SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UCSB men's tennis team defeated visiting SMU, 4-3, during a thrilling match that came down to the wire on Saturday afternoon at the Recreation Center Courts.
The Gauchos fell behind early after losing the doubles point, but quickly notched the match score after Ziad Sultan made quick work of Tobias Flood in the No. 6 singles. Mbonisi Ndimande then gave the Gauchos their first lead after taking down Joseph Hattrup.
At No. 4, SMU's Arturs Kazijevs was able to take down Axel Bouillin to tie the match back up at 2-2. Shortly thereafter, the Gauchos jumped back in front of the Mustangs as Mathieu Forget defeated Gaston Cuadranti at No. 1 singles.
A hard fought match at No. 2 saw Benjamin Recknagel fall to Pablo Perez-Esnaola, tying the match once again, 3-3.
All eyes then turned to the No. 3 court where Greg Scott and Mischa Nowicki were amidst a battle for the ages. Scott grabbed the first set, 7-5, before Nowicki returned the favor, winning 7-5 in the second. Scott sealed the Gaucho victory in the tiebreaker set.
With the win, UCSB improves to 5-4 on the season. The Gauchos are back in action on Monday when they open Big West Conference play at UC Irvine at 1 p.m.
UCSB 4, SMU 3
(1) Perez-Esnaola/Nowicki (SMU) def. Forget/Ndimande (UCSB), 8-6
(2) Kazijevs/Flood (SMU) def. Recknagel/Bouillin (UCSB), 8-6
(3) Sultan/Gryaznov (UCSB) def. Cuadranti/Hattrup (SMU), 8-2