Pac-12 Tennis Set for 2019 Conference Championships in Ojai
WHO: The Pac-12’s nine men’s teams and 11 women’s teams head to Ojai, Calif., Wednesday, April 24 - Saturday, April 27 to decide the Pac-12 men’s and women’s tennis team champions. Both the women and men will compete in a tournament team format to determine the Pac-12 Champion and the automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championships. Teams will be seeded based on won-lost percentages during regular-season Conference play with the tie breaker being the head-to-head matchup winner.
WHAT: Pac-12 competition will be held in conjunction with the 119th Annual Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament. Live TV coverage of the event begins Thursday, April 25 with the men’s quarterfinals starting at 9 a.m. PT on Pac-12 Bay Area. The men’s semifinals on Friday, April 26 will air live on both Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Bay Area. On Saturday, April 27, the women’s final will air live on Pac-12 Bay Area at 12 p.m. PT, followed by the men’s final at 3 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Bay Area. All televised matches will also be available to stream on the Pac-12 Now app.
WHERE: The Pac-12 Men’s Championship will be held at Libbey Park in Ojai for all rounds, while the Pac-12 women will play the first two rounds plus the semifinals at the Weil Tennis Academy, with the championship match taking place at Libbey Park.
COVERAGE: Full coverage of the 2019 Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships and live results can be found at http://pac-12.com/tennischamps.
PAC-12 MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: In the seven year history of the men's team championship, UCLA has won the Conference title four times, including its 2018 victory. USC has claimed the other three titles. The Los Angeles rivals have played against each other in the championship match all but one year (2016). In 2017, USC was the lowest seed to ever win the men's bracket when it was the No. 3 seed.
PAC-12 WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: Since the women started a team bracket at the Pac-12 Championships in 2016, Stanford has been named the No. 1 seed all three years and have been crowned the Pac-12 Women’s Tennis Champions the last two years. The reigning NCAA Champion Cardinal are vying for its fourth-straight automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, as they won the regular season title in 2016.
OJAI HISTORY: The Pac-12 Championships will keep with tradition as the featured event at this year’s 119th Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, which attracts 1,600 of the best college, junior and open players from the Western states. The annual event, started by William Thacher in 1896, has been played at the same site and interrupted only five times. If this tournament, put on entirely by volunteer efforts on public and privately owned courts, seems an unlikely place to see championship quality players, consider who has appeared here: Pete Sampras, Lindsay Davenport, Michael Chang, Rick Leach, Tracy Austin, Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors and the Bryan twins. These tennis greats are among more than 91 former players at The Ojai who have gone on to win one or more Grand Slam events as professional tennis players, all of whom are listed on Libbey Park’s “Wall of Fame.”
PAC-12 MEN IN THE RANKINGS: Eight of nine Pac-12 men’s programs are ranked in the ITA Top-50 national team rankings (as of April 23), led by USC at No. 8. Top-seeded UCLA lands at No. 13 heading into the Conference Championships.
18 league singles players are ranked in the ITA Top-125 national men’s singles poll. Seven conference teams are represented by ranked individuals, led by two-time ITA All-American USC’s Brandon Holt at No. 10. He’s joined in the top 25 by Stanford’s Axel Geller at No. 12, Oregon’s Thomas Laurent at No. 14, UCLA’s Maxime Cressy at No. 17 and fellow Trojan Daniel Cukierman at No. 20.
Nine Pac-12 men’s doubles teams are in the ITA Top-90 national doubles rankings, with a ranked pair representing seven different schools. UCLA’s Maxime Cressy and Keegan Smith are ranked fourth and is the Conference’s highest-ranked pair.
PAC-12 WOMEN IN THE RANKINGS: Eight of 11 Pac-12 women’s programs in the ITA Top-50 national team rankings (as of April 23). Defending NCAA Champion and the No. 1 seed at the Pac-12 Championship Stanford is the highest ranked league team at No. 5. The Cardinal head into the championships riding a 14-match winning streak.
The Pac-12 women occupy 20 slots on the ITA’s Top-125 singles rankings. Eight Conference teams are represented by ranked individuals, with Stanford’s Michaela Gordon, last year’s ITA and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, receiving the highest ranking at No. 24. The Cardinal lead the country with seven ranked in singles.
The Pac-12 owns the top two ranked doubles teams in the nation, with ASU’s Lauryn John-Baptiste and Ilze Hattingh at No. 1 and USC’s Angela Kulikov and Rianna Valdes at No. 2. Joining them in the top five is UCLA’s duo of Gabby Andrews and Ayan Broomfield at No. 4. In total, 20 partners are ranked from 10 different Pac-12 programs.