SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team said goodbye to just one senior on Wednesday afternoon in its 7-0 win over visiting Loyola Marymount. Fittingly, that one player, co-Captain Mathieu Forget, led the team to victory with an easy win at No. 1 singles.
Forget, who has emerged as the Gauchos' best player and leader, did away with the Lions' No. 1 player, Alex Wilton, 6-1, 6-0. Although his doubles team, which on Wednesday included Benjamin Recknagel, dropped an 8-4 decision at No. 1, he is having an outstanding season. Forget is now 13-6 in dual match singes, including 10-6 at No. 1.
"Mathieu's four years at UCSB have flown by," said UCSB head coach Marty Davis. "He has shown why he's moved into the ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) National singles rankings, displaying an all court game and incredible speed about the court. Mathieu will be sorely missed next sorely missed next season, but for now, we can relish the time together as the team gets into peak form for a run at a Big West title and NCAA bid."
While all of the Gauchos players were good on Wednesday, a couple deserved special notice. Sasha Gryaznov and co-captain Max Glenn who, despite limited playing time this season, stepped into the line-up and provided wins at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions. At No. 5, Gryaznov swept Tom Price, 7-5, 6-2 and at No. 6, Glenn dropped Robin Kiyabu, 7-5, 6-4.
In addition to Forget, Gryaznov and Glenn, three other Gauchos posted singles wins. Playing No. 2, Recknagel swept the Lions' Todd Volmari, 6-2, 6-3. At No. 3, Mbonisi Ndimande came back to top Felix Van Kann, 4-6, 7-5, (10-6). Finally, at No. 4, Ziad Sultan bounced Daniel Simko, 6-1, 7-6.
In doubles, despite the loss by Forget and Recknagel at No. 1, Santa Barbara earned a point. At No. 1, Ndimande teamed with Alex Johnson to defeat LMU's Simko/Volmari duo, 8-6. At No. 3, Sultan and Gryaznov doubled-up on Julio Northcott and Kiyabu, 8-4.
The 55th-ranked Gauchos' win over Lions improves their record to 12-7 overall. They remain 3-1 in Big West matches. UCSB will travel for its last three regular season matches. On Tuesday, April 17, the Gauchos wil play at No. 34 Fresno State in a 3:00 p.m. match. On Saturday, April 21, they play at UC Riverside, and then on Sunday, April 22, they play at No. 58 San Diego State ina match that will begin at noon.
No. 55 UCSB 7, Loyola Marymount 0
1. Wilton/Van Kann def. Forget/Recknagel (UCSB) 8-4
2. Ndimande/Johnson (UCSB) def. Simko/Volmari 8-6
3. Sultan/Gryaznov (UCSB) def. Northcott/Kiyabu 8-4
1. Mathieu Forget (UCSB) def. Alex Wilton 6-1,6-0
2. Benjamin Recknagel (UCSB) def. Todd Volmari 6-2,6-3
3. Mbonisi Ndimande (UCSB) def. Felix Van Kann 4-6,7-5 (10-6)
4. Ziad Sultan (UCSB) def. Daniel Simko 6-1,7-6
5. Sasha Gryaznov (UCSB) def. Tom Price 7-5,6-2
6. Max Glenn (UCSB) def. Robin Kiyabu 7-5,6-4
Order of finish: Singles (1,2,4,6,5,3)
SEASON RECORD: 12-7
BIG WEST RECORD: 3-1
Tuesday, April 17 @ #34 Fresno State, 3pm
Saturday, April 21 @ UC Riverside, Noon
Sunday, April 22 @ #58 San Diego State, Noon