Gauchos Fall Just Short against Penn, 4-3

Ziad Sultan

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara men's tennis (5-9) fell in a heartbreaker on Tuesday, as they lost 4-3 to visiting Penn (3-5) in an exciting match at the Rec Cen Courts. The Gauchos lost the doubles point and split their singles matches in the loss.

With the overall score tied at 3-all, senior Sasha Gryaznov held match point at 6-5 in the second set tiebreaker at No. 3 singles but opponent Jeremy Court fought back and rattled off three straight points to win the tiebreaker 8-6 and take the second set 7-6. Gryaznov and Court had a back and forth battle in a third set that featured three breaks, before Court held on to win the match and clinch the 4-3 victory for Penn.

"That was a brutal, painful match to lose," said head coach Marty Davis. "We've had a lot of 4-3 matches [but] this one hurts the worst."

The Gauchos got off to a rocky start in Tuesday's match as they dropped the doubles point to the Quakers after sweeping the doubles competition in their past two matches. Penn won at No. 3 and No. 2 doubles by identical 8-6 scores to take a 1-0 lead.

In singles play, the Gauchos received three quality wins at courts 1, 2, and 5 from juniors Tobias Galskov, Ziad Sultan and freshman Teague Hamilton, though it wasn't enough as Penn won the remaining three matches to clinch the victory.

"We had really good play at [courts] 1 and 2," Davis stated. "Teague [Hamilton] played a good match as well."

Junior Tobias Galskov won yet again at No. 1 singles as he defeated Nikola Kocovic 7-6, 6-3 to extend his winning streak to seven matches.

Junior Ziad Sultan also kept his undefeated streak alive as he quickly dispatched of his opponent, Vim De Alwis, 6-2, 6-2 to run his streak to four straight victories after struggling early in the season.

"Ziad's on a little bit of a roll," stated Davis. "He hit a little slump but I think today he felt like he pulled out of the slump that he was in and now he's won four in a row."

Freshman Teague Hamilton also rolled in straight sets as he posted a 6-4, 7-6 victory against Penn's Marshall Sharp for his sixth win in his last seven matches.

The Gauchos will break for two weeks before beginning conference play at home against UC Irvine during Spring Break.

"Now it gets really intense because conference is a whole different level of intensity," said Davis.

First serve against the Anteaters is set for 12:00 p.m. on Wed., March 26 at the Rec Cen Courts.

Penn 4, UCSB 3
March 11, 2014
Rec Cen Courts (Santa Barbara, Calif.)

Doubles

1. Zach Katz/Marshall Sharp (PENN) vs. Tobias Galskov/Ziad Sultan (UCSB) 6-5, DNF
2. Nikola Kocovic/Matt Nardella (PENN) def. Erik Johnsson/Miles Seemann (UCSB) 8-6
3. Thomas Spratt/Austin Kaplan (PENN) def. Teague Hamilton/Andrew Riminton (UCSB) 8-6

Singles

1. Tobias Galskov (UCSB) def. Nikola Kocovic (PENN) 7-6, 6-3
2. Ziad Sultan (UCSB) def. Vim De Alwis (PENN) 6-2, 6-2
3. Jeremy Court (PENN) def. Sasha Gryaznov (UCSB) 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4
4. Matt Nardella (PENN) def. Erik Johnsson (UCSB) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
5. Teague Hamilton (UCSB) def. Marshall Sharp (PENN) 6-4, 7-6
6. Zach Katz (PENN) def. Miles Seemann (UCSB) 7-6, 6-1

Order of Finish: Doubles (3, 2, 1); Singles (2, 5, 6, 4, 1, 3)
UCSB Season Record: 5-9; Big West 0-0