SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Four days ago the UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team pulled off its biggest win of the season upsetting No. 49 Washington in Seattle and now it has continued that momentum by keeping its home winning streak alive following a 5-2 defeat of the University of Denver.
With the win, UCSB (10-6) remains unbeaten at home with an 8-0 record. The Gauchos are just three games away from achieving one of the goals they set themselves this season: have an unblemished record in Santa Barbara.
"This was a very impressive win, we were very good in doubles and we fought hard in singles. It was a battle out there and we needed guys like Joseph [Guillin] and Victor [Krustev] to turn their matches around to get this win," Head Coach Marty Davis said.
After winning four straight games at one point, Denver (7-8) has now lost three straight games to fall below .500.
The key to winning any college tennis match is to first claim the doubles point and Santa Barbara did just that with wins on the No. 2 and No. 3 courts. On the No. 2 court, senior captain Simon Freund and redshirt freshman Joseph Rotheram won their match 6-3 while Joseph Guillin and Victor Krustev won their match 6-4.
In singles, Freund kept up his winning attitude with his second commanding straight-set victory defeating Denver's Ruderhook 6-1, 6-3.
The Pioneers retaliated quickly, however, to stay within one point of the Gauchos as sophomore Pedro Fernandez defeated junior Anders Holm 6-3, 6-1. Holm is now in the midst of his worst run this season as this was his third straight loss.
Wins on the top two courts sealed the deal for the Gauchos this evening giving them a 4-1 lead. Junior Nicolas Moreno de Alboran won his second consecutive match with a 7-6, 6-4 back on the No. 1 court. The No. 94 player in the country will look to improve his ranking following a solid weekend.
After suffering his first loss in 12-straight matches against Oregon, Guillin bounced back nicely with a win at the No. 2 court in three sets by scores of 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Guillin is no 14-2 on the year in singles, by far the team best.
With the match sealed, UCSB dropped its match on court six as Rotheram lost in three sets, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2. Krustev, the freshman, picked up the final victory on the day with a 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Denver's Nunez.
Now sitting at 10-6 on the year, the Gauchos definitely have some momentum heading into conference play next weekend. With two Big West games on the docket, UCSB will certainly need to be playing its best tennis on the year and after picking up its first road win just a few days ago, it certainly looks as though this UCSB team will have the confidence to carry that ideology throughout.
"This was a really good team win and to keep the streak alive but now we are hoping we get a good crowd out next week for our conference opener against Hawai'i on Friday and then our match against UC Irvine on Sunday," Davis said.
UCSB will take on the University of Hawai'i at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6th at the Rec Cen Courts. A reminder that fans wearing their UCSB shirts will get free pizza at the match.
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UC Santa Barbara 5, University of Denver 2
March 31st, 2018; Rec Cen Courts
1) Moreno de Alboran/Holm (UCSB) vs. Ruderhook/Summers (Denver): 4-3 uf
2) Freund/Rotheram (UCSB) def. Ros/Fernandez (Denver): 6-3
3) Guillin/Krustev (UCSB) def. Lovera/Nunez (Denver): 6-4
Order of finish: 3, 2
1) No. 94 Moreno de Alboran (UCSB) def. Ros (Denver), 7-6, 6-4
2) Guillin (UCSB) def. Summers (Denver), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
3) Freund (UCSB) def. Ruder-hook (Denver), 6-1, 6-3
4) Fernandez (Denver) def. Anders Holm (UCSB), 6-3, 6-1
5) Victor Krustev (UCSB) def. Nunez, 6-7, 6-3, 6-1
6) Lovera (Denver) def. Joseph Rotheram (UCSB), 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
Order of finish: 3, 4, 1, 2*, 6, 5
UCSB: 10-6 (0-0 BW)
Denver: 7-8 (2-1 conf.)