Men’s Tennis Preps for Spring Season

Men’s Tennis Preps for Spring Season

The Pacific men’s tennis team prepares for the spring season after a successful fall hosting a pair of tournaments and producing a 34th ranked team of Akram El Sallaly and Bernardo Oliveira.

Pacific is coming off an 11-14 season and 10-6 home record, which featured a West Coast Conference win over No. 43 Portland at the Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center. The Tigers’ spring season will feature 23 regular season matches with 14 non-conference contests before jumping into WCC play.

The out-of-conference slate will highlight a tough strength in schedule facing top 75 teams including Fresno State (Jan. 13 and Feb. 7), UC Davis (Jan. 13), Cal Poly (Jan. 20), Washington (Jan. 27), Utah (Feb. 3), New Mexico (Feb. 9), Santa Barbara (Feb. 18), and No. 13 Stanford (Mar. 27).

In the WCC, the Tigers will look to host BYU (Mar. 9), Pepperdine (Mar. 30), Loyola Marymount (Mar. 31), and San Diego (Apr. 21) all of which are top 70 programs in the nation.

“We have a nationally power packed schedule this upcoming season and it’s going to be great,” said head coach Ryan Redondo. “There are many ways in which to look at developing a schedule and I believe that this year will give us a great opportunity to reach our team’s potential. Every match is a championship match for us and I think that’s why we are having so much fun and getting better every year.  You have to beat the best to be the best and that’s where we want to be.”

This fall, the Tigers hosted two tournaments including the ITA Northwest Regionals for the first time in program history and opened the Roy and Jean Sanders Tennis Clubhouse. Sophomore Tadiwa Chinamo reached the finals of the Pacific Invitational, while Simon Solbas and Chris Cajiganeach earned their first wins as Tigers.

The duo of El Sallaly and Oliveira earned their way to become nationally ranked at 34 in doubles after they went 11-4 when paired together. They won the annual Battle in the Bay tournament and appeared in the finals in the UCSB Classic and the $100,000 Fairfield ATP Challenger earning ATP points. Due to their stellar performance throughout the fall, El Sallaly and Oliveira were selected to be an at-large bid into the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships in Indian Wells. The Fall Championships serves as the concluding event to the fall portion of the college tennis schedule and is the only intercollegiate event to feature the competitors from all five divisions competing for a national championship.

“We have a strong core group of sophomores that showed they could beat anyone last year and we had a fantastic fall with development across the board.  Adding two new players is going to add a lot of depth to the great culture we have here and speaking for myself and coaching staff, we are all very eager to get the pre-season practice going and on to our first match down at Fresno State.”

The Tigers’ first serve of the season is at Fresno State on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. followed by a neutral site matchup with UC Davis at 2 p.m.

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