SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara successfully completed its two-game homestand this season with a win on Saturday as the men's tennis team bested Loyola Marymount 5-2.
With the win, the Gauchos (6-4) have now won three straight, its best three-game stretch this season. For the Lions, they fall to 2-6 on the year and have now lost three of its last four.
On Friday, UCSB looked tremendous in doubles easily taking the point, however, that became much tougher on Saturday. On court two, Joseph Guillin and Victor Krustev looked good for the second-straight match earning a 6-3 win and improving to 2-0 as a duo.
On court three, No. 80th ranked Joseph Rotheram and Alex Dominguez Soto came up big for the Gauchos earning their second win of the weekend, and in dual match play, with a 6-4 victory giving UCSB the 1-0 lead.
In singles, many UCSB athletes looked just as dominant as they did the day before. First off court was sophomore sensation Krustev who bested LMU's Thien Nguyen in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. The No. 94 ranked player in the country continues his dominance on court this season improving to a team-best 8-1 overall.
Up 2-0, Moreno de Alboran, ranked No. 13 in the country, gave the Gauchos a very commanding 3-0 lead with a 6-4, 6-1 win on court two.
Closing out the match for UCSB was Rotheram who has now won six straight and improves to 6-4 on the season. The redshirt sophomore won his match on court four 7-5, 6-2.
Despite UCSB having sealed the win, players were still looking to improve their records and keep up their momentum. Next off court was senior Hironori Koyanagi who pulled through with a valiant effort.
After being down 4-1 in the first set, Koyanagi came back to force a tiebreak and eventually won 7-6. In the second set, Koyanagi took control and won 6-1 to take the match for his third-straight win.
Up 5-0, the Gauchos were looking for their second straight sweep but it would not come. First, on court five, Holm could not sustain a win streak as he lost in three sets 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (6-10).
Moments later, Guillin, ranked No. 39 in the country, was bested the top court for his first loss on court one this year losing to LMU's Lukas Monter. Monter is currently ranked No. 125 in the country and dropped Guillin to 6-4 on the year but the important thing is UCSB won the match 5-2.
For UCSB, this was a great weekend for them to earn two wins that it should get and give them momentum for a much more difficult weekend of play upcoming. For the most part, many players seem to be hitting their stride at the right time and as the Gauchos keep improving their chance to win an opportunity match becomes much more viable.
"We know we want to win these matches, they are great opportunities for us to show we are a top team in this country and that we can compete with everybody," Davis said.
UCSB's next match is at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 14 against No. 20 UCLA. Follow @UCSBTennis for any and all updates.
UC Santa Barbara 5, Loyola Marymount 2
March 8, 2019, Rec Cen Courts, Santa Barbara
1) Monter/Nguyen (LMU) def. No. 72 Holm/Moreno de Alboran (UCSB) - 6-3
2) Guillin/Krustev (UCSB) def. Prost/Nava (LMU) - 6-3
3) No. 80 RotheramDominguez Soto (UCSB) def. Brown/Di Guilio - 6-4
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3*
UCSB wins doubles point.
1) No. 125 Monter (LMU) def. No. 39 Joseph Guillin (UCSB) - 6-7, 7-6, 1-0 (10-6)
2) No. 13 Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (UCSB) def. Nava (LMU) - 6-4, 6-1
3) No. 94 Victor Krustev (UCSB) def. Nguyen (LMU) - 6-3, 6-1
4) Joseph Rotheram (UCSB) def. Prost (LMU) - 7-5, 6-2
5) Di Guilio (LMU) def. Anders Holm (UCSB) - 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-6)
6) Hironori Koyanagi (UCSB) def. Moreno (LMU) - 7-6, 6-1
Order of finish: 3, 2, 4*, 5, 6, 1