SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara men's tennis got off to a great start in conference play with a victory over visiting UC Irvine (9-10; Big West 0-2) at the Rec Cen Courts on Wednesday. The Gauchos (6-9; Big West 1-0) snapped the Anteaters' seven-match win streak by clinching the doubles point and receiving wins at four of six singles courts in the 5-2 triumph.
"This was a good win that gets us off to a clean start in conference play," said Coach Marty Davis. "The conference season is short, so getting the win today was important."
UC Santa Barbara started the day in doubles and secured the doubles point with victories at the No. 2 and No. 3 courts. The Gaucho tandem of Teague Hamilton and Andrew Riminton were first off the courts at the No. 3 slot, knocking off the Anteaters' Agbayani and Hernandez 8-3. UCSB pair Erik Johnsson and Miles Seemann followed up with a victory at No. 2 doubles by an identical 8-3 score. Play at the No. 1 court was suspended after the Gauchos clinched the 1-0 lead.
In singles, the Gauchos received solid performances from the bottom half of the lineup as well as junior Tobias Galskov, who continued his strong play at No. 1 singles.
The two freshmen on the squad, Erik Johnsson and Teague Hamilton, stepped up to the challenge and played some of their best tennis in their first taste of Big West action with victories at the No. 4 and No. 5 courts.
"I was most impressed with the two freshmen, [Hamilton and Johnsson]," said Coach Marty Davis. "They matched the intensity level of a conference match."
Erik Johnsson was first off the courts in singles, pushing the Gauchos lead to 2-0 as he eased to a 6-3, 6-1 triumph at No. 4 singles against UCI's Jonathan Hammel.
At No. 5 singles, Teague Hamilton bounced back from a 4-1 deficit in the first set and took 11 of the next 12 games to defeat UCI's Shuhei Shibahara 6-4, 6-1. Hamilton has now won seven of his last eight matches, including his last four consecutively, and improved his dual match record to 9-6.
Junior Tobias Galskov sealed the Gaucho victory with a straight set triumph at No. 1 singles, defeating Ryan Cheung 6-1, 6-4 to extend his undefeated streak to eight matches.
Junior Miles Seemann closed the match in a tiebreaker at court 6 to make the score 5-2. Seemann came back from a down a set to snap Caryl Hernandez's seven match win streak with a 6-7, 6-3, 10-8 victory.
The Gauchos will face another tough test in their next match at the Rec Cen Courts, when they take on No. 23 Boise State, who own a 16-3 record on the season.
"Boise State is having one of their best seasons ever," said Coach Marty Davis, "but we think we have a shot."
UC Santa Barbara will take on the Broncos on Friday, March 28 with first serve scheduled at 1 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara 5, UC Irvine 2
March 26, 2014
Rec Cen Courts (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
1. Tobias Galskov/Ziad Sultan (UCSB) vs. Tyler Pham/Jonathan Hammel (UCI) 6-5, DNF
2. Erik Johnsson/Miles Seemann (UCSB) def. Ryan Cheung/Jonathan Poon (UCI) 8-3
3. Teague Hamilton/Andrew Riminton (UCSB) def. Justin Agbayani/Caryl Hernandez (UCI) 8-3
1. Tobias Galskov (UCSB) def. Ryan Cheung (UCI) 6-1, 6-4
2. Tyler Pham (UCI) def. Ziad Sultan (UCSB) 6-2, 6-4
3. Rafael Davidian (UCI) def. Sasha Gryaznov (UCSB) 6-3, 6-2
4. Erik Johnsson (UCSB) def. Jonathan Hammel (UCI) 6-3, 6-1
5. Teague Hamilton (UCSB) def. Shuhei Shibahara 6-4, 6-1
6. Miles Seemann (UCSB) def. Caryl Hernandez (UCI) 6-7, 6-3, 10-8
Order of Finish: Doubles (3, 2); Singles (4, 3, 5, 1, 2, 6)
UCSB Season Record: 6-9; Big West: 1-0