SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Gauchos hosted the No. 65 Cal Poly Mustangs as part of the Blue-Green Rivalry Series to conclude the regular season portion of their schedule. UCSB dropped their match against their rivals from SLO after losing the doubles point and four of six singles matches en route to the 5-2 loss on Senior Day.
The Gauchos finish the season with a 9-13 record in dual matches and 2-4 in Big West play while No. 65 Cal Poly improves to 5-1 against conference opponents and 13-8 overall.
UCSB got off to a slow start in doubles, losing at courts 1 and 2 to give Cal Poly the early 1-0 lead. Andrew Riminton/Miles Seemann were the first Gaucho pair to fall, losing 8-3 at the No. 2 position. Gaucho duo Benjamin Recknagel/Axel Bouillin followed shortly after with an 8-3 loss to Dome/Bridge to clinch the doubles point for the Mustangs.
Play continued at court 3, where Ziad Sultan and Sasha Gryaznov teamed up against Cal Poly's Beasley/Daynes. The Gaucho pair battled back from down a game and used early momentum in the tie-break to take the match 8-7(5).
Before singles play began, the Gauchos brought seniors Benjamin Recknagel, Mbonisi Ndimande, and Max Glenn to center court to honor them for their time at UCSB. The Gauchos' lineup featured only one senior, Benjamin Recknagel, as Mbonisi Ndimande sat out with an injury and captain Max Glenn is coming back from knee surgery.
Benjamin Recknagel played at the No. 1 position against nationally-ranked player, #25 Andre Dome in a compelling matchup at center court. The Gaucho senior jumped out to a one set lead and battled hard but fell in the next two sets 6-1, 6-1.
"[Recknagel] played a great match on center court against Andre Dome, who's one of the [top players] in the country and pushed him to three sets," said Head Coach Marty Davis, "It was good tennis to watch."
UCSB won two of their six singles matches in the regular season finale. Sophomore Ziad Sultan carried over the momentum from his doubles match and dominated Jordan Bridge at the No. 3 position 6-1, 6-0. Jacob Johnson added a win for the Gauchos at court 6, with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Cal Poly's Matt Thomson.
Axel Bouillin and Andrew Riminton dropped their matches in straight sets at courts 2 and 5, respectively, and junior Sasha Gryaznov lost in three sets to Derek Klein 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 at court 5.
With the regular season now finished the Gauchos will set their sights on the Big West tournament, where they will enter as the fifth seed.
"There are still five teams that could win the tournament [and] I think we're one of them," said Coach Marty Davis. "We're going to have to compete a lot better than we have the last couple matches," added Davis.
Postseason play is set to begin on April 25 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
No. 65 Cal Poly 5, UCSB 2
1. Dome/Bridge (CP) def. Recknagel/Bouillin (UCSB) 8-3
2. Comuzzo/Thomson (CP) def. Riminton/Seemann (UCSB) 8-3
3. Sultan/Gryaznov (UCSB) def. Beasley/Daynes (CP) 8-7 (5)
1. #25 Andre Dome (CP) def. Benjamin Recknagel (UCSB) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
2. Marco Comuzzo (CP) def. Axel Bouillin (UCSB) 6-0, 6-2
3. Ziad Sultan (UCSB) def. Jordan Bridge (CP) 6-1, 6-0
4. Derek Klein (CP) def. Sasha Gryaznov (UCSB) 2-6, 6-1, 6-0
5. Naveen Beasley (CP) def. Andrew Riminton (UCSB) 6-0, 6-4
6. Jacob Johnson (UCSB) def. Matt Thomson (CP) 7-5, 6-4
Order of Finish: Doubles (2, 1, 3); Singles (3, 2, 5, 4, 6, 1)
UCSB SEASON RECORD: 9-13; Big West 2-4