RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The 57th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team completed its Big West schedule on Saturday afternoon with a 6-1 win at UC Riverside. The Gauchos will complete the regular season on Sunday at San Diego State in a non-conference match.
UCSB jumped out to a 1-0 lead against the Highlanders by sweeping the doubles point. Mbonisi Ndimande and Alex Johnson powered to an 8-0 win over Luis Gastao and Kevin Griffin at the No. 2 slot. Ziad Sultan and Alexander Gryaznov comfortably won at No. 3, 8-3, but Mathieu Forget and Benjamin Recknagel had to battle for a 9-7 win over Austin Andres and Felix Macherez at No. 1.
The Gauchos won five of the six singles matches, all by way of sweeps.
Forget, ranked 118th in the nation, swept past Macherez at No. 1, 6-1, 6-2. Recknagel and Sultan won at No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, but Gryaznov was beaten at No. 4 by Gastao, 6-4, 4-6 (10-8). Max Glenn and Mons Knudtzon, who have played sparingly in dual matches this season, won at No. 5 and No. 6.
After it closes the regular season on Sunday at San Diego State, UCSB will be off until traveling to the Big West Tournament on April 27-29 at Indian Wells. The Gauchos are expected to be the No. 2 seed in the tournament. The team that wins at Indian Wells will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
#57 UC Santa Barbara 6, UC Riverside 1
1. Forget/Recknagel (UCSB) def. Andres/Macherez (UCR) 9-7
2. Ndimande/Johnson (UCSB) def. Gastao/Griffin (UCR) 8-0
3. Sultan/Gryaznov (UCSB) def. Peters/Roberts (UCR) 8-3
1. Mathieu Forget (UCSB) def. Felix Macherez (UCR) 6-1, 6-2
2. Benjamin Recknagel (UCSB) def. Jimmy Roberts (UCR) 6-2, 6-4
3. Ziad Sultan (UCSB) def. Austin Andres (UCR) 6-3, 6-2
4. Luis Gastao (UCR) def. Alexander Gryaznov (UCSB) 6-4, 4-6 (10-8)
5. Max Glenn (UCSB) def. Simon Peters (UCR) 6-1, 6-2
6. Mons Knudtzon (UCSB) def. Kelly Dickson (UCR) 6-1, 6-3