Pacific men's tennis opens its dual match season on Saturday with a doubleheader of matches at UC Davis and Fresno State.
These matches are the first of 13 non-conference matches prior to the start of the West Coast Conference slate on March 15 against BYU. The Tiger men are coming off of a season in which the team went 6-18 and 3-6 in the WCC before falling in the opening round of the WCC Championships to Loyola Marymount. This year, the Tigers return seven players all of which are juniors, to an experienced roster. Returners include junior Tadiwa Chinamo, who was an All-WCC Tournament selection in 2018.
Looking ahead to this year, the Tigers open their home season on Tuesday when it hosts California, which received votes in the year's first Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll. San Diego, who the Tigers will also see later in the year, also received votes in the poll.
The match against Cal opens a five-match home-stand; the Tigers don't hit the road from Jan. 15 to Feb. 3. On March 2, Pacific hosts the Pacific Mountain Invitational, a tournament which will bring a total of eight teams to the Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center. The Tigers play a doubleheader on Saturday and wrap up the Invitational on Sunday.
Two weeks later, the Tigers open the WCC slate of games and wrap it up at San Diego on April 20. The WCC Championships take place the following week.
Jan. 12, 2019
Pacific at UC Davis | 9 a.m.
Pacific vs. Fresno State | 12 p.m.
Location | Davis, California
Venue | Mayra Welch Tennis Center
Forecast | Partly Cloud, High of 58, 20% chance of percipitation
Scouting the Aggies
UC Davis is coming off of a 9-18 season in 2018 that concluded with a 4-0 loss to Cal Poly in the Big West Conference Championships. Like this season, the Aggies opened with Pacific in a match that Davis took 4-1. The Tigers sole win came at No. 5 singles where Johnathan Lieu took down Tommy Lam 6-2, 6-1.
The 2019 Aggies feature a roster made up heavily of underclassmen. The team boasts just on upperclassman in junior David Goulak, who was an All-Big West Second Team Selection last season and the Conference's Freshman of the Year in 2017. Sophomore Ivan Thama was last year's Big West Freshman of the Year and also landed on the All-Big West First team in singles and doubles.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Fresno State put together a 19-12 season in 2018 and reached the Mountain West Championship Match before falling to Utah State, 4-1. Pacific faced Fresno State last year as well on the opening day of the duel match season. Fresno State won 4-1 after the Tigers took to doubles point with wins at 1 and 3 doubles.
This year's Bulldog team is made up largely of upperclassmen; just one player on the nine-man roster is an underclassman. Senior Mantas Bugailiskis returns following a 2018 season that landed him on the All-Mountain West Singles Team. He and his doubles partner, sophomore Cem Erturk, who was the 2018 Mountain West Freshman of the Year, closed out the fall season as the No. 46 doubles team in the nation. Junior Zdenek Derkas also made the All-Mountain West Singles Team while junior Patrik Pech was selected to the All-Mountain West Doubles Team.