Gauchos Have Successful First Day at Irvine Pre-Regional

Benjamin Recknagel
Benjamin Recknagel

IRVINE, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara opened its 2011-12 men's tennis season on Friday at UC Irvine's Pre-Regional and the Gauchos did so with a bang. 

UCSB won all 12 of its singles matches Friday and all three of its doubles contests.

In the first round, four Gauchos defeated Loyola Marymount opponents.  Benjamin Recknagel defeated Alex Wilton, 6-2, 6-2; Mathieu Forget defeated Sebastian Bustamante 6-2, 6-2; Greg Scott swept Daniel Simko 6-3, 6-4 and Mbonisi Ndimande dropped Robin Kiyabu, 6-1, 6-0. 

In addition to the four victories over Lions' players, Alexander Gryaznov defeated UC Riverside's Simon Peters, 6-0, 6-0 and Ziad Sultan topped UC San Diego's Adam Ling, 7-5, 6-2.

The matches marked the debuts for three UCSB players.  Mbonisi, a junior, was the 2010-11 National Junior College Player of the Year while at Seminole Community College in Oklahoma.  Scott and Sultan, freshmen, were also making their first appearances. 

The Gauchos then won all six of their second round contests, sweeping each of their UC Riverside opponents.

Benjamin Recknagel was pushed a bit in the second set, but defeated Luis Gastao, 6-1, 7-5.  Mathieu Forget dropped Jimmy Roberts by scores of 6-2, 6-1 and Gryaznov topped Kelly Dickson, 6-1, 6-2. 

Scott defeated UCR's Austin Andres 6-3, 6-1. Sultan topped Simon Peters by a 6-2, 6-1 count and Ndimande defeated Kevin Griffin by a 6-3, 6-0 score. 

Earlier in the day, in doubles play, UCSB's Recknagel/Scott combination defeated UCSD's Sousa/West team, 9-8.  Forget and Ndimande topped Yoshida and Ling 8-6, while Gryzanov/Sultan beat Jigante/Dutreix, 8-4.

Play will continue in Irvine on Saturday morning.