Moving into the Big West Conference Championships, the 3rd seeded Pacific Men’s Tennis Team opened up tournament play against a hungry UC Davis squad. The Aggies jumped to a quick 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point at positions 1 and 3. The Tigers bounced back and came out with strong wins by Ben Mirkin and Alex Golding at numbers 5 and 2. However, Davis came back and won at number 6 as Erik Cederwall was defeated making the score 2-2. With Sem, Denis, and Daniel still battling, both Denis and Daniel came through to clinch two three setters to move the Tigers into the 2nd round against co-Champs, Cal Poly SLO.
As temperatures reached triple digits, the Tigers were scheduled to play the Mustangs at 3:00pm in the heat of the day. The Tigers started fast and determined by taking the doubles point at number 2 and 3. Alex Golding and Alex Hamilton got off with the first win, followed by Daniel Alameh and Ben Mirkin winning at number 3. The tide quickly turned as the Mustangs took first sets on courts 1-5, while Alex Hamilton was dominating play at number 6. As the match wore on, the heat rose, and that special time when the tide can turn, the Tigers came roaring back with a win at #6 tying the score at 1-1. The Tigers quickly went down 3-2 as Ben Mirkin and Sem Verbeek lost their matches in straight sets. This left the match up to Denis and Daniel again. Collegiate tennis at its best was displayed within the next hour and a half as Denis went on to win his match 7-6 in the third set to tie the dual at 3-3 while Daniel Alameh came back from a set and a break down to force a third set. Having to move courts due to darkness, Daniel wore his opponent down to claim the third set and clinch the semifinal. You can view the final match points from Denis and Daniel’s wins here: http://youtu.be/Gycjws-_L6E
After nearly five hours of straight play in Indian Wells heat, the Tigers got a day off before squaring off with the UCSB Gauchos. The Tigers defeated the Gauchos in regular season play, but with the addition of two starters to the UCSB lineup, the Gauchos started quick and maintained the lead throughout the whole final. The Tigers were defeated in their 2nd Big West final in three years by a score of 4-2.