Gauchos Begin Regular Season with Three Match Road Trip

Sasha Gryaznov (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Sasha Gryaznov (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UCSB men's tennis team will open their 2014 dual season on the road in the Pacific Northwest with three indoor matches this weekend. The Gauchos are slated to kickoff their season in Seattle, Wash. with back-to-back matches against Portland and #37 Washington on Friday and Saturday, respectively, and finish off their road trip at #52 Oregon on Monday. 

The Gauchos finished off the 2012-2013 regular season with a 9-13 record before putting together an incredible run to win the program's 8th Big West Championship. The Gauchos were the first team to ever win the Big West title as a 5th seed.

UC Santa Barbara will return six members from their Big West Champion squad including - Sasha Gryaznov, Ziad Sultan, Miles Seemann, Greg Scott, Jake Johnson, and Andrew Riminton and welcome five newcomers – #79 Tobias Galskov, Teague Hamilton, Erik Johnsson, Corey Karen, and Luke Steeb.

The Gauchos begin the regular season against the Portland Pilots at the Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Washington on Friday. The Pilots finished last season with a 10-12 overall record and 2-7 in the West Coast Conference. Portland was led by Ratan Gill, who had 12 wins on the season playing primarily at the No. 1 position.

The Gaucho men will have a quick turnaround before playing Pac-12's Washington on Saturday at the same venue. The Huskies were ranked No. 37 in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Rankings in the most recent poll. Washington finished 18-12 overall last season and made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament last season.

UCSB will end the road trip in a rematch against #52 Oregon in Eugene, Ore. on Monday, Jan. 20. The Gauchos faced the Ducks last season and lost in a close 4-3 decision at home. Oregon posted a 16-8 overall record in the 2012-2013 season and went 2-6 within the Pac-12. Oregon is returning four veterans including Daan Maasland and Robin Cambier, who led the team with 23 and 22 wins last season, respectively.

The Gauchos will look to carry over their strong play from the fall tournament season into the regular season. Junior Tobias Galskov claimed a No. 79 ranking in the Intercollegiate Tennis Rankings as a result of his run to the semifinals in the ITA Southwest Regionals. The Gauchos also won several titles at the UCSB Classic and junior Ziad Sultan reached the semifinals at the SoCal Intercollegiate.

UCSB's season begins at 5:00 PM on Friday against Portland in Seattle, Wash. The Gaucho men will face Washington at 3:00 PM on Saturday, also in Seattle, Wash. and conclude their road trip at Oregon on Monday at 9:00 AM.