SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara's 2017 men's tennis recruiting class has been ranked 21st in the nation by tennisrecruiting.net, it was announced Monday.
The ranking is based on four freshman recruits - Victor Krustev, Henrik Atlevi, Ajai Shekhera and Willie Saiga - and does not include Joseph Guillin, a transfer from the University of Florida who is expected to be one of the program's top players in for the next three seasons.
"This ranking says a lot about where our program is and where it's headed," said head coach Marty Davis. "We are a program on the rise and this recruiting class will help us continue in that direction."
Krustev is currently 36th in Canada's Men's Singles National Rankings and 1,462nd in the ATP's men's doubles rankings. In 2015, he was Canada's U16 indoor and outdoor National Champion. He also finished fifth in the 2015 U18 Outdoor Nationals. Previously Krustev was a Candadian U14 and U12 national champ. He has been a full-time member of the National Training Centre program in Montreal.
Atlevi has been ranked as high as 240th in the ITF Junior rankings, 3rd in the Sweden Junior rankings and 1st in the Sectional Junior rankings. In 2016, he won the grade four singles title at the Kaarina, Finland ITF Junior Tournament, also finishing second in the doubles competition. Since 2014 he also won doubles titles in ITF events in Estonia, Sweden and Norway. Atlevi also reached the semifinals in an ITF singles tournament in Malaysia.
According to the tennisrecruiting.net, Shekhera is a five-star recruit and has been ranked among the top-50 in the 2017 recruiting class. Also an outstanding student, he was highly recruited by Harvard as well.
Saiga was ranked No. 1 in the ITF Northern California Sectional rankings and among the top-100 nationally at the end of 2016.
Guillin is a native of Paris and just competed as a freshman at Florida. He has a -15 rating in France, an outstanding rating by French standards. He will have four years of eligibility remaining.
In addition to the four freshmen and transfer, the Gauchos will add a pair of community college transfers in Lovedeep Singh (American River College) and Hironori Koyanagi (Ventura College).
UCSB, which has won three straight Big West Conference titles, is losing team captain and Big West Player of the Year Morgan Mays and Teague Hamilton from a 2016-17 team that won a school record 12 straight matches at one point.