SEATTLE, Wash. - Sixth times the charm. At least, that's all the UC Santa Barbara can think, and be thankful for, following a win against No. 49 ranked Washington to give the 'Chos their first road win of the season. With the win, UCSB (9-6) improves to 1-5 on the road and picks up its first win against a ranked opponent this season.
"It feels great to celebrate a road win, I really feel like we needed it. This is our biggest win of the year so far." Head Coach Marty Davis said. "It was a really close match as the score would indicate and we have to tip our cap to Joey [Rotheram] who clinched the match at No. 6."
For Washington (10-8), it now falls to 8-8 at home and suffers just its third loss to a non-ranked opponent this season.
Jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead in the match, the Gauchos looked as though they would seal the deal early, but a late rally by the Huskies certainly made things interesting. The match was decided by redshirt freshman Joseph Rotheram who stepped up big time delivering UCSB its first road win after earning a big final victory at the No. 6 spot.
"That was a statement win for him today. There is a lot of stress that comes with being in that last match and clinching so it was an impressive win," Davis said. "It will still be competitive at the No. 6 spot but it was a huge win today."
The match began as all college tennis does, with doubles. At No. 1 doubles, the UCSB duo, juniors Nicolas Moreno de Alboran and Anders Holm, led from the start and never looked back, winning 6-1. At the No. 2 court, senior Simon Freund and Rotheram bounced back from a 3-1 deficit to win five straight points and take the match 6-3 giving the Gauchos the 1-0 lead.
In singles, Santa Barbara picked up two straight-set wins on courts two and three to take the 3-0 advantage.
Making his first appearance on the No. 2 court this season, Moreno de Alboran certainly did not have an easy match. The No. 94 ranked New York native took on the No. 82 ranked player in the country, Jake Douglas. The junior won the match 6-3, 7-6 (4) to improve to 8-5 on the year.
On court three, senior captain Freund bounced back from a nasty 6-0, 6-0 loss versus Oregon to defeat Washington's Enzo Summer 6-3, 6-3.
Washington's Jack Davis began the Huskies rally from a 3-0 deficit with a win against Victor Krustev 7-5, 6-3.
UW would cut the deficit to just a one-point lead following a win on court one.
With Moreno de Alboran being bumped a spot down to court two, sophomore transfer standout Joseph Guillin made his second appearance at the top court and put his 12-game winning streak on the line.
Guillin played his heart out, taking the match to three sets, but would ultimately lose against Washington's No. 80th ranked Mitch Stewart 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. The loss was only the former Florida Gator's second loss of the year as he is now 13-2 on the year.
With the match being tied, all eyes moved to Rotheram's match at the No. 6 court. Rotheram took the first set 6-4 before losing the second 3-6. By the time Guillin's match was over, Rotheram had the advantage in the third and won the set 6-3 to seal the win for the 'Chos.
The match ended with Washington earning a win on court four over Holm to make the final score 4-3.
Finally picking up its first road win of the year, UCSB can finally breathe a little easier especially considering the caliber of team it beat. Defeating a Pac-12 school is always impressive, and Santa Barbara did so in wonderful fashion.
"It is enjoyable to get wins against these schools with huge funding. It has a David vs Goliath feel to it so it's super gratifying to get these wins," Davis said.
Now, the Gauchos can focus on keeping their home record perfect before heading into conference play.
UCSB takes on the University of Denver at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 1st at the Rec Cen Courts.
#49 Washington – 3
UC Santa Barbara – 4
Doubles (Order of finish: 1, 2)
1) Moreno/Holm (UCSB) def. Lam/Sommer (UW) 6-1
2) Freund/Rotherom (UCSB) def. Foley/Stewart (UW) 6-3
3) Davis/Douglas (UW) vs. Guillin/Krustev (UCSB) 5-5 DNF
Singles (Order of finish: 3, 2, 5, 1, 6, 4)
1) #80 Mitch Stewart (UW) def. Joseph Guillin (UCSB) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
2) #94 Nicolas Moreno (UCSB) def. #82 Jake Douglas (UW) 6-3, 7-6(4)
3) Simon Freund (UCSB) def. Enzo Sommer (UW) 6-3, 6-3
4) Amit Batta (UW) def. Anders Holm (UCSB) 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-1
5) Jack Davis (UW) def. Victor Krustev (UCSB) 7-5, 6-3
6) Joseph Rotherom (UCSB) def. Piers Foley (UW) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2