In my opinion UCSB are the favorites to win the 2015-16 Big West Tournament title.
They need to play with more consistency. The #59 Gauchos came close to upsetting #2 USC on the road but lost 3-4. So after playing this well against USC there was no excuse to losing vs #51 Utah 3-4 the next day. :banghead:
#59 UCSB got a home match against #38 Oklahoma but let that golden opportunity slip by their hands also losing 3-4.
UC Santa Barbara Doubles Pairing Earns ITA Top-10 Ranking
Thanks to a 3-0 start, including a victory over the then-No. 4 ranked doubles duo in the country, the UC Santa Barbara tandem of Palina Dubavets and Stefani Stojic moved up from No. 21 to No. 10 in the latest Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Division I Women’s Doubles rankings. It is believed that this is the first time a Big West duo has reached the nation’s top-10 since 1995 when Kelly Spencer and Amelia White finished the year ranked No. 9 in the Rolex National Collegiate rankings.
Dubavets and Stojic, who entered the season ranked No. 21, made a huge statement in the season opener by downing USC’s pairing of Giuliana Olmos and Gabby Smith at the No. 1 spot, 6-4. The Gauchos went on to win the doubles point and nearly sprouted an upset of the then second-ranked Trojans, ultimately losing a 4-3 heartbreaker.
Dubavets and Stojic look to continue their sensational start to 2016 as UCSB faces a busy stretch this weekend with home matches against Memphis and Washington State, and the Big West opener versus UC Davis. The Gauchos then embark on a six-match roadtrip.
UCSB had a chance to beat ranked and undefeated Washington State but lost 3-4.
I guess UCSB won the doubles point and got over confident and decided to give their bench some playing time. Amanda Atanasson UCSB's regular #4 singles sat out singles after playing doubles. The result was Wazzu came storming back to win 4 of 6 singles and snatch the win from the jaws of defeat against UCSB.
The good news is since this coaching blunder UCSB has been playing seriously and has blown out their last 3 opponents in UC Davis, LMU and San Francisco.
I expect UCSB to play at their full strength against #64 Hawaii.
(I did find amusing the messy ITA rankings even more screwy last week as HW went UP after two loses because neither UCSB or HW bothered to post the result with ITA until after the Monday deadline. How long will it take for the Fullerton result to post?)
Also, comparing the MASSEY RATINGS with ITA this year is a doozie. Take a look at both the Pac and Big West. I wonder what the disastrous ITA screwed with this year in their formula.
This is March as in March Madness so basketball comes first. I watched a UCI men's basketball game Thursday night where they beat Cal Poly so the tennis update has to wait til Friday.
By the way UCI can still claim a share of the men's hoops Big West regular season title if Long Beach St. can beat Hawaii at the Pyramid. :hehehe: What does LBS get by beating Hawaii? They improve their at-large chances for the NIT if they should lose in the Big West Tournament.
Fullerton def. Hawaii 4-2
Very surprising upset. :surprise:
Maybe the Hawaii coach miscalculated by moving freshman Hruba up to #1 singles for the first time. Some women get so nervous playing #1 for the first time they pee in their panties. (There was this one time when the Long Beach St. coach put Rachel Manasse at #1 singles and she did just that peeing in her panties while losing to the UC Riverside #1.) :grin2:
The Fullerton AD hired a new women's volleyball coach that went win less this season. The only good hires the Fullerton AD has made was hiring the women's tennis coach and men's soccer coach, both former UCI coaches.
When Lance Armstrong admitted to Oprah about doping he was taking EPO which in effect gave him better endurance.
Meldonium which Maria Sharapova had been taking for 10 years was added to the banned list because an abnormally high amount of athletes were taking it. The medication supposedly increased blood flow which in effect increases your endurance. Exactly the same benefits of EPO that Lance Armstrong was doping on.
Fellow Russian Olympic gold medalist figure skater Ekaterina Bobrova, Sweden 2013 world 1,500 meter track champion Abeba Aregawi and Ethiopian Tokyo marathon winner Endeshaw Negesse are just some other world class athletes that tested positive for Meldonium since it was banned Jan. 2016 and will suffer punishments.
In the sports of tennis, marathons and cycling among others, events that can last for hours, I guess having better endurance can be a big advantage in helping you win. Looks like Sharapova and other European athletes had found a performance enhancing medication that was made only in Europe and not yet legal in the USA and other continents. They were taking it for years that gave them a advantage in terms of extra endurance before the anti-doping agency recently caught on.
This has opened a big can of worms in the world of marathon running among other sports where a bunch of elite athletes have already failed drug testing due to Meldonium. As for Sharapova Nike has dropped her within hours of her admitting to a failed drug test. I wonder how many more endorsements and $$$ Sharapova will lose over her shocking new drug scandal? Before 2016 Sharapova was cheating morally but not technically since the medication was not banned. Unless you believe Sharapova would die if she didn't take Meldonium or there wasn't alternate medication she could have taken for her illnesses that didn't enhance her performance or if Meldonium which treats patients suffering from heart failure was also somehow standardly prescribed for Sharapova's illnesses. I guess in the end cheaters getting caught is karma and poetic justice.
Now we know Meldonium was the difference between Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova both hotties :hearts: making huge endorsements but one didn't win so much and the other was able to win a lot of titles.
The new ITA leadership has apparently f*cked up the rankings to new levels.
UCLA # 25 (or # 11 in the Masseys)
USC finally ranked again at # 43 (or # 18 in the Masseys)
But this one has me on the floor crying in laughter
# 67 Cal State Fullerton... with this schedule:
D2 UC San Diego 6-1
UR San Diego State 5-2
UR U San Diego LOSS 3-4
D2 Azusa Pacific 6-1
UR LMU 4-3
UR Pacific 5-2
UR UC Davis 4-3
D2 CSULA 6-1
UR UC Riverside 7-0
UR Hawaii 4-2 (were ranked but no longer)
UR Utah State 5-1
That's 1 previously ranked, 7 never ranked and 3 D2 wins
ITA has become a joke. Shortened doubles to nothing, no ad makes for blatant cheating and now they've hacked the rankings formula up. (Suggestion: Run the computer spin twice so teams don't necessarily move 20 spots a week off a win vs a team no longer ranked).
#65 UCSB (9-6, 2-0) will host #67 Long Beach St. (11-4, 4-0) on Sat. 4/2 with the winner most likely ending up the Big West regular season champions.
- UCSB let another ranked win slip thru their hands losing at home to Harvard 3-4. UCSB took the doubles point and went up 1-0. They also won the 1st set at #3 and #4 singles before Harvard came back to win those 2 positions in 3 sets. This is like the 4th ranked team UCSB should probably have beaten but didn't.
- UCSB finally ended their streak of underachieving against ranked non-conference opponents by upsetting at the time #24 Fresno St. 4-1. Now let's see if they can carry this momentum against Long Beach St.
- Long Beach St. is coming off a nice win themselves against at the time #46 Dartmouth 5-2.
- UCSB's doubles team of #16 Dubavets/ Stojic will meet LBS's team of #36 Eales/ Thompson to kick off the match.
LB easily took dubs. LB took four of six first sets; should have been five with #4 up 4-1 in first only to drop set in a breaker. Then momentum totally shifted.
UCSB eventually goes up 3-1 with wins at 4, 2 and 3. LB gets it back to 3-3 at 5 & 6.
At # 1... LB took first set easy but dropped second set in a hurry. She's down 2-5 in the third when match is 3-1 SB. Survives 2 match points, including a NoAd point, at 4-5, and then wins on her second match point which was also a NoAd point at 6-5.
What a magical night Kobe's last NBA game was. The Lakers were down by 15 points and by 9 points with under 3 minutes left in the game and Kobe led them to a comeback victory while hitting the game winning shot. Kobe outscored the opposing team by himself 23 to 21 in the 4th quarter alone while going on to score an amazing 60 points :worship::worship::worship: in his last NBA game ever.
Kobe is a true global icon with tens of millions of followers in Weibo, China's version of Twitter. I guess it's fitting that Kobe's last NBA game may have been the most memorable "performance" of any athlete in any sport for their last outing ever. In tennis the most memorable exit has to be Pete Sampras beating Andre Agassi to win the U.S. Open, pictured below, during his last match before retirement. :worship:
Now Kobe skipped college and went directly into the NBA at age 17. But there is a school being UC Irvine, just 5 minutes away from his home that he is fond of and works out at during the summers. UCI fans love :hearts: Kobe.
The shocker of the tournament was unranked Hawaii beating #1 seed Long Beach State after LBS won 4-0 vs HI in the regular season.
For the #1 seed to lose in the semi-finals that almost never happens in the Big West tournament.
#1 seed LBS losing before the finals is the BIGGEST UPSET in the last decade of the Big West Tournament. :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm:
I recall in 2007 UCI as the #1 seed also lost in the BWT semi-finals to Cal Poly. But UCI was able to secure a NCAA at-large that season. Long Beach St. will miss the NCAA tournament this season making their upset even more disappointing. h: