March 27, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The No. 64 UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team needed to appeal to its depth on Thursday afternoon against Santa Clara University. The Gauchos, short-handed because of a wave of flu that overtook many of their players, used a juggled line-up to win their sixth match in a row, 7-0. Now 9-4, UCSB will host 48th-ranked San Diego State in a key match on Saturday.
The Gauchos won the doubles point over the Broncos, but it was costly. At No. 1, Philip Therp and Jack Hui topped Jay Wong and Kenzo Hirakawa-Wong by an 8-4 count. At No. 2, it was Bijan Hejazi and Nigel Barton blasting John Iwanski and Justin Wong, 8-3, and at No. 3, Josh Finkelstein and Taylor Chavez-Goggin, a Santa Barbara High School graduate making his collegiate debut, defeated Charlie Burke and Senthil Chidambaram, 8-3.
"That was a pretty impressive debut," said head coach Marty Davis. "He was composed and did a great job."
In singles play, the Gauchos were limited. Hejazi and Alexander Koningsfeldt each pulled out because of illness, and Davis had to rearrange his singles lineup. Therp, who normally plays No. 2, was slotted in at No. 1. Hui, who has been playing No. 3, moved into the No. 2 slot. Finkelstein, who usually plays at No. 5, jumped to No. 3, Max Taylor, normally the No. 6 player, played at No. 4. Chavez-Goggin was inserted at No. 5, and Barton, who rarely plays singles, played at No. 6.
Not to worry.
UCSB swept the singles matches. Therp defeated Jay Wong at No. 1, 6-4, 6-4. Hui blitzed Hirakawa-Wong, 6-2, 6-2, and at No. 3, Finkelstein won the only three-setter, defeating Chidambaram, 4-6, 7-5, (10-8).
At No. 4, Taylor came through for the Gauchos, blitzing Burke by a 6-2, 6-1 tally. In his singles debut, at No. 5, Chavez-Goggin walloped Justin Wong, 6-1, 6-0. Barton easily helped to complete the sweep, overpowering Iwanski, 6-0, 6-0.
"Philip (Therp) displayed a lot of grit, grinding out a tough win at number one," began David. "He was clearly struggling physically, as was Josh (Finkelstein) at the No. 3 spot, but they finished. Bijan (Hejazi) couldn't continue after the doubles competition, and Alex (Konigsfeldt) couldn't post at all."
The UCSB men, who have now won six in a row and remain undefeated at home, will need to mend quickly, as a very, very strong San Diego State team invades the Recreation Center Courts at UCSB on Saturday. The Aztecs are ranked 48th nationally. The match will begin at 1:00 p.m.
No. 64 UC Santa Barbara 7, Santa Clara 0
Doubles No. 1 Therp/Hui (UCSB) def. Jay Wong/Hirakawa-Wong 8-4 No. 2 Hejazi/Barton (UCSB) def. Iwanski/Justin Wong 8-3 No. 3 Finkelstein/Chavez-Goggin (UCSB) def. Burke/Chidambaram 8-3
Singles No. 1 Philip Therp (UCSB) def. Jay Wong 6-4,6-4 No. 2 Jack Hui (UCSB) def. Kenzo Hirakawa-Wong 6-2,6-2 No. 3 Josh Finkelstein (UCSB) def. Senthil Chidambaram 4-6,7-5, (10-8) No. 4 Max Taylor (UCSB) def. Charlie Burke 6-2,6-1 No. 5 Taylor Chavez-Goggin (UCSB) def. Justin Wong 6-1,6-0 No. 6 Nigel Barton (UCSB) def. John Iwanski 6-0,6-0