SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - For years, Head Coach Marty Davis has prided himself on the men's tennis program he has built at UC Santa Barbara which includes 11 Big West titles and 11 NCAA Tournaments appearances in his 20-year tenure. However, during that same time span, Coach Davis and UCSB have been looking for that one key signature win that will help push this program even more into the limelight.
Well, the Gauchos (7-5) may have gotten that on Friday as they put together one terrific match to best and upset No. 17 Oregon, 4-3 in the confines of its home crowd in Santa Barbara. This win is the highest against any ranked opponent in the Marty Davis era. Previously, UCSB upset No. 22 Texas Tech back in 2012.
Additionally, UCSB snapped Oregon's (13-2) previous 10-match win streak. It's only other loss was to then No. 10 Stanford.
"I am so pumped. This is a huge win for our program and everyone played really well," Davis said. "I was proud of the way our guys competed yesterday [at UCLA] but today they all came together and just did what it took to win. I believe we are a Top-25 team in this country and a win like this proves that."
Like against UCLA, the Gauchos really came strong in the doubles portion of the match. This time, however, they finished off their opponent.
First, junior Joseph Guillin and sophomore Victor Krustev continue to dominate their opposition no matter who it is, as they came together to improve to 4-0 as a duo beating Oregon's Laurent/Oshima 6-0. This is the second time the Gaucho couple has blanked someone.
Then, moments later, top pair comprised of Nicolas Moreno de Alboran and Anders Holm came through clutch as well as the No. 72 duo in the country bested the No. 60 pair in the country, Roberts/Soemarno, 6-1. This was important as well because over on court three Alex Dominguez Soto and Joseph Rotheram were down 4-1.
Earning a doubles point is always a great way to build some momentum, but singles are where the match is won. Lucky for UCSB, everyone was ready to play.
First, Holm, at the No. 6 court, stepped up in tremendous fashion. The senior earned a 6-1, 6-2 straight-set win. This is only Holm's fourth win of the season but it could not have come at a better time. A win like this is also one that could set him down the right path heading into the crucial part of the season.
"Anders has had two big wins in our two biggest wins of the year, against South Alabama and today against the Ducks. We trust him and he always works super hard and I am happy to see it paid off for him and for us because we needed him," Davis said.
From there, No. 94 Krustev bounced back from his loss against UCLA, just his second of the year, in tremendous fashion as well besting Ty Gentry 6-1, 6-4 to improve to 9-2 on the year and put the Gauchos up 3-0.
As one could come to expect from the No. 17 team in the country they did not go down easy. Over on court four, Oregon's Riki Oshima bested Rotheram 6-4, 6-3 to bring the Ducks a little closer.
However, the win would come too late as following that, No. 39 Guillin defeated No. 90 Emmanuel Coste 6-4, 6-4 to seal the UCSB upset victory.
The match would continue on with the remaining games being finished out. First, senior Hironori Koyanagi saw his win streak come to an end following a 7-6, 6-3 loss on court five.
Then, No. 13 Moreno de Alboran would lose a tough three-setter to No. 5 Thomas Laurent by scores of 6-1, 2-6, 6-2. However, if you ask the senior about his loss, he would not care one bit.
"I remember the moment Joe clinched the match I felt a sudden rush of energy coursing through my body. I was up 2-0 (40-30) in the third but I knew I wanted to be with my teammates. I was just so stoked we won, this is probably the biggest win in my college career as a team and I know we are a top-20 program and we proved it. I love my teammates and they really came through and I just could not be happier," Moreno de Alboran said.
The senior co-captain really could not have said it any better. This is a statement win for UCSB. One that shows that this program isn't just hanging around the best, it is capable of beating the best on any day. This team still has a long way to go as this is not the end of the season, but it is truly a great way to show what this program and these players are capable of.
UCSB is back in action on March 26 against the University of Washington at home. Follow @UCSBTennis for any and all updates.
UCSB 4, #17 Oregon 3
1. #72 Moreno/Holm (UCSB) def. #60 Roberts/Soemarno (UO) – 6-1
2. Guillin/Krustev (UCSB) def. Laurent/Oshima (UO) – 6-0
3. Charlton/Gentry (UO) led #80 Rotheram/Soto – 4-1 [unfinished]
Order of Finish: 2, 1
1. #5 Thomas Laurent (UO) def. #13 Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (UCSB) – 6-1, 2-6, 6-2
2. #39 Joseph Guillin (UCSB) def. #90 Emmanuel Coste (UO) – 6-4, 6-4
3. #94 Victor Krustev (UCSB) def. Ty Gentry (UO) – 6-1, 6-4
4. Riki Oshima (UO) def. Joseph Rotheram (UCSB) – 6-4, 6-3
5. Joshua Charlton (UO) def. Hironori Koyanagi (UCSB) – 7-6, 6-3
6. Anders Holm (UCSB) def. Charles Roberts (UO) – 6-1, 6-2
Order of Finish: 6, 3, 4, 2*, 5, 1 (* - clincher)