SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – After a two week layoff for finals, the Gauchos (5-9) will return to the courts to conclude their 10-match home stand, beginning with a match up against conference foes UC Irvine (9-9) on Wednesday. UC Santa Barbara will also face #23 Boise State (16-3) on Friday and the University of San Francisco (8-10) on Sunday during their busy Spring Break.
In the Gauchos' latest turn at the courts, they were narrowly edged by Penn in a heartbreaking loss in which the Gauchos held match point. UC Santa Barbara received wins from juniors Tobias Galskov and Ziad Sultan as well as freshman Teague Hamilton, who all kept their winning streaks alive.
Junior Tobias Galskov has won his last seven matches while junior Ziad Sultan has found success at the No. 2 position, with four wins in a row. Freshman Teague Hamilton has been strong at home with three consecutive victories at the No. 5 court and has won six of his last seven matches.
The Gauchos will carry those winning streaks into their next match against Big West rival UC Irvine, who have turned their season around after sweeping a seven-match homestand to even their record at 9-9.
The Anteaters also played Penn in their latest match but came away with a 5-2 victory against the Quakers, during a week in which UC Irvine played five matches in six days. UC Irvine won the doubles point and four of six singles matches en route to the victory, despite losing the first set at five of six courts.
During their seven-match win streak, the Anteaters' Caryl Hernandez won all of his matches, playing primarily at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions. Tyler Pham at the No. 2 slot and Shuhei Shibahara, splitting time between the No. 4-5-6 courts, each have wins in six of their last seven matches.
The Gauchos will get their first taste of conference action at the Rec Cen Courts on Wednesday at noon against UC Irvine.
UC Santa Barbara will continue the homestand with a match against No. 23 Boise State, who comes into Santa Barbara carrying an impressive 16-3 record. The last time these two teams faced each other, exactly a year earlier than Friday's upcoming match, Boise State came away with a 6-1 victory at home.
No. 23 Boise State is led by nationally-ranked player, No. 60 Andrew Bettles, at the No. 1 slot. The Broncos also have several players riding winning streaks, including Brendan McClain at the No. 5 position, who has now won 10 matches in a row to hold a team-high 15 dual victories, and Nathan Sereke at the No. 2 slot, who carries a four match win streak and an 11-6 dual record.
UCSB will face off against the Broncos on Friday at 1 p.m. at the Rec Cen Courts.
The Gauchos will conclude their 10-match homestand with a match against the University of San Francisco, who have struggled as of late, losing their last five matches to drop their record to 8-10 on the season.
The Dons are led by Bernardo Saraiva with a 10-4 record at the No. 1 position and James Tallman with an 8-3 dual record, playing primarily at the No. 2 and No. 3 slots.
USF escaped with a 4-3 victory last time they faced the Gauchos, at home in San Francisco, but the Gauchos hope to return the favor when they welcome the Dons to the Rec Cen Courts on Sunday, beginning at 11a.m