SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Gauchos (5-5) bounced back from a painful loss against #36 San Diego State with a dominating performance over the Pac-12's University of Utah (7-5) on Monday afternoon. The Gauchos gained the doubles point and won five of their six singles matches to cruise to a 6-1 win.
The UCSB victory had Head Coach Marty Davis singing the team's praises, "I thought the last two matches we played top-40 tennis, we didn't get the result against San Diego State but today we did." Coach Davis also added that the team's play was their "best tennis of the season."
UCSB's successful day at the courts began in doubles, where they received wins from all three doubles pairs. At court 1, Gaucho duo Mbonisi Ndimande and Ziad Sultan continued their strong doubles play, winning their third straight match in a row in an 8-3 victory against Medinilla and Mamedov. Benjamin Recknagel and Axel Bouillin recorded a win at court 2, where they dropped Tasevac and Willems 8-5. At the No. 3 position, Riminton and Seemann defeated Lane and Archer, 8-6 to help the Gauchos clinch the doubles point.
The Gauchos were also stellar in singles, where they won five of their six matches. Sophomore Ziad Sultan stretched his winning streak to five in a row with his victory over Lane, 6-1, 7-6 at court 4. Seniors Mbonisi Ndimande and Benjamin Recknagel also recorded wins, only losing three games each in their singles matches. Ndimande maintained his strong play at the No. 1 position with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Mamedov, and Recknagel moved up to the No. 2 position, defeating Medinilla 6-2, 6-1. At court 5, Sasha Gryaznov beat Tasevac 6-4, 6-3 and at the No. 3 position, Axel Bouillin came back after a first set loss to beat Davidian 6-7, 6-3, (11-9).
UCSB's only loss was at court 6, where Andrew Riminton dropped his match against Willems, 6-2, 6-2.
With the win, the Gauchos moved back to .500 on the season (5-5) and improved to 4-1 at home. The Gauchos will conclude their homestand on Thursday against the 45th-ranked team in the country, George Washington.
While Coach Davis was quick to praise UCSB for their strong play Monday, he also expects his team to "bring this sort of game every day" and went on to say "if we do that, we can beat #45 George Washington."
Action is set to begin against George Washington at the Rec Cen courts at 1:30 PM (PST) on Thursday, Mar. 14.
UCSB 6, Utah 1
1. Ndimande/Sultan (UCSB) def. Medinilla/Mamedov (UTAH) 8-3
2. Recknagel/Bouillin (UCSB) def. Tasevac/Willems (UTAH) 8-5
3. Riminton/Seemann (UCSB) def. Lane/Archer (UTAH) 8-6
1. Mbonisi Ndimande (UCSB) def. Dmytro Mamedov (UTAH) 6-1, 6-2
2. Benjamin Recknagel (UCSB) def. Alejandro Medinilla (UTAH) 6-2, 6-1
3. Axel Bouillin (UCSB) def. Rafael Davidian (UTAH) 6-7, 6-3, (11-9)
4. Ziad Sultan (UCSB) def. Devin Lane (UTAH) 6-1, 7-6
5. Sasha Gryaznov (UCSB) def. Ben Tasevac (UTAH) 6-4, 6-3
6. Cedric Willems (UTAH) def. Andrew Riminton (UCSB) 6-2, 6-2
Order of finish: 2, 6, 1, 5, 4, 3
UCSB SEASON RECORD: 5-5; Big West 0-0