TUCSON, Ariz. - The UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team remains winless on the road dropping to 0-4 away from the Rec Cen Courts following yet another 4-3 loss, this time at the hands of Arizona.
For UCSB (6-5) the 'Chos will have another chance to try to win their first road match of the season on Saturday while the Wildcats (12-5) remains unbeaten at home with a now 7-0 record.
Like many close tennis matches decided by one, the doubles point is usually the deciding factor. After all, taking a 1-0 advantage is better than being down 0-1.
Santa Barbara had a chance to claim the doubles point even despite the team of Joseph Guillin and Victor Krustev suffered a tough 6-1 loss at court three. Luckily, the 'Chos bounced back at court two with a 6-1 win thanks to Simon Freund and Joseph Rotheram.
This meant the match between Hassey/Karpovets and UCSB's top junior duo of Nicolas Moreno de Alboran and Holm would decide the opening point. The UCSB pair held a 5-2 lead and had serve at 5-3 to try to win the match, however, Arizona's freshmen pair stormed back and took the final five points of the match to take the 7-5 win.
"We had a really good chance to get the doubles point and start strong but we folded towards the end missing on some opportunities and we just could not recover," Head Coach Marty Davis said.
In singles, a quick loss on court three by Holm but the Gauchos in a 2-0 hole, but wins by Moreno de Alboran and Guillin at the one and two spots, respectively, tied the match up.
For Moreno de Alboran, it was his first road win of the season in singles, and was also his second consecutive victory. The New York native handed Arizona's Trent Brotha just his fifth loss of the season. It was also announced earlier today that Moreno de Alboran moved up six spots and is now ranked 108 in the country.
For Guillin, the sophomore transfer made just his second appearance on court two and was just as dominant as his first with a quick 6-1, 6-3 victory. The native Frenchman just continues making a name for himself with his ninth consectutive victory with all nine having been straight-set wins.
"Nic and Joseph were great again, I mean there performances speak for themselves," Davis said. "We just did not get it done with our latter half of the line-up."
With wins at the top two courts, the Gauchos knew they would need to rely on someone from either court four or five to step up and help give them their first road win of the season.
Unfortunately, no such task happened as both Krustev and Shekhera lost their matches on court five and six, respectively. Krustev held a 5-3 lead in the first set, but squandered it eventually losing the first 7-6, and the second, 6-4.
Despite having the momentum from his first career win on Sunday, Shekhera was unable to parlay that into a second-straight win instead picking up the first loss of his career following a 6-2, 7-6 (5) loss.
The two defeats meant Arizona had clinched the match win at 4-2, but over on court three, Freund was hoping to pick up a win in his first game back from injury. The senior captain did just that with a 6-7, 6-4, 10-6 win over Arizona's Aaro Pollanen making the final score 4-3.
There is no doubt that following yet another 4-3 loss on the road, the Gauchos must be feeling frustrated. UCSB has had opportunites in each road match to step up and win, and yet, whether it be in doubles or singles, it has missed our on every opporunity thus far.
"We came up one point short again, not much else you could say," Davis said. "We had a chance to win at doubles, let it get away and, as often the case, that ended up being the difference."
Luckily, this season is far from over, and the Gauchos still have plenty of time to turn this bad streak it has going on the road, around.
UCSB takes on No. 36 Loyola Marymount at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 10th at the LMU Tennis Center.
UC Santa Barbara 3, Arizona 4
Tucson, Ariz.; March 6th, 2018
Igor Karpovets/Carlos Hassey (ARIZ) def. Nicolas Moreno de Alboran/Anders Holm (UCSB) 7-5
Simon Freund/Joseph Rotheram (UCSB) def. Filip Malbasic/Aaro Pollanen (ARIZ) 6-1
Alejandro Reguant/Jonas Maier (ARIZ) def. Joseph Guillin/Victor Krustev (UCSB) 6-1
Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (UCSB) def. Trent Botha 6-3, 6-0
2. Joseph Guillin (UCSB) def. Igor Karpovets (ARIZ) 6-1, 6-3
3. Simon Freund (UCSB) def. Aaro Pollanen (ARIZ) 6-7, 6-4, 10-6
4. Jonas Maier (ARIZ) def. Anders Holm (UCSB) 6-0, 6-3
5. Filip Malbasic (ARIZ) def. Victor Krustev (UCSB) 7-6, 6-4
6. Alejandro Reguant (ARIZ) def. Ajai Shekhera (UCSB) 6-2, 7-6(5)