currently riding a four-match win streak that includes an upset of No. 60 UC Irvine (7-0) on April 17 who was ranked 51st at the time.
Junior Artem Gramma (Krivoj Roj, Ukraine) leads the team in wins this season with a 14-6 singles record playing out of the No. 1 position. He is on a win streak of his own, claiming his last five matches. Right behind Gramma is newcomer Ivan Castro (Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil). The sophomore is 13-7 overall in singles, playing primarily out of the No. 2 position. Together, the duo lead the Tigers in doubles wins boasting a 12-6 overall record and have won four out of their last five matches.
The women will look to their top three positions to lift them past the quarterfinals of the Big West Tournament. Reigning Big West Womens Tennis Athlete of the Week No. 79 Jenifer Widjaja (Sao Roque, Brazil) has been the wins leader for Pacific. With an impressive 18-3 singles record this spring, Widjaja finished the regular season undefeated against conference opponents. She has played out of the No. 1 position for the Tigers all season long and has won 12 straight matches coming into the weekend.
Freshman Christina Goehl (Karlsruhe, Germany) has also been stepping up for the Tigers in the No. 2 position. She is 12-9 overall in singles play this spring. The two-time Athlete of the Week honoree will need to find the spark she had on a three-match win streak that culminated in the upset of Alex Zaniewski from (then No. 74) Santa Clara.
Fellow freshman Julia Hansen (Hamburg, Germany) also has double-digits in wins in her inaugural season with a 14-7 record. Playing out of the No. 3 position, Hansen is on a four-match win streak and has won six of her last seven matches.
As the No. 6 seed, the women will face off against No. 69 UC Irvine in the quarterfinals on Friday, April 30 at 3 p.m.
With their first round bye, the men will not see action until the winner of No. 60 UC Irvine and UC Riverside has been decided. They will face the victor at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 1 in the semifinal match.
Click the link below to view Six Questions with Head Coach Matt Lucas on the 2010 Big West Tournament.